Leoš Janáček

Jenůfa

Love makes a life – and destroys a family.

13 Mar–27 Mar 2024

A tale of honour, love and sacrifice, Leoš Janáček’s opera Jenůfa explores the stigma of pregnancy out of wedlock against the backdrop of a small community.

Loved by two half-brothers, Jenůfa is secretly pregnant by one of them. Abandoned by the child’s father, she gives birth alone, only assisted by her stepmother. Unaware of the child, the second brother pledges to marry Jenůfa, but, as their wedding looms, tragedy strikes.

Concerned for the family’s reputation, her stepmother commits an unspeakable act in the hope that dishonour is averted and Jenůfa does not remain alone. But when a baby’s body is found in the river on the wedding day, the devastating truth is revealed to all.

Directed by David Alden, the ENO’s Olivier Award-winning staging updates Jenůfa’s setting to an isolated 20th century industrial estate in the Eastern Bloc, giving the story a contemporary edge that makes it feel even more relevant for today’s audiences.

Janáček’s powerfully rich score is conducted by Keri-Lynn Wilson. Soprano Jennifer Davis (Jenůfa) makes her role debut and Richard Trey Smagur (Laca) makes his ENO debut, alongside Susan Bullock (Kostelnička) and ENO Harewood Artist, John Findon (Steva).

Book your tickets now to watch the ENO perform this moving opera at the London Coliseum in 2024.

‘heart-rending’

Evening Standard

'brilliantly effective production'

The Independent

'as compelling today as when it was first written'

Sunday Express

‘emotionally shattering’

The Times

Running Time
2hrs 35mins

There is one interval.

Access

We have an Access Scheme for our audiences with a disability, a health condition, or different access needs to ensure everyone has a comfortable and enjoyable visit.

Tickets
Tickets start at just £10 plus £3.75 booking fee and £1.50 building levy per ticket. A maximum of £10.50 per transaction is charged.
Language
Sung in English with the words displayed above the stage (Surtitles)

Age guidance: 12+

For more information, please contact our box office on 020 7845 9300 or [email protected]

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Discover Jenůfa

Jenůfa Creative Team 2024

Jenůfa Cast 2024

Jenůfa FAQs

The running time of a performance of Jenůfa by the ENO is roughly 2hrs 30 mins with one interval. To experience Janáček’s provoking opera, find tickets here 

Jenůfa is the title character in the opera of the same name, by Czech composer Leoš Janáček. She is a young woman who begins the opera secretly pregnant, facing the potential judgment of society for being unwed. Throughout the opera, Jenůfa experiences a devastating series of events, eventually discovering her strength. 

The ENO’s production of Jenůfa is performed in English, with the words additionally displayed above the stage. The opera was originally composed to a Czech Libretto by Leoš Janáček and is still commonly sang in the original language. 

An emotionally intense piece of work, those new to opera may want to opt for something lighter than Jenůfa. The diverse and impactful storyline makes for more of a complex viewing, which may be difficult to follow if you’re not familiar with the variety of opera formats. 

For something more accessible with a simpler storyline, start your opera journey with a performance of Mozart’s The Magic Flute or Rossini’s The Barber of Seville

 

Jenůfa is often classed as a dramatic or tragic opera, renowned for its intense themes, impressive character portrayal and distinctive music. The opera explores themes of love, betrayal and societal expectations, resulting in a piece of opera with great depth.