Internationally renowned soprano Annette Dasch interprets Leoš Janáček's masterful, claustrophobic portrait of a young woman in revolt against her circumstances. At the conductor’s podium, a rising star leads the production: Lithuanian conductor Giedrė Šlekytė. Director Jetske Mijnssen is a welcome returnee as well, taking a fresh look at the tragedy of an extraordinary female figure.
Enormous yearning, conservative mores and hard-hearted contemporaries—in her search for a fulfilled life, young Katja breaks with marital convention. Her whole life, she has struggled with herself and her world. Driven and plagued by unfulfilled passions, Katja's fight against everyone else is ultimately a revolt against her own embitterment. Thus, her leap into alleged happiness ends in her tragic downfall: Katja ends her lifelong flight from herself by taking her own life.
Among early 20th century composers, the Czech Leoš Janáček stands out as exceptional. 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 Katja Kabanowa, 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.