Kat’a Kabanova Opera Holland Park Friday 08 August


Well, I failed to understand this. Which was a pity, because the score as a score is lovely (and was very well-played) and the singers were bloody good to, especially the wonderful Anne-Sophie Duprels as Kat’s (and Tom Randle as Boris).

But where was it set? We had a Russian samovar, mid-European mid-nineteenth-century costumes and what seemed to be part of Tatlin’s (early Soviet era) tower imprisoning Katya.

Does this matter? The point of Ostrovsky’s original play is that it’s a recognisable portrait of the patriarchal way of life among certain sections of Russian society of his time, so things like rampant suspicion and the assumption of Kabanicha’s absolute power make sense. But not so much if it’s set Somewhere at Sometime.

And then is there enough drama to support an opera? Boris leaves and Kat’a decides to die, but before that their final scene really isn’t long enough (just one example). And of course inserting an unnecessary interval into what is 1 hr 40 min  of music didn’t help.

I still don’t understand…

There is some description from OHP here.

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