Christophe Marthaler stages Leoš Janáček's opera Kátia Kabanová at the Salzburg Festival, accompanied by the music director Sylvain Cambreling.
Kátia Kabanová is an opera in three acts sung in Czech, which libretto by Vincenc Červinka was inspired by Alexander Ostrovsky's play The Storm. The story takes place on the banks of the Volga. Kátia, a young, sensible and sincere woman, is married to Tichon Kabanov, whose mother profoundly despises her. She is in love with Boris and dreams of going away from the solitude of her home to experience liberty and true love. One night, when her husband is away, she secretly meets Boris, and the two lovers tell each other about their feelings. But Kátia, tormented by guilt, confesses everything when her husband comes back. Pressure and rejection by society constrain her to commit a tragic act to end her suffering.
This opera by Leoš Janáček was premiered in 1921. It contains all the natural elements that Janáček loves such as wind, water, storms... as well as a presentation of profound and true human feelings. This opera brilliantly combines Russian theater and romantic and post-romantic Czech music.