The Royal Opera presents a new production of Leoš Janácek’s Katya Kabanova directed by award-winning director Richard Jones. This is the second opera in The Royal Opera’s Janácek series. Katya Kabanova was inspired by Alexander Ostrovsky's play The Storm, a social critique of Russia's merchant class and its chauvinism.
Katya is crushed by her loveless marriage and trapped within an oppressive, isolated community. When her husband goes away on a long journey, Katya’s foster-sister Varvara persuades her to meet her young neighbour Boris. Boris and Katya talk and soon realize they have fallen in love. Over the next few days the lovers contrive several happy meetings, but her husband’s return plunges Katya into an agony of remorse.
Richard Jones's production has contemporary resonance, placing Katya within a repressive and remote modern rural community, whose small-town limitations all too easily create a destructive loneliness for Katya. Katya Kabanova combines Janácek's distinctive 'speech melodies' that highlight the inflections of Czech speech with episodes of passionate lyricism and melodic beauty, and playful folksongs
The impressive cast is led by American soprano Amanda Majeski, making her Royal Opera debut singing the title role for the first time, and Czech tenor Pavel Cernoch, also making his Royal Opera debut, as Boris Grigorjevic. British mezzo-soprano Susan Bickley, much praised for her Janácek interpretations, sings the role of the bullying Kabanicha (Marfa Ignatevna Kabanová), Katya’s mother-in-law. The production is conducted by Edward Gardner, the former Music Director of English National Opera, who makes his main stage debut with The Royal Opera.
Katya Kabanova was last seen on stage at the Royal Opera House in June and July 2007. The Royal Opera began its Janácek cycle in the 2017-18 Season, with a new production of the composer’s final opera, From the House of the Dead.
Katya Kabanova opens at the Royal Opera House on 4 February 2019. (#ROHkatya)
4, 6 February 2019 at 8pm, 9 February 2019 at 7pm
18, 21, 26 February 2019 at 8pm
Generous philanthropic support from Hamish and Sophie Forsyth, The Taylor Family Foundation, Simon and Virginia Robertson and the Royal Opera Circle
Sung in Czech with English surtitles
Tickets available from the Royal Opera House website and Box Office
(+44 (0)20 7304 4000)
Tickets in the Amphitheatre for the performance on 18 February 2019 are only available to ROH Young Members.
ROH Young Members is generously made possible by the Bunting Family and Sir Simon Robey.
Music Leoš Janácek
Director Richard Jones
Designer Antony McDonald
Lighting designer Lucy Carter
Movement director Sarah Fahie
Conductor Edward Gardner
Katerina (Katya) Amanda Majeski*
Boris Grigorjevic Pavel Cernoch*
Marfa Ignatevna Kabanová Susan Bickley
Varvara Emily Edmonds
Vana Kudrjas Andrew Tortise
Tichon Ivanyc Kabanov Andrew Staples
Glasa Sarah Pring
Savel Prokofjevic Dikoj Clive Bayley
Kuligin Dominic Sedgwick†
Feklusa Dervla Ramsay
Royal Opera Chorus
Orchestra of the Royal Opera House
*Royal Opera debut
†Jette Parker Young Artist
Tuesday 15 January at 7.30 pm
The Royal Opera’s Director of Opera Oliver Mears speaks to members of the cast and team about the new production of Katya Kabanova, Janácek’s intense and sensual opera and the second in The Royal Opera’s ambitious Janácek cycle.