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Cancelled: Katya KabanovaNew production

Komische Oper BerlinBehrenstraße 55-57, Berlin, Germany
Dates/times in Berlin time zone
Wednesday 30 June 202100:00
Festival: Komische Oper Festival

With Leoš Janáček's masterfully claustrophobic portrait of a woman in revolt against her narrow existence, the Swedish soprano Maria Bengtsson returns to the house where her international career began its ascent. At the podium, she is accompanied by a rising star: Lithuanian conductor Giedrė Šlekytė. Director Jetske Mijnssen is a welcome returnee as well, taking a fresh look at an extraordinary female figure.

Enormous yearning, conservative mores, and hard-hearted contemporaries—dissatisfied with her oppressive surroundings, the young Kát’a breaks with the marital conventions of her day. But the leap into presumed happiness ends only in tragedy. All her life, Kát’a has been in conflict not only with her society, but with her own inner life as well. Plagued by unfulfilled passions, her struggle against those around her is ultimately a fight against her own recoil into embitterment. Her flight from the impossible conditions of her existence, and from her very self, culminates in suicide.

Among early 20th century composers, the Czech Leoš Janáček stands out as an exception. He listened with a careful ear to the language of the people around him, alert to the inner worlds their speech betrayed, and from this developed his compositional style. In Kát’a Kabanová, Janáček combines Slavic-folkloric sounds with influences derived from church music, combining highly expressive tonal coloring with the most delicate motif work. These are expertly deployed in the service of the characters’ psychology, to ultimately construct a work that is both a compelling character portrait and a modern masterpiece of musical drama.

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