Critical acclaim for new production of Kátya Kabanová

Scottish Opera’s new production of Leos Janáček’s Kátya Kabanová, co-produced with Theater Magdeburg, closed its run in Glasgow and Edinburgh this March.

Kátya Kabanová was directed by Stephen Lawless and designed by Leslie Travers. Stuart Stratford conducted The Orchestra of Scottish Opera, and American soprano Laura Wilde made her company debut in the title role. She was joined by Ric Furman, Patricia Bardon, Samuel Sakker, Hanna Hipp, Trystan Llyr Griffiths and Paul Whelan. Emerging Artists Alexey Gusev and Bethan Langford were also in the cast.

The production achieved critical acclaim in the press, with a clutch of four and five star reviews. In The Stage, George Hall commended the ‘fine production’ as ‘one of tremendous power’ in his five-star review. In The Herald, Keith Bruce noted that ‘this is a staging full of big stuff… that also delights in small things’, and Bachtrack called Leslie Travers’ set ‘wonderfully evocative.’  

In The Observer, Fiona Maddocks praised ‘Laura Wilde’s Katya making a striking house debut’, and Hugh Canning in The Sunday Times gave acclaim to ‘Patricia Bardon’s upright, rigid yet lustrously sung Kabanicha.’ The Herald on Sunday’s Mark Brown commended ‘the universally superb cast,’ which ‘measures up to the emotional gymnastics of Janáček’s music.’ The List recognised the direction, noting that ‘Lawless guides the characters through their elemental conflicts with a symbolic precision.’

The music direction was much lauded, with George Hall commenting ‘Stratford’s command of the subtle coloristic range of Janáček’s score repeatedly enriches the overall emotional experience’. Bachtrack’s David Smyth called ‘the evocative woodwind and horn playing a particular delight.’

★★★★★ – The Stage

★★★★★ – Opera Guide Scotland

★★★★ – The Herald

★★★★ – The List

★★★★ – Bachtrack

★★★★ – The Observer

★★★★ – The Herald on Sunday

★★★★ – The Skinny

★★★★ – The National

★★★★ – Edinburgh Festivals

★★★★ – Southside Advertiser

★★★★ – Young Perspective

★★★★ – Scotsgay Arts