Trapped in a small town and an unhappy marriage, bullied by her domineering mother-in-law, Kata Kabanova finds herself drawn into a passionate affair. But soon pleasure is overwhelmed by guilt and, crushed under its weight, she is driven to the brink.
‘I’ve started writing an opera. The main character is a woman, so gentle by nature, a breeze would carry her away, let alone the storm that breaks over her…’ As Anna Karenina or Emma Bovary are to literature, so Kata Kabanova is to opera. The heroine of Janacek’s tragedy is a devastating portrait of passion destroyed and innocence tainted by a hypocritical society – music-theatre at its most violent, exquisite and immediate.
The Czech folk melodies that decorate the surface of the composer’s earlier works are woven into the fabric of an intensely lyrical piece that blends bold national colours with brutal, universal drama. Damiano Michieletto directs a new production, conducted by Robin Ticciati.