This beautifully cinematic production transports Kátya Kabanová to white picket-fence 1950s America, where Janáček’s evocative music betrays what lies beneath the surface.
Kátya’s passionate nature puts her at odds with the conservative, self-righteous society around her as she searches for an escape from her loveless marriage and cruel mother-in-law with devastating consequences.
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
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 for the New Zealand season.
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. 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 featuring the Freemasons New Zealand Opera Chorus. Sung in Czech with English surtitles. Running time approximately two hours including a twenty minute interval.
Images (L-R): Jacob Lucas, Philip Newton, Jacob Lucas