Opera Scotland

Kátya Kabanová 1979Scottish Opera

Read more about the opera Kátya Kabanová

Scottish Opera's fourth season at the Theatre Royal (1978-79) opened with Simon Boccanegra, and continued with Jenůfa, Catiline Conspiracy then an unusual triple-bill of Savitri, Fanny Robin and Dido and Aeneas. Next came Seraglio, Rosenkavalier, Hansel and Gretel, Fledermaus, Midsummer Night's Dream, Bohème, Kátya Kabanová and Rigoletto. In June there followed the company's first staging of a musical, Fiddler on the Roof. Many of these works were also toured.

Jenůfa and Makropulos had both opened in Wales, as would From the House of the Dead in due course. The third and fourth elements of the co-produced Pountney Janáček cycle, Kátya and the Vixen, opened in Scotland.

Josephine Barstow was natural casting for the title role after her wonderful Jenůfa, and Kerstin Meyer had established her Janáček credentials in Scotland with her unforgettably tense Kostelnička in 1974. Allen Cathcart was by now a frequent guest, and Kenneth Woollam sang Boris in ENO's production. The rest of the cast were excellent company regulars. When the production moved to Wales the leading female roles were taken by the equally eloquent pairing of Elisabeth Söderström and Rita Gorr.

For some reason the staging was not given any further performances. Perhaps it lacked the impact of the Jenůfa, or of Pountney's first attempt at staging the piece at Wexford in 1972 - a production brought to the 1973 York Festival, which had a shattering impact, in spite of being sung in Czech and using the old published edition of the score without the interludes restored by Charles Mackerras. In any event, this new production was a great improvement on the previous year's Edinburgh Festival offering which was distinguished only by the casting of Hildegard Behrens and Sona Cervena (who was also the Kabanicha of Pountney's first attempt).

Performance Cast

Váňa Kudrjaš a school teacher

Peter Jeffes

Glaša an old servant

Linda Ormiston

Savel Prokofievich Dikoj a merchant

William McCue

Boris Grigorievich Dikoj's nephew

Allen Cathcart (Exc New)

Kenneth Woollam (New)

Feklusha a pilgrim

Marjory Williamson

Marfa Ignatyevna Kabanová a merchant's widow, called Kabanicha

Kerstin Meyer

Tikhon Ivanovich Kabanov Kabanicha's son

John Robertson

Káterina Kabanová known as Katya, Tikhon's wife

Josephine Barstow

Varvara foster-child in the Kabanov household

Cynthia Buchan

Kuligin a friend of Vána

Donald Maxwell

Performance DatesKátya Kabanová 1979

Map List

Theatre Royal, Glasgow | Glasgow

4 Apr, 19.15 7 Apr, 19.15 10 Apr, 19.15 19 Apr, 19.15

Kings Theatre, Edinburgh | Edinburgh

15 May, 19.15 18 May, 19.15

Theatre Royal, Newcastle | Newcastle-upon-Tyne

23 May, 19.15 25 May, 19.15

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