Saarländisches Staatstheater in Saarbrücken, the capital of the state of Saarland, Germany, opened its 2017 opera season with a premiere of Janáček’s Katja Kabanowa. Written in 1921 and based on A. N. Ostrovsky’s play The Storm, the opera got performed here for the first time in history. The premiere took place on January 14.
The director Ben Baur set the story into a circus milieu with the protagonists being members of a wandering circus company. This, says Baur, shall enable the viewer to better understand how enclosed and isolated the community in question (originally a small town in tsarist Russia) was, which made it impossible for the heroine to simply leave it and start a new life elsewhere. SST’s general music director, Australian conductor Nicholas Milton is leading the orchestra, alternating with the first kapellmeister Christopher Ward. Susanne Braunsteffer, a member of the local ensemble, performs the title role of Katja with the cast including also Michael Bedjai (Boris), Algirdas Drevinskas (Tichon), Judith Braun (Kabanicha) and others. Sung in German translation, the performance will be staged seven times more in the 2017 season.
14 January 2017, Saarländisches Staatstheater, Saarbrücken, Germany
Leoš Janáček: Katja Kabanowa (premiere)
Director: Ben Baur, music director: Nicholas Milton
further performances: Jan 20, Feb 1, 11 and 19, Mar 16 and 28, Apr 8 2017