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Seattle Opera.

Katya Kabanova

Romantic. Heartbreaking. Poetic. Buy Tickets.

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Feb. 25, 26
Mar. 1, 4, 8, 10, & 11, 2017

Tickets start at $25

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February

25

Sat 7:30PM

 

26

Sun 2:00PM

 

March

1

Wed 7:30PM

 
 

4

Sat 7:30PM

 

8

Wed 7:30PM

 
 

10

Fri 7:30PM

 

11

Sat 7:30PM

 
 
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Overview

By Leoš Janáček  

CAPTIVATING DRAMA. In this romantic tragedy overflowing with immediately accessible, powerfully original music inspired by Slavic folk songs, the celebrated Czech composer weaves a dreamlike, visceral story of isolation and provincial oppression. Sheltered Katya longs to be free of her dull arranged marriage and dreary home life. Recently awakened to true love, she remains dominated by a monstrous mother-in-law. Can Katya’s fragile world survive when her pent-up passions finally burst forth? Acclaimed Australian director Patrick Nolan’s all-new production dives deep into the emotional turbulence lurking beneath the surface of small town respectability.

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Screenshot from the Katya Kabanova preview.

Listen to the music

Listen to the Music from Katya Kabanova. Copyright Philip Newton.

In Czech with English subtitles | at McCaw Hall 
Approximate Running Time: 2 hours, with 1 intermission
Evenings at 7:30 PM. Sunday matinee at 2:00 PM.

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Synopsis

Who’s Who (and how do you say their names)?

Kátya Kabanová (KAH-tyah KAH-bah-noh-vah) is a beautiful, frustrated young woman full of passionate spirituality.
Tichon (TEEK-ckhon – ‘ch’ like Scottish ‘loch’), her husband, drinks away his misery.
Kabanicha (KAH-bahn-eek-ckhah – ‘ch’ like Scottish ‘loch’), his mother, has no human feelings left at all, only the rules of traditional proper behavior.
Varvara (VAHR-vahr-ah), Kabanicha’s foster-daughter, knows what she wants and isn’t afraid to go and take it.
Kudrjás (KOOD-ryash), her lover, is a smart young man.
Dikoj (DEE-koy), his boss, is a wealthy old merchant, a bully, and an oaf.
Boris (BOH-rees), Dikoj’s nephew, a dazzlingly well-bred urbanite, is out of place in this opera’s rustic setting.
Leoš Janáček (LAY-ohsh YA-nah-chechk) composed this opera.


The Story

Two wealthy families dominate a small rural village on the banks of a great river. The older generation, set in their traditional ways, makes life a living hell for the young people, who yearn to escape. Young Boris, who is secretly in love with Katya Kabanova, must tolerate his uncle Dikoj’s endless abuse if he and his sister are ever to collect their inheritance. Katya is married to Tichon, a drunken pushover who never speaks up to defend his wife from the attacks of his vicious mother, Kabanicha. The old lady insists Tichon leave town on a business trip. Katya asks him not to go, or to take her with him, but he refuses to change his plans. Katya then asks him to make her swear an oath not to speak to strangers during his absence, and Kabanicha compels Tichon to instruct Katya how to behave in his absence. Tichon dutifully says that Katya must treat Kabanicha like her own mother and always behave properly.

That evening, Kabanicha criticizes Katya for not making a display of extreme sorrow at Tichon's absence. After Kabanicha leaves, young Varvara shows Katya that she has stolen Kabanicha’s key to the far part of the garden. Varvara intends to meet her lover Kudrjás there. Both young women step outside as evening comes on. Dikoj, drunk, seeks comfort from Kabanicha, who chastises him. Kudrjás and Varvara go for a walk by the river. Boris, drawn to Katya’s garden by an anonymous note, declares his love for Katya. At first she is worried about betraying her husband, but finally she confesses her feelings for Boris.

A couple weeks later, a fierce storm compels the villagers to shelter in a ruined building, whose walls are painted with illustrations of sinners tormented in hellfire. Kudrjás tries to explain to Dikoj the scientific principle behind lightning, but Dikoj insists that lightning is punishment from God. Kabanicha, Tichon, Boris, and the miserable Katya join the villagers in the shelter. Beside herself with agitation, Katya confesses her adultery in front of everyone, then rushes out into the fury of the storm.

Varvara and Kudrjás decide to leave the village and start a new life in the city. Boris, sent into exile by his uncle, bids a tearful farwell to Katya, who first begs him to take her with him and then insists she cannot go. Thinking of how the flowers will flourish over her grave, Kátya throws herself into the river. Tichon weeps over the corpse of his dead wife while his mother thanks the other villagers for all their support.

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Cast

Melody Moore

Katya Kabanova

At Seattle Opera in 2016/17: Katya, Katya Kabanova

Hometown: Dyersburg, TN
Seattle Opera Debut
Recently: Cio-Cio San, Madama Butterfly (Opéra de Montréal); Julia Grant/Viola Liuzzo, Appomatox, (Washington National Opera); Lady Macbeth, Macbeth (Glimmerglass  Festival)
Upcoming: Freia, Das Rheingold; Ortlinde, Die Walküre (Washington National Opera)

Last updated: December 2015

Melody Moore

Katya Kabanova

Seattle Opera Debut
Feb. 25, Mar. 4, 8, & 11

Corinne Winters

Katya Kabanova

At Seattle Opera in 2016/17: Violetta, La traviata and Katya, Katya Kabanova

Hometown: Frederick, MD
Seattle Opera Debut
Recently: Fiordiligi, Così fan tutte (Royal Opera Covent Garden); Desdemona, Otello (Opera Vlaanderen); Fiordiligi, Così fan tutte (Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia)
Upcoming: Katya, Katya Kabanova (Seattle Opera); Violetta, La traviata (San Diego Opera and Royal Opera Covent Garden)

Last updated: January 2017

Corinne Winters

Katya Kabanova

Feb. 26, Mar. 1, & 10

Victoria Livengood

Kabanicha

At Seattle Opera in 2016/17: Kabanicha, Katya Kabanova

Hometown: Thomasville, NC
Seattle Opera Debut: Charlotte, Werther (’89)
Recently: Fortune Teller, Arabella (Metropolitan Opera); Old Woman, The Passenger (Houston Grand Opera)
Upcoming: Filipyevna, Eugene Onegin (North Carolina Opera); Ruth, The Pirates of Penzance (Atlanta Opera); Eunice Hubbell, A Streetcar Named Desire (Hawaii Opera Theatre)

Last updated: March 2016

Victoria Livengood

Kabanicha

Feb. 25, 26, Mar. 1, 4, 8, 10, & 11

Joseph Dennis

Boris

At Seattle Opera in 2016/17: Boris, Katya Kabanova

Hometown: McKinney, TX
Seattle Opera Debut
Recently: Števa, Jenůfa (Des Moines Metro Opera); Soloist, Paradise Interrupted (Spoleto Festival USA); Sun Yat-sen, Dr. Sun Yat-sen (Santa Fe Opera)
Upcoming: Hassan, Fatima (Vienna Staatsoper); Des Grieux, Manon (Des Moines Metro Opera)

Last updated: December 2015

Joseph Dennis

Boris

Seattle Opera Debut
Feb. 25, Mar. 4, 8, & 11

Scott Quinn

Boris

At Seattle Opera in 2016/17: Boris, Katya Kabanova

Hometown:
Marshall, TX
Seattle Opera Debut
Recently: Fritz, L’amico Fritz (Den Jyske Opera); Tamino, The Magic Flute (Houston Grand Opera); Duke, Rigoletto (Atlanta Opera)
Upcoming: Števa, Jenůfa, (San Francisco Opera); Don José, Carmen (Arizona Opera); Villiers, Duke of Buckingham Prince of Players (Houston Grand Opera)

Scott Quinn

Boris

Seattle Opera Debut
Feb. 26, Mar. 1, & 10

Stefan Szkafarowsky

Dikoj

At Seattle Opera in 2016/17: Dikoj, Katya Kabanova

Hometown: Yonkers, NY
Seattle Opera Debut
Recent: Monterone/Sparafucile, Rigoletto (Opera Colorado); Benoit/Alcindoro, La bohème (Dallas Opera); Monterone, Rigoletto (Metropolitan Opera)
Upcoming: Old Hebrew, Samson et Dalila; Dr. Grenvil, La traviata (Dallas Opera)

Last updated: December 2015

Stefan Szkafarowsky

Dikoj

Seattle Opera Debut
Feb. 25, 26, Mar. 1, 4, 8, 10, & 11

Maya Lahyani

Varvara

At Seattle Opera in 2016/17: Flora, La traviata and Varvara, Katya Kabanova

Hometown: Tel Aviv, Israel  
Seattle Opera Young Artist 2009/10 
Seattle Opera Debut: Dryad, Ariadne auf Naxos (’15)
Recently: Soloist, Alonzo King LINES Ballet (Yerba Buena Center for the Arts); Carmen, Carmen (PORTopera and Opera Las Vegas)
Upcoming: Varvara, Katya Kabanova (Seattle Opera); Flora, La traviata (Metropolitan Opera); Soloist, Mahler Symphony No. 2 (Charlotte Symphony Orchestra) 

Last updated: January 2017

Maya Lahyani

Varvara

Feb. 25, 26, Mar. 1, 4, 8, 10, & 11

Joshua Kohl

Vanya Kudrjas

At Seattle Opera in 2016/17: Kudrjás, Katya Kabanova

Hometown: Reading, PA
Seattle Opera Debut: Brighella, Ariadne auf Naxos (’15)
Recently: Rodolfo, La bohème (Opera Southwest); Ralph Rackstraw, H.M.S. Pinafore (Knoxville Opera); Soloist, Messiah (National Chorale and Rhode Island Philharmonic)
Upcoming
: Rinuccio, Gianni Schicchi (Fargo-Moorhead Opera); Soloist, Elijah (Hartford Symphony & Chorale)

Last updated: December 2015

Joshua Kohl

Vanya Kudrjas

Feb. 25, 26, Mar. 1, 4, 8, 10, & 11

Nicky Spence

Tichon

At Seattle Opera in 2016/17: Tichon, Katya Kabanova

Hometown:  Dumfries, Scotland
Seattle Opera Debut
Recently: David, Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg (English National Opera); Brian, Two Boys (Metropolitan Opera); Števa, Jenůfa (Théâtre Royal de la Monnaie)
Upcoming: Alwa, Lulu (English National Opera); Porcus, Jeanne d'Arc au bûcher (Teatro Real); Janek, The Makropulos Case (Oper Frankfurt)

Last updated: December 2015

Nicky Spence

Tichon

Seattle Opera Debut
Feb. 25, 26, Mar. 1, 4, 8, 10, & 11

Joseph Lattanzi

Kuligin

At Seattle Opera in 2016/17: Kuligin, Katya Kabanova

Hometown: Mableton, GA
Seattle Opera Young Artist: 2011/12 
Seattle Opera Debut: Moralès, Carmen (’11) 
Previously at Seattle Opera: Assan, The Consul(’14); Registrar, Madama Butterfly (’12) 
Recently: Riolobo, Florencia en el Amazonas (Arizona Opera); Guglielmo, Così fan tutte (CCM Opera); Connell, Meet John Doe (Cincinnati Opera Fusion)
Upcoming: Moralès & Dancaïre, Carmen and Don Giovanni, Don Giovanni (Arizona Opera); Hawkins Fuller, Fellow Travelers (World Premiere by G. Spears, Cincinnati Opera)

Last Updated: January 2016

Joseph Lattanzi

Kuligin

Feb. 25, 26, Mar. 1, 4, 8, 10, & 11

Jennifer Cross

Glascha

At Seattle Opera in 2016/17: Glascha, Katya Kabanova

Hometown: Boise, Idaho
Seattle Opera Debut
Seattle Opera Chorus Member since 2009
Recently: Seattle Opera Chorus, Mary Stuart, The Marriage of Figaro, The Pearl Fishers
Upcoming: Seattle Opera Chorus, The Flying Dutchman

Last updated: March 2016

Jennifer Cross

Glascha

Seattle Opera Debut
Feb. 25, 26, Mar. 1, 4, 8, 10, & 11

Susan Salas

Fekluscha

At Seattle Opera in 2016/17: Fekluscha, Katya Kabanova 

Hometown: Spokane, WA
Seattle Opera Debut: Abbess, Suor Angelica ('13)
Seattle Opera Chorus Member since 2003
Recently: Marquise de Birkenfeld, The Daughter of the Regiment (NOISE); Seattle Opera Chorus, Mary Stuart and Nabucco


Last Updated: February 2016

Susan Salas

Fekluscha

Feb. 25, 26, Mar. 1, 4, 8, 10, & 11

Cast

Creative Team

Patrick Nolan

Director

At Seattle Opera in 2016/17: Katya Kabanova

Hometown
: Sydney, Australia
Seattle Opera Debut
Recently
:Flowering Tree (Perth International Festival); Eugene Onegin (New Zealand Opera); Dido and Aeneas (Opera Australia)
Upcoming:Notes From Underground (Sydney Chamber Opera); Silos Project,large-scale community performance for regional Australia

Last updated: December 2015

Patrick Nolan

Director

Seattle Opera Debut

Oliver Von Dohnányi

Conductor

At Seattle Opera in 2016/17: Katya Kabanova

Hometown: Trenčín, Slovakia
Seattle Opera Debut
Recently: The Flying Dutchman (Ekaterinburg Opera); The Bartered Bride and Libuše (Tyl Theatre, Plzen)
Upcoming: Andrea Chenier (Opera North); Jeanne d’Arc au bûcher (Tyl Theatre, Plzen)

Last updated: December 2015

Oliver Von Dohnányi

Conductor

Seattle Opera Debut

Genevieve Blanchett

Set & Costume Designer

At Seattle Opera in 2016/17: Katya Kabanova

Hometown: Sydney, Australia
Seattle Opera Debut
RecentlyEugene Onegin (New Zealand Opera); Jeppe Superdream (community-driven outdoor multimedia experience telling local stories and fostering international partnerships in Johannesburg, South Africa and Newcastle-upon-Tyne, UK); The Arrival (Sydney Festival)
Upcoming: Notes from Underground (Sydney Chamber Opera at Carriageworks); Performing Place (place-specific music and storytelling exploration for City of Sydney's Art and About program)

Last updated: December 2015

Genevieve Blanchett

Set & Costume Designer

Seattle Opera Debut

Mark Howett

Lighting Designer

At Seattle Opera in 2016/17: Katya Kabanova

Hometown: Perth, Australia
Seattle Opera Debut
Recently: Good Little Soldier, Animal Farm Collective; Evita, Dominion Theatre and Deutsche Oper Berlin
Upcoming: The Love for Three Oranges, Opera Australia

Last updated: December 2015

Mark Howett

Lighting Designer

Creative Team

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All performances take place at McCaw Hall, 321 Mercer Street, Seattle. Join our email list to receive personalized alerts with updates on traffic, dining, and parking for your specific performance, or choose a topic below to learn more.

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Sponsors

2016/17 Season Sponsor

Seattle Opera Guild
In memory of Marian E. Lackovich and Captain Louis J. Lackovich

Production Sponsors

Seattle Opera Foundation
Nesholm Family Foundation
City of Seattle Office of Arts & Culture
Kreielsheimer Endowment Fund

Photos © Philip Newton