After "From a House of the Dead", "Katja Kabanowa" and most recently the "Glagolitic Mass", Simon Rattle's artistic exploration of central works by Janáček now continues with "Jenůfa". In 1924, "Jenůfa" (in Czech "Její pastorkyňa" - "Her Stepdaughter") was performed for the first time in Berlin at the Staatsoper Unter den Linden. This gave the work its final breakthrough on German stages. This special relationship continues to this day.
The rigid morals of a village community put pressure on a young woman: Jenůfa is pregnant by her lover Števa, who, however, withdraws his promise of marriage and turns away from her. After the child sees the light of day, her stepmother, the village sexton, also fears for Jenůfa's reputation and her own future. When Laca, another marriage candidate, offers himself, it occurs to her that life without the child would be better for them all ...
Leoš Janáček's third opera became his first real success and the "Moravian national opera" through its echoes of folk music from the composer's homeland.
In addition, Janáček's music has a special quality: the music does not judge the figure, even if it explores psychological extremes that lead to violence and infanticide and relentlessly reveals the inner life of the characters. Thus the music even certifies the final forgiveness - a message of Janáček's humanism that seems almost impossible at the end of the opera after all the gruesome revelations and admissions of guilt.