Critical Essays / Commentaries / Press Reviews

Brno Janacek Festival 2020 Review: Jenůfa

28. 10. 2020 | Alan Neilson

Soprano Pavla Vykopalová in the title role was an engaging and sympathetic Jenůfa. She has an appealing voice with an attractive timbre, a rich middle voice with a bright, secure upper register. Her beautifully rendered phrasing captured the lyrical quality of the part, although this was not at the expense of Jenufa’s inner pain and suffering. Her vocal versatility and ability to expertly develop characterization were impressive which was wonderfully illustrated in her Act two monologue, “Mamičko, mám težkou hlavu, mám, mám,” in which she runs through a string of emotions, as she searches for her mother, then her baby, anxiously awaits Steva’s arrival, panics and worries over the baby’s whereabouts and prays for her child’s safety.

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20. 12. 2018 | Luigi Paolillo

It was a perfectly coordinated performance with singers who I haven't known so far. I was enthusiastic about dramatic and choral cast of the actress singing the leading part of Kát’a Kabanová. She was given a long-standing ovation of the audience, which was not numerous but very enthusiastic. Pavla Vykopalova’s Káťa is very heartfelt, tender and at the same time strong. She can get used to her role, she can show various forms of Káťa’s character – on one hand a suffering woman too wrapped up in herself and her deep sorrow and on the other hand she can show a dreamy woman who wants to fly with seagulls up to a passionate and luscious unfaithful woman suffering from her fault and social pressure. We can find all of it in Pavla Vykopalova’s voice, which has an unbelievable flexibility and sophistication. It belongs only top – level stars. Her performance is also outstanding, with a lot of sensitivity and charisma over and above a common standard. Pavla Vykopalova’s Káťa is authentic.

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17. 12. 2018 | Salvatore Morra

The audience is also enthusiastic because Pavla Vykopalova’s soprano has unsurpassable stage performance. Her pleasant and soulful voice with the full timbre including low tones is surprising. Costumes by Wolfgang Gussmann show a perfect wife at first changing later into a sexy half naked sinner but at the same time a gentle and tender woman.

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17. 12. 2018 | Paola De Simone

Pavla Vykopalova was completely faultless – both singing cast and her performance. Her soprano was powerful and vocally versatile. She created Káťa with outstanding dramatic character, she expressed very well an enslaved wife and a daughter- in- law and then a lonely woman, a tender mistress and unfaithful seer who knows that there is no other way for her. Pavla Vykopalova is especially outstanding at her monologues.

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Káťa Kabanova takes flight in Naples

17. 12. 2018 | Lorenzo Fiorito

The singing cast was excellent. In the title role, Czech soprano Pavla Vykopalová was at complete ease: she was really outstanding, alternating longing and passion with depression and anguish. She sang superbly throughout, her stage presence growing more and more as the story unravelled. She was able to express the childish side of Káťa’s personality as well as the disgraced woman who decides to end her own life. Her voice was quite steely in the recitatives, as required by the Czech language prosody according to Janáček's intentions, then she deployed her clear, beautiful sound in the (rare) lyrical passages.

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Erotically sultry, or Brno’s new Così fan tutte

19. 05. 2018 | Lukáš Pavlica

On the other hand what deserves great praise is the vocal synthesis of all the voices and especially those of now Václava Krejčí Housková and Pavla Vykopalová. Although both singers use a significantly decorated tone and did not stint on the vibrato does, their expression was in such agreement that they resembled one body and one soul. Vykopalová however dazzled even in her absolute fidelity to the meaning of the text and her truly precise acting.

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18. 12. 2017 | Jakub Kožíšek

Gounod emphasized Marketa more, in reality she is a star figure. Her soul plays an important role in this performance. This situation was wonderfully expressed by Pavla Vykopalová. She can satisfy her audience with her deft and at the same time with her strong and sonant voice, she can demonstrate both - lyrical and dramatic expression. In the third act she splendidly expressed the contrast between the song about the King Thulle and the aria about jewels. Then after many adventures at the end of the opera she haunts her thoughts to the first Faust's meeting, she moves back to the love scenes and you are in a sweat about it. After so many difficult parts Pavla Vykopalova’s voice was so clear and on the same level as at the beginning of the performance.

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