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From the House of the Dead Poster

From the House of the Dead

Closed March 24, 2018

Janecek goes to Dostoevsky's Siberia in a compelling production

The Arts Desk, 2011 Opera North production

Why See From the House of the Dead?

Making its Royal Opera debut!

The final work of composer and librettist Leos Janacek, this dark and atmospheric opera is based on the semi-autobiographical novel by Fyodor Dostoyevsky, describing his life in a Siberian gulag. Marking its premiere at the Royal Opera House, this production is helmed by the talented Polish director Krzysztof Warlikowski, the creator and artistic director of Nowy Teatr (New Theatre) in Warsaw. This opera has been updated to take place in modern times, allowing audiences to empathise with the inmates from a contemporary perspective.

Arguably Janecek's biggest masterpiece, his operatic treatment of Dostoyevsky's work combines the harsh reality of life in a gulag with compassion as the inmates try to make sense of humanity's difficult truths. Completed just before his death in 1928, the opera wasn't performed until 1930 and marked a departure from his previous works in that the ensemble cast remains the focus of the drama, rather than one or two main characters.

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Additional Information


Opening night: 7 March 2018


Suitable for ages 13+

Run time

One hour 40 minutes without interval

And before you stop reading

Sung in Czech with English surtitles. Image taken from Metropolitan Opera's 2009 production /Sara Krulwich/The New York Times

Cast and Creative


Johan Reuter
Willard W. White

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