I had seen several Warlikowski productions across Europe and it was a bit of a surprise that this From the House of the Dead was his house debut at the Royal Opera House. Too modern for UK conservative taste in opera? Anyway this was a safe bet as the production is not radical in any way. It was, however, intense and very demanding. As Leoš Janáček music is not easy listening, Krzysztof Warlikowski staging is not easy to see, as many things are happening on the stage and require a lot of focus to get all the details.
I was excited about this concert. The programme opened with some unknown Janáček (composer that I love so much!) work, followed by one of my fav piano concertos (Bartók 3rd) played by a pianist that impressed me on his last Mozart concert at Wigmore Hall last October: Franceso Piemontesi. Having a solid conductor as Mark Elder was also a guarantee. So far so good. Elder introduced Janáček Schluck und Jau final and unfinished work from the podium.
This was a sold out concert at Wigmore Hall. Not sure if it was because of the interesting 20th century programme, because of the two famous soloists, because of the glamour of one of them or because of the kink of seeing together two very different personalities. I was in because all of those and because I enjoyed their previous visits to London. Wang belongs to this class of technically perfect pianists.
An opera with animals talking and singing? Well, this is not the most unbelievable thing we have seen in an opera, is it? With Janacek… wait, I’m going to write it properly. Janáček. Now. Well, actually I copied & pasted it from wikipedia. Whatever, with the J composer operas you always expect a brutal drama directly to your guts, with oppressive music creating a dark atmosphere. But with The cunning little vixen (Příhody lišky bystroušky, I got a thing with these funny things on top of the characters) it’s different and music projects happiness, fun and light.