Jakub Hrůša’s new DVD/Blu-Ray release of of Janáček: Káťa Kabanová (United Editions) has been named a Gramophone Editor’s Choice for October 2023.

Tim Ashley writes in Gramophone, “Hrůša…is wonderful in this work, superbly judging its mixture of lyricism and tension. Katya’s almost mystic childhood reminiscences of church sound ravishing, and a tremendous surge of eroticism takes your breath away when she and Boris finally meet in the garden scene. Elsewhere the terror and emotional violence are uncompromisingly realised, from the hammering monotones that close the first act to the visceral ferocity of the storm…this is musically overwhelming. You really do need to hear it.”

Unitel Editions, describing the release, writes:

“Janácek’s opera Káta Kabanová is set in a small Russian town and is based on the play The Storm by Aleksandr Ostrovsky. The story revolves around the central character, Káta – sung by ‘the phenomenal Corinne Winters’ (Neue Musikzeitung) – who is trapped in a loveless marriage to a man named Tichon. Despite her unhappiness, she is bound by the strict societal norms of her time and is unable to escape the situation. However, when she meets and falls in love with a young man named Boris, she finally experiences happiness and passion. But their relationship is short-lived, as Tichon finds out and forces Káta to confess her infidelity in front of the entire town. Overwhelmed by the shame and guilt, she drowns herself in the nearby river.

“The opera explores themes of social conformity, oppression, and the consequences of forbidden love. Janácek’s use of musical leitmotifs and repetitive themes reflect the characters’ emotions and psychological states, adding depth and nuance to the story. Stage director Barrie Kosky managed to create an intimate but impressive setting in the magnificent Felsenreitschule. ‘Jittery and balletic, ecstatic and anxious, Winters has a child’s volatile presence, and her livewire voice conveys Kát’a’s wonder and vulnerability.’ (The New York Times) ‘Corinne Winters is ‘Kát’a Kabanova’: a great, luminous longing from head to toe. With director Barrie Kosky and conductor Jakub Hruša, she makes the opera in Salzburg a triumph.’ (Der Tagesspiegel)”

Corinne Winters (Kát’a)
Evelyn Herlitzius (Kabanicha)
David Butt Philip (Boris
Jaroslav Březina (Tichon)
Jarmila Balážová (Varvara)
Benjamin Hulett (Váňa)
Jens Larsen (Dikój)
Wiener Philharmoniker
Wiener Staatsopernchor
Jakub Hrůša, conductor
Barrie Kosky, director