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Jenůfa at the ENO

I thought I was going to write about how Amanda Roocroft gave a fab performance of the title role Jenůfa, or how well the orchestra played the often demanding Janáček's score can be.
But no, it's far more exciting telling you how - during the interval, the stage crew positioned the necessary props onto the front of the stage area, and I noticed the safety curtain was slowly coming down (often the case for safety purposes) thinking "I hope they realise the new props are in the way".
Oh no, they did not. The safety curtain continued its journey and we heard a horrific ripping / crashing noise as it started to chop into the stage prop demolishing half of it like a guillotine!

Those who remained in the auditorium had their jaws on the floor - and then there was nothing, nobody came out for a good 5 minutes while we all pondered what's going to happen next. Eventually, the stage hands raised the safety curtain, dragged the chopped of bits of staging in and no doubt did some frantic repair. The interval was elongated to accommodate any remedial activities and everyone cheered when the repaired staging reappeared 5 minutes before Act II.

What was enjoyable? Amanda Roocroft's convincing role and singing, good orchestral playing.

What was not enjoyable? The male cast could have been more "in the role".


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