Janácek's 'From the House of the Dead',
reviewed by MIKE WHEELER
Janácek had a knack of drawing operatic subjects from the most unlikely sources and making them work. From the house of the dead, based on Dostoyevsky's memoir of his own incarceration in Tsarist Russia, breaks just about every rule in the operatic handbook -- a virtually all-male cast, no plot to speak of, no principal characters except for those few that emerge briefly before blending back in with the crowd. But Janácek shines a compassionate light on his often brutal, de-humanised subject-matter, and there is a stark lyricism at the opera's heart...
Copyright © 4 June 2011