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The Sunday Opera: Leos Janacek Double Feature: "Jenufa" and "The Makropulos Case"

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We’ll be traveling to Czechoslovakia for this week’s Sunday opera (1/7  3:00 p.m.) and two works by the Czech master, Leos Janacek.  The first is a story of misplaced love and devotion that results in murder entitled “Jenufa.”  The Jenufa in a recording from 1986 is the wonderful Elisabeth Soderstrom, Peter Dvorsky is Steva, the object of her misplaced love, and Wieslav Ochman is the misunderstood Laca.  The second opera also features Elisabeth Soderstrom in the lead, this time as Emilia Marty, the woman who has lived for over 300 years in “The Makropulos Case.”  

The elixir she drank has given her immortality but destroyed her soul, and she leads an empty life as a great performer.  Joining Soderstrom in this recording from 1981 is Vaclav Zitek, Zdenek Svehla, Peter Dvorsky, and Anna Czakova.  Sir Charles McKarras is the conductor for both, and he’s leading the Vienna Philharmonic and the chorus of the Vienna State Opera.