This beautifully cinematic production transports Kátya Kabanová to white picket-fence 1950s America, where Janáček’s evocative music betrays what lies beneath the surface
In this contemporary re-imagining of the story, Kátya's plight is understandable, hopeless and all too frequently echoed in modern society.
The production comes to New Zealand following its premiere season at Seattle Opera earlier this year, opening to rave reviews.
"A feverishly powerful emotional experience." - The Seattle Times
"Packs a potent visceral punch both visually and emotionally. This production leaves no doubt why Leoš Janácek, who wrote both Kabanova’s music and libretto, is now considered one of the 20th century’s best composers of opera." - Queen Anne News
"Katya Kabanova is a memorable, thrilling production in every way...Well-conceived tragedy makes you think about human nature in deeper ways while enjoying the challenge of great theater. This production achieves those high goals." - Seattle Gay News
"...a lush, compelling three-act opera with an alluring backstory." - The Stranger
The original creative team of Australian trio Patrick Nolan (director), Genevieve Blanchett (Designer) and Mark Howett (Lighting Designer) join Conductor Wyn Davies and a brand new cast to begin rehearsals in Auckland in mid-August, ahead of seasons in Auckland and Wellington from 16 September.
Three international voices join a mainly Kiwi cast with Russian-American soprano Dina Kuznetsova making her New Zealand Opera debut in the title role, with Australian-born tenor Angus Wood as Boris and Australian mezzo-soprano Hayley Sugars making her New Zealand Opera debut as Varvara.
Margaret Medlyn will play the matriarch Kabanicha, alongside Conal Coad (Dikój), Andrew Glover (Tichon), James Benjamin Rodgers (Ványa), Emma Sloman (Glasha) and Robert Tucker (Kuligin).
New Zealand Opera General Director Stuart Maunder calls Kátya Kabanová one of the great operas of the 20th century.
"This production is a showcase of singing actors, orchestral colour and heartbreaking emotions, with a spectacular design that combines 1950s styling with stunning projections," Maunder says.
"We have gathered a brilliant ensemble and in their hands, Janáček’s powerful work will be as devastating as it is beautiful."
Accompanied by Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra and New Zealand Symphony Orchestra. Featuring the Freemasons New Zealand Opera Chorus. Sung in Czech with English surtitles. Running time approximately two hours including a twenty minute interval.
New Zealand Opera presents
ASB Theatre, Aotea Centre, Auckland
16-23 September (four performances)
Book at Ticketmaster
St James Theatre, Wellington
7-14 October (four performances)
Book at Ticketek