In his first year as Conductor Emeritus of the LSO, Sir Simon Rattle explores music from Brahms to Gershwin, including the premiere of a long-awaited commission by John Adams.
At the heart of his season are two concert performances of the searing, magnificent opera Jenůfa, the third instalment of the LSO and Rattle’s cycle of Janáček’s operas, following critically acclaimed performances of The Cunning Little Vixen and Katya Kabanova.
‘I’ve loved Janáček’s operas since I was a teenager,’ says Rattle. ‘Indeed it was playing, aged 17, performances of The Cunning Little Vixen at the Royal Academy of Music that made me realise I wanted to be an opera conductor. When we first started playing these operas together, I realised that this is music that suits the LSO so perfectly, with their virtuosity, passion, and their sense of humour and refinement.’
‘This is music that suits the LSO so perfectly, with their virtuosity, passion, and their sense of humour and refinement.’
‘Janáček’s operas are some of the very few that move at the speed of theatre,’ Rattle says. ‘He has such a profound understanding of people’s psychology. Of course we’re not performing in a theatre, but there is something very powerful about having the Orchestra right there, because so often the Orchestra is saying what the singers are just unable to say – and in a concert performance we have this in close-up.’