From the House of the Dead | Welsh National Opera

SummaryBack to top

Sunday, October 8, 2017 - Wednesday, November 29, 2017


Set in a claustrophobic Siberian prison, David Pountney’s production of From the House of the Dead is a compelling collage of the in-mates’ stories as they recount why they ended up in jail. During a time of political oppression, each individual tale explores the extremes a person will go to, to right a wrong. A glimmer of hope takes the form of a great eagle that the prisoners painstakingly nurse back to health, a symbol of Russia but also of freedom itself. 

Janáček based both the music and the libretto on the semi-autobiographical recollections of Russian writer Dostoyevsky, who himself only survived the firing squad as a result of a last minute reprieve from the Tsar. On stage we’re following the story of a number of characters through an ensemble cast and chorus, but the true protagonist is the WNO Orchestra, conducted by WNO’s new Music Director Tomáš Hanus. 

  • Performances start at 7.30pm, except at Wales Millennium Centre on 8 Oct at 4pm
  • Running time approximately one hour and 30 minutes without an interval
  • Sung in English with surtitles in English (and Welsh in Cardiff and Llandudno).


Co-production with Scottish Opera

Supported by WNO Friends

Part of R17

For details on production dates, times and pricing please click on your chosen venue on the right.

The Russian Revolution Season is supported by WNO Partners

Cast & CreativeBack to top

Goryanchikov Ben McAteer
Filka Morozov Mark Le Brocq
Big Convict Paul Charles Clarke
Small Convict Quentin Hayes
Commandant Robert Hayward
Skuratov Alan Oke
Shapkin Adrian Thompson
Shishkov Simon Bailey
Don Juan Julian Close

Conductor Tomáš Hanus

Director David Pountney
Designer Maria Bjornson
Staff Director Deborah Cohen
Associate Director Caroline Clegg
Lighting Designer Chris Ellis