Saturday, June 18, 2011

Vienna "Káťa Kabanová" Harnesses Much Needed Sadness

Suicidal tendencies. (Photo: Michael Poehn)
"Conductor Franz Welser-Moest, who has described the score of Katya Kabanova as 'turbulent waters' full of 'very many cliffs,' navigated admirably through the musical torrents. That’s not easy in a work where one chord oftens seems internally torn as it expresses the conflicting emotions of as many as three singers on stage. On stage, Janice Watson was heartbreakingly authentic as Katya, with plenty of the range and volume that this opera calls for. Klaus Florian Vogt kept pace as Boris, powering up his delivery to Wagnerian strength as required. Deborah Polanski was a wonderful Kabanicha, the uber mother-in-law whose oppressive domination of Katya — and suppressed sexual desire for her own son — drives Katya first to adultery and then to suicide. Her look of triumph as she bends over Katya’s dead body to slip the wedding ring off her finger and on to her own is one of the many highlights of the less than two-hour performance." [Source]

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