Switzerland Janáček, Kát’a Kabanová: Soloists, Choeur du Grand Théâtre de Genève (refrain grasp: Alan Woodbridge), Orchestre de la Suisse Romande / Tomáš Netopil (conductor). Grand Théâtre de Genève, 21.10.2022. (ALL)
Director – Tatjana Gürbaca
Units – Henrik Ahr
Costumes – Barbara Drosihn
Dramaturgy – Bettina Auer
Movies – Kamil Polak
Lighting – Stefan Bolliger
Katia Kabanova – Corinne Winters
Boris Grigorjevič – Aleš Briscein
Marfa Ignatěvna (Kabanicha) – Elena Zhidkova
Tichon Ivanyč Kabanov – Magnus Vigilius
Savël Prokofjevič Dikój – Tómas Tómasson
Váňa Kudrjaš – Sam Furness
Varvara – Ena Pongrac
Kuligin – Vladimir Kazako
Feklousa – Natalia Ruda
That is the third manufacturing of a Janáček Opera offered by the Geneva Grand Théâtre for the reason that arrival of intendant Aviel Kahn. The primary one was the good and dramatic manufacturing of The Makropoulos Affair two years in the past, adopted final yr by Jenůfa, staged by a workforce together with the identical orchestra, conductor, director and lead soprano.
In contrast to at Zurich Opera home, the stage in Geneva may be very large, which generally is a pressure on the singers. Director Tatjana Gürbaca and set designer Henrik Ahr solved this challenge by constructing a wood setting which served dramatic aims, just like the drowning Katia disappearing from the again of the stage, but in addition musical ones: singers may soar above the orchestra.
Janáček’s works are nice materials for sturdy Personenregie, and this was the case right here. Gürbaca’s manufacturing didn’t spotlight Katia’s oppression and sorrow, however proper from the beginning selected to current her as virtually ‘autistic’, unable to attach with the opposite characters.
In the course of the love scene, Katia and Boris sang with ardour however have been bodily distant, reminding us of Bayreuth’s manufacturing of Tristan und Isolde by the late Heiner Müller the place each singers within the second act sang unbelievably intense music, however at both finish of the stage. Katia’s public confession within the final act was met with indifference from the characters on stage, every robotically repeating the identical motion.
As with many reinterpretations, this labored very nicely in some moments and fewer so in others. The large loss was the caricature of Kabanicha, who was not the menacing presence she might be, in addition to a voluntary lack of poetry from the younger couple, Váňa (Sam Furness) and Varvara (Ena Pongrac), which often gives a distinction to Katia each along with her husband and her lover. However all scenes with Katia labored nicely and this was the ‘value to we needed to pay’.
The casting was very sturdy general. Corinne Winters, who sang the half in Salzburg this summer time in a really totally different manufacturing by the Barrie Kosky/Jakub Hrůša workforce confirmed her nice expertise. The voice is highly effective and safe. She has expression and depth on stage. She is the trendy Katia of our technology and a singer that one needs to listen to discover many roles.
By her aspect, Aleš Briscein displayed real vocal depth as Boris. Elena Zhidkova (Kabanicha) was hampered by the manufacturing idea, which decreased the affect of her half. Tómas Tómasson (Dikój), who has typically sung in Geneva, was high quality casting. Geneva typically finds and nurtures younger singers in residence, from whence got here the Varvara sung joyfully by Pongrac, whereas Ukrainian mezzo Natalia Ruda (Feklousa) might have only some traces to sing however impressed and must be a reputation to comply with.
As is commonly the case with premieres, the orchestra took time to seek out its mark. Normally, ensembles may be considerably loud however the reverse occurred right here, they began out slightly too softly. The timpani that gives a leitmotif all through the work was inaudible … Because the night went on, steadiness improved and the Swiss Romande was a powerful contributor within the final act. However these are points often resolved with additional performances.
Readers in Brno could have the chance to listen to these musicians on November thirteenth on the Janáček Brno Pageant. They and Geneva residents mustn’t hesitate to go and uncover what is unquestionably a powerful manufacturing.