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.
Wow. This was the operatic event of the year. Full star cast, superb conductor, new production from the typical enfant terrible and a lot of money. Plus, of course, the rare opportunity to see and listen to the original French version of the opera. With such high expectations it was rather difficult to match them, but we were fortunate and we had a magical opera night. 20 minutes of applause with 3 rounds of individual salutations say it all.