Richard Jones’s production of Janácek’s tragic opera about a lonely wife longing for love is packed with psychological insight.
Kát’a Kabanová was inspired by Alexander Ostrovsky’s play The Thunderstorm, a social critique of Russia’s merchant class.
Kát’a Kabanová combines Janácek’s distinctive ‘speech melodies’ that highlight the inflections of Czech speech with episodes of passionate lyricism and melodic beauty such as Kudrjáš and Varvara’s playful folksongs, Kát’a ‘s ecstatic Act I monologue and her tender encounters with Boris. The score also contains many orchestral glories, including the brooding Prelude and Act III’s terrifying storm.
Richard Jones’s production places Kát’a within a repressive and remote 20th-century community, whose small-town attitudes provoke isolation.