The final opera in the Des Moines Metro Opera’s 43rd Festival Season, Janáček’s Jenůfa, airs as part of Iowa Public Radio’s Opera in October broadcast series. IPR will broadcast Jenůfa on Saturday, October 17 at 7:00 p.m. and Sunday, October 18 at 4:00 p.m.
This tragic tale and rare musical gem is set in a Moravian village in the late 19th century. Jenůfa learns that although her beloved Števa was not drafted into the military, her stepmother Kostelnička has forbidden their marriage unless Števa can maintain a year of sobriety. Jenůfa is already with child, and by the time Kostelnička murders the child in secret so that Laca, Števa’s stepbrother, will marry Jenůfa. The role of Jenůfa is sung by soprano Sara Gartland, with soprano Brenda Harris as Kostelnička Buryjovka and mezzo-soprano Joyce Castle as Grandmother Buryjovka.