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Katja Kabanowa
Sun, 27. Oct 2019, 18:00

Opera in three acts by Leoš Janáček

An unhappily married woman tries to break free from the prison of conventions and tragically perishes; a cold-hearted mother-in-law is more concerned with upholding tradition than with the happiness and well-being of her son and his wife; and a nephew has to endure his merchant uncle’s berating. These are the powerful tensions that frame Janáček’s opera, within which the breathtakingly restricted action takes place.

»This play has much poignant, Slavic gentleness and depth of feeling,« said the Moravian composer when he started work on his sixth stage work in 1920, an opera based on Alexander Ostrovsky’s play »The Thunderstorm«. Once more, with great meticulousness and care, Janáček studied the tone with which people from different backgrounds and of unequal social status express themselves and communicate. And in this case, not only the subject matter seemed important to him but, above all, how people spoke. In »Katja Kabanová«, Janáček took his »speech-melody« method to a new artistic level. The special mood created by the characters and their personal and social surroundings continually resonate in a condensed form, making it all the more oppressive. And in the end, even the wide Volga River sings, and a terrifying thunderstorm unleashes itself with all its might. Nature becomes the mirror of the human psyche.

approx. 1:40 h without interval