News

Celebrating Janáček’s work

3 September 2019

It’s only a few weeks to go before the opening of WNO’s Autumn Season with three great operas to sate your operatic appetite. However, one of those operas is the start of something special for the Company. Janáček’s The Cunning Little Vixen is not only another opportunity to see David Pountney’s iconic 1980s production but also the start of a series celebrating the composer’s work over the next four years.

The series continues in Autumn 2020 where we are staging a reimagined version of Katie Mitchell’s intense production of Jenůfa last performed in 2008. The series will culminate in 2022 with a brand new production of The Makropulos Case which is notorious, musically speaking, as being one of the most difficult of Janáček’s operas.


Janáček’s music is woven into the very fabric of WNO’s history. From our ground-breaking cycle of co-productions with Scottish Opera in the 1980s to the now-legendary names that have worked with the Company and helped to popularise the composer’s work over the years – Sir Richard Armstrong, Sir David Pountney and Sir Charles Mackerras. Now follow Tomáš Hanus, WNO Music Director, as he brings his unique insight to Janáček’s operas and expertise to the stage. 


What I hope audiences will take away from this series is the sense of beauty and depth in Janáček’s music. It explores the very heart of human nature, making our lives feel richer and moving us to our core right in our theatre seats. I personally feel enchanted by the uniqueness and strength in his work and it would be an incredible experience for me as a conductor to see an audience as moved by these stories as I am.

Tomáš Hanus, WNO Music Director

To help us mount such an ambitious project, Tomáš is inviting enthusiastic supporters of WNO’s work to help him bring this magnificent series to the stage. ‘Any support you could give would be gratefully received. In my opinion, the works of Janáček are amongst the most important of the operatic repertoire. By supporting the series, you will be providing a tremendous service to opera as a genre – helping to build on the wonderful artistic union that has existed between WNO and Janáček’s music ever since the original cycle of productions were so boldly staged over 40 years ago.’