ALL ARTS Performance Selects

FULL EPISODE

Katia Kabanova

Immerse yourself in Théâtre des Bouffes du Nord’s production of Leoš Janácek’s opera, Katia Kabanova. Told in three acts, the opera explores themes of forbidden love, as Katia contemplates life outside of her unhappy marriage. Vocalist Julia Bullock gives her take on the opera at the beginning of the episode.

AIRED: March 10, 2019 | 1:32:04
ABOUT THE PROGRAM
TRANSCRIPT

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Hello. I'm Julia Bullock.

Join me for this very special presentation

of Leos Janácek's opera "Katia Kabanova,"

filmed at the famed Le Bouffes du Nord in Paris

and now presented here on "All Arts."

This theater is very special to me

because they were the very first company

to hire me for a job in classical music.

The general aesthetic of Bouffes du Nord is one

where they put the human beings onstage at the forefront.

And it's not about the high production value,

but it's actually trying to get these very delicate

and quick-moving temperature changes within the story

to resonate and be legible.

This production is a distilled version,

and it actually strips away all of the trappings

of the historical context

so that the audience can project themselves into the story.

This opera is based on a play entitled "The Storm,"

and even though the play itself

was received very well by the public,

it ended up being highly critiqued by the press

because the play made a lot of commentary

on social conservatism.

And the themes that most struck me when I watched this opera

is that this sort of conservative mind-set,

one that is dismissive

of all people who have any sort of passion,

actually sets up an environment

for people who do not fit into that mold

to feel not just out of place,

but actually having to seek a way to escape.

And that ends up being the story and the fate of Katia.

[ Slow piano music plays ]

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[ Gasps ]

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[ Smooching ]

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[ Crying ]

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[ Smooching ]

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[ Slow piano music plays ]

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[ Footsteps approaching ]

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[ Door closes ]

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Aah!

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[ Whimpers ]

[ Sighs ]

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[ Varvara singing in Czech ]

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[ Squealing ]

[ Laughs ]

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[ Boris singing in Czech in distance ]

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[ Both laugh ]

[ Katia singing in Czech in distance ]

[ Both laugh ]

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[ Boris singing in Czech in distance ]

[ Both laugh ]

[ Smooching ]

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[ Boris singing in Czech in distance ]

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[ Laughs ]

[ Screams ]

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[ Thunder crashes ]

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Tartar!

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[ Footsteps approach ]

[ Thunder rumbling ]

[ Thunder crashes ]

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[ Thunder crashes ]

[ Tichon singing in Czech in distance ]

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[ Thunder crashing ]

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[ Varvara shouting in Czech ]

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[ Tapping ]

[ Singing in Czech ]

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[ Sobs ]

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[ Boris singing in Czech ]

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[ Kuligin singing in Czech ]

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[ Applause ]

[ Cheers and applause ]

[ Applause continues ]

[ Applause continues ]

[ Applause continues ]

[ Cheers and applause ]

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