Album: Janacek

The Excursions of Mr Broucek – Belohlavek/BBC Symphony Orchestra, Deutsche Grammophon
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The Independent Culture

'The Excursions of Mr Broucek' is one of Janacek's most irresistible operas. Caustically funny, brilliantly scored and gleefully absurd, it sees the "greedy nonentity", drunk and cantankerous Czech everyman Broucek (Jan Vacik), transported to the moon, seduced and made into a work of modern art, then plunged back to the 15th-century siege of Prague. Hardly an obvious choice for the BBC SO, you might think. But Jiri Belohlavek's warm direction and a full-blooded cast of Czech singers give this performance authentic tang. As Malinka/Etherea/Kunka, Maria Haan sings beautifully, while the woodwind, brass and cellos gleam.

Download this: Etherea's elaborate 'Tvuj pohled tluk meho srdece skoral'