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Tue. Nov. 7, 2017, 7:30 p.m. - 9:15 p.m. Vienna

Leos Janáček

Kátja Kabanová

Conductor: Graeme Jenkins, Director: André Engel
With Wolfgang Bankl, Herbert Lippert, Janina Baechle, Leonardo Navarro, Evelyn Herlitzius, Carlos Osuna

  • Leos Janáček  |  Musik
  • Graeme Jenkins  |  Conductor
  • André Engel  |  Director
  • Nicky Rieti  |  Bühne
  • Chantal de La Coste  |  Costumes
  • André Diot  |  Light Design
  • Susanne Auffermann  |  Light Design
  • Dominique Muller  |  Dramaturgie
  • Ruth Orthmann  |  Regiemitarbeit

Graeme Jenkins | Conductor

The English conductor Graeme Jenkins studied at the Royal College of Music and at the University of Cambridge. Over the course of his career, he has received numerous engagements, among others to Glyndebourne, the ROH Covent Garden, the English National Opera, the Scottish Opera, Opera North, the Australian Opera, the Canadian Opera, the Deutsche Opera Berlin as well as the Paris Opera. At the Dallas Opera, where he has been director, he has celebrated success with the Ring des Nibelungen, Wozzeck, Jenu˚fa, Ariodante, Lohengrin, Pique Dame, Macbeth, Fledermaus and Roberto Devereux. As an orchestral conductor, he has stood and continues to stand among others on the podium of the Danish National Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Melbourne and West Australian Symphony Orchestras, the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, the Orchestre Philharmonique de Monte Carlo as well as numerous American orchestras. Graeme Jenkins introduced himself to the general public of the Wiener Staatsoper with his direction of Billy Budd on the 27th October 2005, and went on to also conduct Jenu˚fa, Cavalleria rusticana, Pagliacci as well as Der fliegende Holländer.

Wolfgang Bankl | Dikoj

KS WOLFGANG BANKL comes from Vienna, received training in Violin and studied singing, Lied and Oratorium as well as opera at the Conservatoire of Vienna. He received initial engagements at the Vienna Kammeroper, the Opera House Kiel and the Tiroler Landestheater. Guest performances led him, among others, to Zurich, Hamburg, Cologne, Barcelona, Salzburg, Strasbourg, the Milan Scala, to the Vienna Festwochen, Bregenz, Tokyo, Tel Aviv, Rome and Paris. He recently gave his debut as Baron Ochs auf Lerchenau in Dresden under the direction of Christian Thielemann. Together with Norbert Pfafflmeyer, Harald Kollegger and Schmerzhel v. Solchgemut, he established the travelling Kleinfestival Giro d’Arte. Since 1993, he is an ensemble member of the Wiener Staatsoper and has since then sung here among others: Papageno, Alberich (Rheingold), Doktor (Wozzeck), Klingsor, Figaro (Le nozze di Figaro), Harašta (Schlaues Füchslein), Frank, Graf Waldner, Bartolo (Il barbiere di Siviglia), Hauptmann (Boris Godunow), Ochs, Geisterbote (Die Frau ohne Schatten), Tierbändiger/Athlet (Lulu), Ringender (Die Jakobsleiter), Zirkusdirektor (Der Riese vom Steinfeld), La Roche, Leporello, Dreieinigkeitsmoses (Mahagonny), Swallow (Peter Grimes). He has been awarded the title "Österreichischer Kammersänger".

Herbert Lippert | Boris

The austrian and former member of the Vienna Boys Choir Herbert Lippert is considered amongst the most important tenors of our times. The first promoters of his voice were Sir Georg Solti and Wolfgang Sawallisch, under whose direction came numerous recordings like Die Schöpfung, Don Giovanni and Die Meister­singer von Nürnberg. In 1997, Herbert Lippert was awardsd a Grammy Award for his interpretation of the role of David in Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg under the direction of Sir Georg Solti. He is connected to the Vienna Philharnomic not only through intensive work in the opera and concert sector, but also through cooperation in the field of operetta, in particular the "degenerate operetta". Some great successes in the Lied field include Lieder evenings with Wolfgang Sawallisch and Maurizio Pollini. He is an ensemble member of the Vienna State Opera where made his debut in 1985 in La Traviata, and has sung roles here like Tamino, Matteo, Fla­mand, Don Ottavio, Offizier (Cardillac), Belmonte, Alfred, Froh, Walther von der Vogelweide, Skuratov, Aegisth, Jim Mahoney, Peter Grimes, Erik and Eisenstein. 


Janina Baechle | Kabanicha

JANINA BAECHLE studied musicology, history and vocal studies in Hamburg. After her stage debut in Hamburg, engagements lead her to the State Theatres Braunschweig and Hannover. In the season 2004/2005 she became a member of the Vienna State Opera and sang Mrs. Quickly (Falstaff), Herodias (Salome), Erda, Fricka, Waltraute (Ring des Nibelungen), Brangäne (Tristan und Isolde), Ulrica (Un ballo in maschera), Ortrud (Lohengrin), Brigitta (Tote Stadt), Annina (Rosenkavalier), Margret (Wozzeck), Mary (Fliegender Holländer), Marquise de Berkenfield (Fille du Régiment), to only name a few. Guest appearances lead her to San Franciso, the Semper Opera Dresden, the Stuttgart State Opera, the Hamburg State Opera, the Gran Teatre del Liceu, the Théâtre du Capitole as well as the Festival Theatre Baden-Baden and to the Edinburgh Festival. Current parts are Ježibaba (Rusalka) and Ortrud at the Bavarian State Opera, the leading role in the world premiere of Bruno Mantovani´s opera Akhmatova and as Brangäne at the Opéra National de Paris, as well as nurse (Frau ohne Schatten) at the Gran Teatre del Liceu.



Evelyn Herlitzius | Katja

Evelyn Herlizius recieved her musical training at the Hochschule for Music and Theatre in Hamburg. In 1997, Evelyn Herlizius gave her debut at the Sächsischen Staatsoper in Dresden as Leonore (Fidelio). At this house, she earned many important roles of her field, like Elisabeth and Venus, Brünn­hilde, Kundry, Sieglinde, Salome, Färberin, Jeanne and Turandot. Evelyn Herlizius is a welcome guest on the international stage, like for example at the Staatsopern Berlin, Hamburg and Munich, at the Deutschen Oper Berlin, the Nederlandse Opera, the Teatro alla Scala in Milan, the Gran Teatre del Liceu, and at the Bayreuther and Salz­burger Festspielen. Evelyn Herlizius is a Sächsische Chamber singer. In 2000, she gave her debut at the Wiener Staatsoper as Lenonre and also sang here Sieglinde (Die Walküre), Isolde (Tristan und Isolde) as well as Färberin (Frau ohne Schatten) and Kundry (Parsifal). She has performed with orchestras like the Vienna and Berlin Philharmonic orchestras.  

Roles for the Wiener Staatsoper 2014/2015: Brünnhilde (Walküre, Siegfried, Götterdämmerung).

Carlos Osuna | Kudrjas

CARLOS OSUNA was born in Mazatlán (Mexico) and studied vocal arts in his home country and at the Cardiff International Academy of Voice. In 2009 he became member of the opera studio of the Basel Theatre and took master classes with Grace Bumbry and Francisco Araiza as well as with Mirella Freni, Kiri Te Kanawa, Ileana Cotrubas, José Carreras and Sherril Milnes. The tenor for example received invitations to the Verbier Festival, the Welsh National Opera, the Opéra National de Lorraine in Nancy, the Festival Internacional de Santander. He celebrated great triumphs as (excerpt) Nemorino, Rodolfo, Pinkerton, in the title role Werther, as Beppe in Pagliacci and in Aus einem Totenhaus. Furthermore, Carlos Osuna is also very successful on the world´s concert stages. At the Wiener Staatsoper he for example sang Abdallo (Nabucco), Hauptmann (Simon Boccanegra), Gaston (La traviata), Aladdin (Aladdin und die Wunder­lampe, Kinderoper), Der große Sträfling (Aus einem Totenhaus), Beppe, Tebaldo (I vespri siciliani), Scaramuccio, (Ariadne auf Naxos), Narraboth (Salome), Hirt (Tristan und Isolde), Sir Hervey (Anna Bolena).


Act 1 The young chemist Kudrjáš is enthusing to the servant Glaša about the River Volga and the beauty of Nature in general. Their conversation is abruptly interrupted when the businessman Dikoj and his nephew Boris appear. The angry Dikoj’s rude and noisy scolding of his nephew – whom he considers a lazy good-for-nothing – is in stark contrast to the educated and sophisticated Kudrjáš’s euphoric appreciation of Nature. For his part, Kudrjáš cannot understand why Boris stays with his primitive and brutal uncle despite the rough treatment meted out to him. However, a short time later Boris readily reveals the reasons for this to him. Their parents met with an early death, and he and his sister will receive their inheritance when they come of age only if they get on with Dikoj. Boris is therefore obliged to endure his uncle’s maltreatment. Glad to have finally found someone to whom he can freely speak his mind, Boris reveals yet another secret to the astonished Kudrjáš: he feels irresistibly attracted to Kátja Kabanová, a married woman.  However, there is something Boris, as yet, is unaware of: she reciprocates his affections. Ever since her marriage, Kátja has lived under the same roof as her weak-willed, alcoholic husband Tichon and his authoritarian and bigoted mother Kabanicha. And only Varvara, the Kabanovs’ foster daughter, sympathises with Kátja, who suffers greatly from her mother-in-law’s insults and reproaches. Kabanicha dotes on her son, and sees her influence over Tichon vanishing since his marriage with her insufferable daughter-in-law. She therefore tries to humiliate Kátja at every conceivable opportunity. In a confidential tête-à-tête, Varvara tells Kátja about her child-hood, her religious ecstasy – and about her yearning for another man, Boris, which she admits is sinful. Shortly afterwards, when Tichon comes to take leave of his wife to embark on a lengthy journey which Kabanicha has sent him on, Kátja begs to be allowed to travel with him. Distraught, she fears she may succumb to her yearning for Boris during her husband’s absence. But she is obliged to stay at home with her bickering mother-in-law. Act 2 Kabanicha continually reproaches Katja after Tichon´s departure. In this oppressive atmosphere, she feels her resistance to her feelings for Boris weakening. When Varvara then gives her a key that will enable her to leave the house unnoticed, she realizes she is done for. When Kabanicha takes the drunken Dikoj in for the night and her mother-in-law is distracted, Katja sets off to see Boris. Like Varvara and Kudrjaš, Katja and Boris also spend the next few hours together before the two young women are obliged to return home – Katja is tormented by her conscience. Act 3 One afternoon, two weeks later. Kudrjaš and his friend Kuligin seek shelter from a thunderstorm in a deserted building. Before long other people also find shelter there – including Dikoj, who very soon becomes embroiled in a lively altercation with Kudrjaš. In contrast to Kudrjaš, who tries to explain the physical reasons for the development of a thunderstorm, Dikoj regards thunder and lightning only as a reminder of God´s power. Varvara and Boris also arrive. However, their conversation is not about the cause of thunderstorms, but about the physical state of Katja, who appears to have lost her mind since Tichon´s early return. When Katja approaches accompanied by her husband and mother-in-law, her disturbed mental state becomes apparent to the gathering. Fearful of the fires of hell and tormented by qualms of conscience, she wails and weeps continually. After a particularly violent peal of thunder, she falls to her knees and loudly admits her guilty secret to Kabanicha and Tichon: she has spent ten nights with Boris. After making this confession, she rushes out into the raging thunderstorm alone. A few days later, Kudrjaš and Varvara resolve to flee their oppressive village life. Things are different for Katja: her only hope and succour, he beloved Boris, has been sent to a distant trading post by his uncle Dikoj, where she cannot be with him. At their last meeting together, the two lovers take leave of one another. Barely has Boris left than Katja plunges into the nearby river. From a distance, Kuligin has seen someone jumping into the river, and hastily summons help. However, all attempts at rescue are in vain: they are only able to recover Katja´s dead body. Only now does Tichon dare to stand up to his mother, saying “It was I who killed her.” True to form, his mother thanks everyone for their sympathy.