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From the House of the Dead

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Wales Millennium CentreBute Place, Cardiff , Cardiff, Wales, CF10 5AL, United Kingdom
2017 October 08 16:00, October 12 19:30
Festival: R17 - Russian Centenary Season in Wales
Welsh National Opera
Tomáš HanusConductor
David PountneyDirector
Maria BjornsonSet Designer
Ben McAteerBaritoneGorjančikov
Mark Le BrocqTenorLuka Kuzmič (Filka Morozov)
Paul Charles ClarkeTenorBig prisoner
Quentin HayesBassSmall prisoner
Robert HaywardBaritonePrison governor
Alan OkeTenorSkuratov
Adrian ThompsonTenorShapkin
Simon BaileyBassŠiškov
Julian CloseBassPrisoner as Don Juan and Brahmin
Chorus of Welsh National Opera
Orchestra of Welsh National Opera
Chris EllisLighting Designer

Set in a claustrophobic Siberian prison, David Pountney’s production of From the House of the Dead is a compelling collage of the in-mates’ stories as they recount why they ended up in jail. During a time of political oppression, each individual tale explores the extremes a person will go to, to right a wrong. A glimmer of hope takes the form of a great eagle that the prisoners painstakingly nurse back to health, a symbol of Russia but also of freedom itself. 

Janáček based both the music and the libretto on the semi-autobiographical recollections of Russian writer Dostoyevsky, who himself only survived the firing squad as a result of a last minute reprieve from the Tsar. On stage we’re following the story of a number of characters through an ensemble cast and chorus, but the true protagonist is the WNO Orchestra, conducted by WNO’s new Music Director Tomáš Hanus. 

Performed in the new critical edition by John Tyrrell with performance suggestions by Charles Mackerras

Sung in English, with English and Welsh surtitles.

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