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First performed in Brno in 1921, Káťa Kabanová stands at the beginning of Leoš Janáček's last creative decade. The libretto for Káťa Kabanová is based on the Czech translation of Alexander Ostrowski's 1859 play The Thunderstorm, set in a small-town milieu dominated by wealthy merchants in mid-19th-century Russia.

Janáček's musico-dramatic style in the last years of his life, reflecting the "speech melodies" he explored so much, is unmistakable: he concentrates characters, psychology and situations, creating an atmosphere that touches the audience directly and abruptly. In his new production of Káťa Kabanová at the Salzburg Festival, director Barrie Kosky aims to highlight the contrast and tension between the protagonist and her confining living world.

Corinne Winters takes on the leading role of Káťa, whose burning urge for freedom, threatens to be stifled by her marriage and her claustrophobic living situation. Jaroslav Březina takes on the role of her husband Tikhon, who seeks refuge in alcohol, and whose mother, the merchant widow Kabanicha (Evelyn Herlitzius), watches over the household with a nagging tone and despotic hand. When the opportunity presents itself, Káťa's sister-in-law Varvara (Jarmila Balážová), aware of Káťa's unfulfilled longings and secret love, arranges a meeting with the unmarried Boris (David Butt Philip), setting the fateful story in motion. The part of Boris' uncle Savjol Prokofjevič Dikoj, who in turn pays his respects to Káťa's mother-in-law, is sung by German bass Jens Larsen. Conductor Jakub Hrůša will be at the podium of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, making his festival debut.

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Salzburg 2022

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