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Seattle Opera.

Katya Kabanova

Feb. 25-Mar. 11, 2017

"A powerful, emotional experience." –The Seattle Times

Overview

By Leoš Janáček  

Trapped in a dull arranged marriage, small-town girl Katya finds true love with another man.  But when her affair is revealed, the aftermath is explosive. Don't miss this riveting story with beautiful, romantic music inspired by Slavic folk songs.

Watch the preview

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 10 minutes, including 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

ACT I

Scene 1: Outside the Kabanov house, afternoon
Kudrjas, a science teacher, admires the beauty of the river. The servant Glasha is unimpressed. Dikoj arrives, rebuking his nephew Boris for his laziness. He leaves when he learns Kabanicha, the matriarch of the household, is not at home. Left alone with Kudrjas, Boris explains he only stays with his uncle because of a provision in his grandmother’s will: if he and his sister are to claim their inheritance, they must respect their uncle and do as he says. Boris also admits to Kudrjas he has fallen in love with Katya Kabanova, wife of Tichon Kabanov.

When the Kabanov family returns from church, Kabanicha orders her son, Tichon, to leave at once for the market in a nearby city. She complains that he neglects her for his wife, Katya, and rebukes Katya when she dares to answer. Varvara, Tichon’s younger adopted sister, criticizes him for drinking too much and not defending his wife from his mother’s attacks.

Scene 2: Inside the Kabanov house, afternoon
Katya tells Varvara of her happy childhood. Varvara encourages Katya to talk about her dreams. Katya says she hears a man’s voice whispering in her ear, urging her to run away with him. Tichon appears, about to leave for market as his mother has ordered. Kabinicha insists that Tichon lay down the law for Katya before he leaves: she must respect and obey Kabanicha and not look at other men.

ACT II

Scene 1: Inside the Kabanov house, late afternoon
Kabanicha reproaches Katya for not making a show of grief at Tichon’s departure. Once Kabanicha has left the room, Varvara reveals she has stolen the key to the garden gate; she tells Katya she will ask Boris to come to the garden. Katya nervously takes the key, hurriedly hiding it when Kabanicha re-enters with Dikoj who is drunk.

Scene 2: Outside the Kabanovs’ garden gate
Kudrjas arrives in the garden, waiting for Varvara. Boris arrives, hoping to meet Katya. Kudrjas warns him of the risks involved. Varvara tells Boris that Katya is coming, and then goes off with Kudrjas toward the river. Katya soon arrives. Boris declares his passion. Katya is guarded but ultimately concedes her impassioned feelings for him. Kudrjas and Varvara are heard declaring their love. Katya goes back through the gate, leaving Boris behind.

ACT III

Scene 1: Two days later, a ruined building overlooking the river
Seeking shelter from a storm, Kudrjas and his friend Kuligin hide in a ruined building. They notice old paintings of hell and the damned still visible under the ruined apse. Dikoj arrives to take shelter. Kudrjas thinks the storm is “just electricity,” while Dikoj considers the storm a punishment from God.

Varvara tells Boris that Tichon has returned unexpectedly, prompting Katya to become hysterical. Everyone, including Kabanicha, soon gather in the ruined building to shelter from the storm. Arriving panicked, Katya falls on her knees and publicly confesses her infidelity, collapsing into her husband’s arms. She immediately tears herself away, and rushes out into the storm.

Scene 2: On the banks of the river
Tichon and Glasha are searching for Katya. Varvara and Kudrjas decide to run away together to the big city. Katya enters alone. Confused, she regrets her confession and longs for death. Boris arrives and tells her that his uncle is sending him away. Katya will remain at the mercy of her mother-in-law and drunken husband.

Boris leaves and Katya imagines her grave. Crossing her arms, she throws herself into the river. A search party enters, and Dikoj arrives with Katya’s corpse. Tichon blames his mother for Katya’s death. Kabanicha thanks all the neighbors for their kindness.

Read More

Spotlight on Katya Kabanova

Who was Leoš Janáček? What stories and locales inspired his intensely emotional music? How do you pronounce Katya Kabanova? Learn about the music and historical context of this opera in our in-depth, multimedia Spotlight Guide.

View Spotlight Guide

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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: Senta, The Flying Dutchman (Austin Opera); Lady Macbeth, Macbeth (Glimmerglass Festival); Florencia, Florencia en el Amazonas (Washington National Opera)
Upcoming: Tosca, Tosca (Los Angeles Opera)

Last updated: February 2017

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: Violetta, La traviata (’17)
Recently: Fiordiligi, Così fan tutte (Royal Opera Covent Garden); Desdemona, Otello (Opera Vlaanderen); Fiordiligi, Così fan tutte (Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia)
Upcoming: Violetta, La traviata (San Diego Opera and Royal Opera Covent Garden)

Last updated: February 2017

Corinne Winters

Katya Kabanova

Feb. 26, Mar. 1, & 10

Victoria Livengood

Kabanicha

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

Hometown: Mint Hill, NC
Seattle Opera Debut: Charlotte, Werther (’89)
Recently: Ruth, The Pirates of Penzance (Atlanta Opera); Azucena, Il trovatore (Hawaii Opera Theatre); Mother and Witch, Hansel and Gretel (Lyric Opera of Kansas City)
Upcoming: Older Lady, Flight (Opera Omaha); Artist in Residence (Amalfi Coast Music Festival)

Last updated: February 2017

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: Sacramento, CA
Seattle Opera Debut
Recently: Tamino, The Magic Flute, and Nick, La fanciulla del West (Wiener Staatsoper); Chevalier des Grieux, Manon (Des Moines Metro Opera)
Upcoming: Tichon, Katya Kabanova (Wiener Staatsoper)

Last updated: February 2017

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: Pinkerton, Madame Butterfly (Palm Beach Opera); Steva, Jenůfa (San Francisco Opera);  Villiers, Duke of Buckingham, Prince of Players (Houston Grand Opera)
Upcoming: Rodolfo, La bohème (Minnesota Opera); Duke of Mantua, Rigoletto (Lyric Opera of Kansas City)

Last updated: February 2017

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
Recently: Aleko, Aleko (New York City Opera); The Bonze, Madame Butterfly (Metropolitan Opera); High Priest of Baal, Nabucco (Lyric Opera of Chicago)
Upcoming: Soloist, Concert (Key West, FL); Don Pasquale, Don Pasquale (Martha’s Vineyard); The Bonze, Madame Butterfly (Metropolitan Opera)

Last updated: February 2017

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)
Previously at Seattle Opera: Flora Bervoix, La traviata (’17)
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: February 2017

Maya Lahyani

Varvara

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

Joshua Kohl

Vanya Kudrjas

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

Seattle Opera Debut: Brighella, Ariadne auf Naxos (’15)
Recently: Amleto, Amleto (OperaDelaware); Tenor soloist, Messiah (Boston Baroque); Tenor soloist, Elijah (Hartford Symphony)
Upcoming: Tenor soloist, B Minor Mass (South Dakota Symphony); Frederic, The Pirates of Penzance (Fargo-Moorhead Opera); Jaquino, Fidelio (Boston Baroque)

Last updated: February 2017

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: Alwa, Lulu (English National Opera); Mime, Das Rheingold (Hallé); Brian, Two Boys (Metropolitan Opera)
Upcoming: Andres, Wozzeck (Opéra Bastille); Steva, Jenůfa (Grange Park Opera); Tichon, Katya Kabanova (Opera Holland Park)

Last updated: February 2017

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: Yamadori, Madame Butterfly (Arizona Opera); Hawkins Fuller, Fellow Travelers, world premiere (Cincinnati Opera); Don Giovanni, Don Giovanni (Arizona Opera)
Upcoming: Dandini, La Cenerentola (Arizona Opera)

Last Updated: February 2017

Joseph Lattanzi

Kuligin

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

Jennifer Cross

Glasha

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

Hometown: Boise, Idaho
Seattle Opera Debut
Seattle Opera Chorus Member since 2009
Recently: Chorus, Mary Stuart, The Flying Dutchman, La traviata (Seattle Opera)
Upcoming: Chorus, The Magic Flute, Madame Butterfly (Seattle Opera)

Last updated: February 2017

Jennifer Cross

Glasha

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

Susan Salas

Feklusha

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

Hometown: Spokane, WA
Seattle Opera Debut: Abbess, Suor Angelica ('13)
Seattle Opera Chorus Member since 2003
Recently:  Chorus, La traviata (Seattle Opera); Marquise de Birkenfeld, The Daughter of the Regiment (NOISE)
Upcoming: Chorus, The Magic Flute and Madame Butterfly (Seattle Opera)

Last Updated: February 2017

Susan Salas

Feklusha

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: Notes from Underground (Sydney Chamber Opera); La bohème (New Zealand Opera); Dido and Aeneas (Opera Australia)
Upcoming: Katya Kabanova (New Zealand Opera); Dry River Run, world premiere (Queensland Conservatory)

Last updated: February 2017

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: Andrea Chenier (Opera North); Satyagraha and The Passenger (Bolshoi Theatre and Yekaterinburg Opera House)
Upcoming: Das Liebesverbot (Teatro Colon); Rusalka (Yekaterinburg Opera House) Carmen (New Zealand Opera)

Last updated: February 2017

Oliver Von Dohnányi

Conductor

Seattle Opera Debut

Genevieve Blanchett

Production & Digital Designer

At Seattle Opera in 2016/17: Katya Kabanova

Hometown: Sydney, Australia
Seattle Opera Debut
Recently: Notes from Underground (Sydney Chamber Opera); Sydney Christmas public domain events (City of Sydney); Flood Resilience Urban Design study (Parramatta City Council)
Upcoming: Katya Kabanova (New Zealand Opera); Safe Space Interior Design, Lost in Books Community Bookshop (Think and Do Tank); Strategic Arts/Landscape Master Plan (Gosford City Council, Architectus)

Last updated: February 2017

Genevieve Blanchett

Production & Digital Designer

Seattle Opera Debut

Mark Howett

Lighting & Digital Designer

At Seattle Opera in 2016/17: Katya Kabanova

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

Last updated: February 2017

Mark Howett

Lighting & Digital Designer

Creative Team

Orchestra, Chorus, & Additional Artists

Orchestra

Violin I
Elisa Barston, Concertmaster
Jennifer Bai, Asst. Concertmaster
Mariel Bailey
Ayako Gamo
Timothy Garland
Michael Lim
Rachael Pearson
Mikhail Shmidt
Clark Story
John Weller
Jeannie Wells Yablonsky
Arthur Zadinsky

Violin II
Kathleen Boyer, Principal
Evan Anderson
Blayne Barnes
Brittany Boulding Breeden, Asst. Principal
Stephen Bryant
Linda Cole
Kelly Farris
Virginia Hunt Luce
Victoria Parker
Andrew Yeung

Viola
Susan Gulkis Assadi, Principal
Mara Gearman, Asst. Principal
Timothy Hale
Penelope Crane
Wesley Dyring
Allison Farkas
Joseph Gottesman
Rachel Swerdlow

Cello
Bruce Bailey
Walter Gray, Principal
Vivian Gu
Charles Jacot
Joy Payton-Stevens, Asst. Principal
Sarah Rommel

Bass
Jordan Anderson, Principal
Ted Botsford
Jonathan Burnstein, Asst. Principal
Jennifer Godfrey

Flute
Jeffrey Barker, Principal
Judith Kriewall
Zartouhi Dombourian-Eby
Robin Peery

Piccolo
Zartouhi Dombourian-Eby
Robin Peery

Oboe
Mary Lynch, Principal
Chengwen Winnie Lai
Stefan Farkas

English Horn
Stefan Farkas

Clarinet
Benjamin Lulich, Principal
Laura DeLuca
Eric Jacobs

Bass Clarinet
Eric Jacobs

Bassoon
Seth Krimsky, Principal
Paul Rafanelli
Francine Peterson

Contrabassoon
Francine Peterson

Horn
Jeffrey Fair, Principal
Jenna Breen
John Turman
Jonathan Karschney
Joshua Paulus

Trumpet
David Gordon, Principal
Gabriel Palmer
Alexander White

Trombone
Ko-ichiro Yamamoto, Principal
David Ritt
Stephen Fissel

Tuba
Jonathan Hill, Principal

Timpani
Michael Crusoe, Principal

Percussion
Michael Werner, Principal
Matthew Decker

Harp
Valerie Muzzolini Gordon, Principal

Celesta
David McDade, Principal

Personnel Manager
Scott Wilson

Assistant Personnel Manager
Keith Higgins

 

 

The Orchestra is composed of members of the Seattle Symphony Orchestra. Rotating members of the string section are listed alphabetically.

 

Chorus

Soprano
Donna Baldwin
Carissa Castaldo
Karen Early Evans
Dana Johnson
Mary McLaughlin
Eleanor Stallcop-Horrox

Mezzo-Soprano
Lorraine Burdick
Laura Eichelberger
Elizabeth Peterson
Melissa Plagemann
Susan Salas
Lucy Weber

Tenor
Nathan Barnes
Joel Cummings
Jon Farmer
Joshua Quesada
Karl Reyes
Stephen Wall

Bass/Baritone
Dan Aarthun
Ryan Bede
Michael Dunlap
Craig Grayson
Glenn Guhr
Kwangsuk Ku

Actors

T.J. Mustard
Johnny Patchamatla
Orion Protonentis

Supernumeraries

Waverly Araucto
Julee Felts
Corinne Fischer
Rosetta Greek
Jessica Hewitt
Sarah Hubert
Carol Levin
Esteban Ortiz
Lisa Price
John Smilgin

Orchestra, Chorus, & Additional Artists

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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

Main Photo © Philip Newton | Photos © Philip Newton; © Jacob Lucas