Janacek: Jenufa (In English) - Collier, Varnay, Cassilly, Lanigan, Bainbridge; Kubelik. London, 1968
Listen to a Sample:
It must have been a welcome respite for this cast of veteran dramatic singers to take some time away from German and Italian and return to their native English. Marie Collier, Astrid Varnay and Richard Cassilly were all singers that were celebrated for their acting skills but hearing the natural inflection that they give to this excellent English translation one can truly appreciate their artistry in a new way. Marie Collier shows the audience the metamorphosis of the title character. She sings with youthful charm in the first act, brings a detached quality to the second act and in the third blossoms into a woman before our very eyes. Astrid Varnay is a force to be reckoned with and she is able to bring across both the strength and the insecurity of the tortured Kostelnicka. Richard Cassilly is near perfect casting as Laca and he lets the sweetness of his tone remind the audience that despite his actions the character is at heart good. John Lanigan seems a little overwhelmed as Steva and has to sing down the octave at one point to make it through. All of the participants sing with impeccable English diction and Rafael Kubelik, in the pit, leads a very moving performance. The sound is excellent.