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Your Reaction: What did you think of The Royal Opera's Katya Kabanova?

Audience and press reactions to Richard Jones's new production of Janácek's opera.

By Becky Black (Social Media Editor)

5 February 2019 at 12.42pm | 14 Comments

Press Reviews:

The Times (£) ★★★★★
Independent ★★★★
Guardian ★★★★
Telegraph ★★★★
Financial Times ★★★★
The Arts Desk ★★★★
The Stage ★★★★
Culture Whisper ★★★★
Bachtrack ★★★
Spectator (no stars, positive)

What did you think of Katya Kabanova?
Share your thoughts via the comments below or by using #ROHkatya.

Katya Kabanova runs until 26 February. Tickets are still available.

Staged with generous philanthropic support from Hamish and Sophie Forsyth, The Taylor Family Foundation, Simon and Virginia Robertson and the Royal Opera Circle

By Becky Black (Social Media Editor)

5 February 2019 at 12.42pm

This article has been categorised Opera and tagged by Richard Jones, Katya Kabanova, press, Production, review, your reaction

This article has 14 comments

  1. Edward Mirzoeff responded on 5 February 2019 at 1:27pm Reply

    A superb performance. Amanda Majeski singing and acting with stunning intensity. All the cast (and the chorus too) first-rate, exceptionally well conducted, brilliantly and intelligently directed. A very powerful interpretation of a great opera. Well done ROH!

  2. Andrew Webb responded on 6 February 2019 at 8:47pm Reply

    Many thanks to everyone involved in staging this outstanding production of a great opera. Of particular note was Amanda Majeski for managing to convey both the passionate strength and the tragic vulnerability of the title character. Also the orchestra, under the masterful baton of Edward Gardiner, brought out the hauntingly beautiful lyricism of the music, particularly in Act 2.

  3. Michael de Navarro responded on 6 February 2019 at 11:47pm Reply

    Wonderful. Please can we have Ed Gardner back soon and often.

  4. Tim Wood-Woolley responded on 7 February 2019 at 1:52pm Reply

    Went to see it last night and was very impressed. A truely fabulous performance from Amanda Majeski and a great interpretation from Edward Gardner in the pit. The production didn't get in the way, which perhaps is the best one can hope for these days, except for the first scene in Act 3. I wasn't too sure of the relevence of people discussing lightening conductors whilst standing in an Art Deco-style bus shelter. Why not just set it in a burnt out building, as Janacek described, then all would make sense?
    All in all, a great performace of one of the 20th century's great operas.

  5. Eric John Firkins responded on 9 February 2019 at 2:50pm Reply

    Very moving production. The singing was excellent by the all cast and the very good acting skills brought out the full drama of the opera.

  6. Hilary Coles responded on 10 February 2019 at 9:58am Reply

    The music was beautifully played by the incredible orchestra and it was both a privilege and a joy to hear Amanda Majeski. The unpleasant uncle, with his booming voice gave a very convincing performance, as did the mother-in-law. I didn't at all care for the sets or costumes, however. Can't the opera house just find a little more money to produce imaginative sets and costumes which fit the period?(1859)
    It was too stark. May have been symbolic, but was the rationale also perhaps cost-cutting?!

  7. Ralph Stohr responded on 11 February 2019 at 7:36pm Reply

    Moving the action from the 1860's to the 1960's inevitably introduced annoying inconsistencies. For example, there were simply no people remotely similar to the Kabanovs in the 1960's Soviet Union. Also, all references to religion and church are misplaced as they played no role at the time. It looks as if the director was keen on the 1960's in order to put the vintage Volga car on stage. A good reason for messing with the libretto?

  8. George Treethorn responded on 12 February 2019 at 3:32pm Reply

    Simply one of the greatest performances I have seen in 30 years of visiting Covent Garden. Harrowing, shattering, devastating. I am still recovering. I could gripe about the updating (the loss of the religious and class dimensions means Katya's breakdown no longer really makes sense) but when the overall effect is this overwhelming, all one can really do is surrender. We waited so long for Janacek at CG, and look how richly we are being rewarded now. Can't wait for Jenufa next year.

  9. D Gifford responded on 17 February 2019 at 3:02pm Reply

    Stunning performance, but why break the dramatic tension with an interval, especially when the last act is only 35 minutes? There are many productions that perform it without a break.
    Was it so that people could have their pudding and coffee in the restaurants?

  10. Lesley Taylor responded on 20 February 2019 at 12:46pm Reply

    I came to see this opera on 4 Feb with a friend from Russia who is an opera student in Moscow. She sees a lot of productions at the Bolshoi but reckoned that the standard and quality of the singing was superior at ROH! She loved the whole experience of the theatre and the Floral Hall on her first visit to London. I was riveted by this drama. Feared I might not be as not familiar with the score. However, I was totally absorbed in it as were the London Czechs sitting behind me! First time in the Orchestra Stalls. Would do it again. Loved the whole thing!

  11. Ann O'Shaughnessy responded on 20 February 2019 at 4:24pm Reply

    Loved this performance despite the modern setting - 1860s were very different times, especially for women. The entire cast and chorus excelled as did Edward Gardiner and the orchestra. Listening to him speak at the insight it was clear how much he loves and understands Janacek's works. Another success for ROH - thanks to all concerned/

  12. John M. responded on 22 February 2019 at 8:59am Reply

    I attended the performance on 18 February. What a wonderful evening at the Royal Opera! The updating did not add anything to the opera, maybe even took something away but it was well thought through. Musically there was a huge amount to enjoy. The orchestra played wonderfully for the conductor and the singing was of a very high standard, crowned by an achingly beautiful, nuanced performance by Amanda Majeski. Well done, ROH, for bringing this together. A world away from the conceited, self-regarding Queen of Spades a few weeks ago.

  13. Superb.

  14. Hellema Ibrahim responded on 28 February 2019 at 9:37am Reply

    What an amazing performance! I loved the staging, the sets and the music!

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