San Francisco Opera | Jenufa | SF Opera

Jenůfa

When the righteous sin, can they be forgiven? Karita Mattila returns to portray one of opera’s most vivid characters—a domineering stepmother forced to deal with her unwed stepdaughter’s pregnancy—who is driven to perform a monstrous act.

Music and Libretto by Leoš Janáček

Sung in Czech with English supertitles


Reviews

A success of magnificent proportions!

San Francisco Chronicle

Jenůfa doesn’t come around often, but when it does, it’s an unforgettable experience!

The Mercury News

☆☆☆☆☆

London Financial Times

Whether we knew it or not, the operatic world has been waiting all this time for Karita Mattila to sing the role of Kostelnička...and the results were even more intense and brilliant than we could have hoped.

San Francisco Chronicle

Malin Byström’s performance in Act 2, both along and opposite Mattila, was a breathtaking blend of tonal beauty and raw power.

San Francisco Chronicle

[William Burden was] an expressive, beautifully sung Laca.

The Mercury News

In the pit, conductor Jiří Bĕlohlávek demonstrated yet again why he is a the go-to man for Czech music, brining rough-hewn urgency and lyrical suavity to a score that needs both qualities in equal measure.

San Francisco Chronicle

Jenůfa is a triumph for Karita Mattila and San Francisco Opera...it unfolds with the kind of terse specificity that can hold an audience spellbound.

San Francisco Chronicle

Mattila gave a performance of unforgettable theatrical intensity and vocal brilliance.

San Francisco Chronicle

[Malin Byström sang with] bright, silvery high notes and a wondrously throaty low register, shaping Jenůfa’s plight with vigor and insight.

San Francisco Chronicle

One way or another, everything in this production works perfectly—and Mattila’s exquisite performance most perfectly of all.

San Francisco Chronicle

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Synopsis

A righteous stepmother attempts to shield her daughter from scandal and village gossip through an unspeakable act.

Read Complete Synopsis ›

Cast & Creative

Cast
Jenůfa Malin Byström*
Kostelnička Karita Mattila
Laca Klemeň William Burden
Steva Buryja Scott Quinn*
Grandmother Buryjovka Jill Grove
Foreman at the Mill Matthew Stump
Mayor of the Village Anthony Reed
Karolka Julie Adams
Barena Toni Marie Palmertree
The Mayor's Wife Zanda Švēde
The Maid Laura Krumm
Jano Sarah Tucker*

Performances

June 14, 19, 22, 25, 28
July 1

Creative
Conductor Jiří Bělohlávek
Director Olivier Tambosi
Production Designer Frank Philipp Schlössmann
Lighting Designer Gary Marder
Chorus Director Ian Robertson
Dance Master Lawrence Pech
Fight Director Dave Maier

 * San Francisco Opera Debut

An original production of Hamburgische Staatsoper.

Costumes for this production are constructed by the Los Angeles Opera Costume Shop.

Previous performances of Jenůfa can be found in our Archive.

Program Articles

From Village to World

Janáček's tale, rooted in the Moravian countryside, expands to encompass the world.

Three Jenůfas

Over the past century, Jenůfa has been significantly revised for the operatic stage.

Conductor's Note

"This is music that speaks directly to the soul—that is Janáček’s genius—and the only condition is to come with open ears and an open heart."

TV and Radio Broadcasts

Did you miss your favorite opera or want to relive a stunning performance? Check for upcoming broadcasts of our past performances.

Explore the Archive

Our complete history of operas, casts, production teams and performance details—dating back to 1923—at your fingertips.

Made Possible By

This production is made possible, in part, by The Bernard Osher Endowment Fund, Koret Foundation, Dianne and Tad Taube and The Thomas Tilton Production Fund. Ms. Byström's appearance is made possible by the Jan Shrem and Maria Manetti Shrem Emerging Stars Fund. Ms. Mattila’s appearance is made possible by a gift to the Great Singers Fund from Joan and David Traitel.

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