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  • Janacek - Katia Kabanova
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Janacek - Katia Kabanova


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Product Details

  • Actors: Angela Denoke, David Kuebler, Czech Philharmonic Orchestra
  • Directors: Christopher Marthaler
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Classical, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Kultur Video
  • DVD Release Date: July 27, 2010
  • Run Time: 99 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B003L16F9A
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #348,172 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

Leos Janácek's opera 'Katia Kabanova' follows the life of a middle-class family in the 1850s and is set on the banks of the Volga in a small town, Kalinove in Russia. Christopher Marthaler's modern production takes place in the 1990s and sheds a new light on this intense drama. Recorded at the Kleines Festspielhaus during the 1998 Salzburg Festival.

Katia Kabanova: Angela Denoke
Boris: David Kuebler
Kabanicha: Jane Henschel
Tichon: Hubert Delamboye
Varvara: Dagmar Peckova
Dikoj: Henk Smits
Kudrjás: Rainer Trost
Kuligin: Frédéric Caton
Glasa: Ulrika Precht
Feklusa: Elisabeth Starzinger
A Woman: Alena Cokova
A Man: Ulrich Voss
Viola D Amore: Ludwig Hampe

Czech Philharmonic Orchestra
Slovak Philharmonic Choir
Musical Direction: Sylvain Cambreling
Directed By Christoph Marthaler
Stage Design & Costumes: Anna Viebrock
Film Director: Pierre Cavassilas
Photos: Ruth Walz

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Robert G. Vanstryland on August 19, 2010
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Unlike another reviewer, I have no problem with the lack of "extras" on this DVD. The sound and picture quality are good and the English only subtitles are not an issue for an English speaking buyer. If you want to know more about the opera, the performers, or the production, you can do your own research instead of paying the manufacturer to do it for you. For the most part, Kultur provides a good product at a modest price and I would hate to do without this company.

That said, I have to report that, although this performance goes well musically, the production is full of distractions.There are extra characters (not specified by the composer and having no legitimate dramatic function) on stage. They observe and react to the drama (something we can do better ourselves) even when the events transpiring are obviously intended to take place in private settings, and they distract us from the real characters and situations. We should be thinking about Katya and her problems, not wondering who that guy is sitting in the corner or playing a fiddle upstairs. One of these characters spoils a musical interlude by laughing maniacally all through it.

The setting is updated (for no apparent reason) to what appears to be the latter part of the 20th century. Varvara spends much of her time on stage dancing (her first entrance reminded me of Steve Martin in a "wild and crazy guys" sketch). Instead of drowning herself in the Volga, Katya falls into a tiny pond in the middle of the town square. It is difficult to feel the tragedy while watching such absurdity. Since there is another "Katya" on DVD, also on the Kultur label, in a more honest and responsible Glyndebourne production, I suggest you pass this one up in favor of the other.
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11 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Archie (Ottawa Canada) on August 5, 2010
Format: DVD
I am sure that others will write in a review of the opera per se. I just want to again express my great displeasure with Kultur. In the past in other reviews I pointed out the mediocrity of the company's VHS and DVD's and vowed never again to buy one of their products. Well, I have fallen again because I am an admirer of Angela Denoke and David Kuebler.

Despite the fact that this is a relatively little-known opera and it has a director's unique approach, there is no booklet with any background to this production -- just a single flimsy sheet with the bare chapter names. There is no bonus material of interviews, particularly with the director. There is no surround sound. English and none are the only choices for subtitles.

As I wrote before, I really wish that Kultur would go bankrupt and allow reputable companies to fill in whatever unlamented vacuum Kultur would leave behind.

********************************

ADDENDUM August 19

I am not allowed to submit two different reviews, but can add to my previous one (in which I awarded 1 star). Here it is below:

Since no one has written a review of this production per se, I suppose I should say something. My one (1) star evaluation was for the lack of various technical elements that Kultur omitted: multilingual subtitles, surround sound, background information and interviews. I deliberately omitted mention of the production. I am making up for that now.

"Katia Kabanova" is not a happy opera, and unlike "Jenufa", there is no hope or reconciliation at the end. Boris is held in thrall by a legacy to an abusive uncle; and Katia is part of a dysfunctional family under the control of an abusive Mother-in-law.
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Giordano Bruno on November 18, 2010
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
... in his heart of hearts, that he was the greatest opera composer of his century and that his time would come? The first thought -- that Leos Janacek (1854-1928) was ineffably great, nay, the greatest of the great -- is obviously my own indefensible opinion. The second -- that his time has come -- is easily proven by examining the schedules of the major opera houses of Europe and the USA for the first ten years of the Third Millennium. Five of Janacek's operas have entered the holy circle of standard repertoire, and there are DVDs of all five available.

It wasn't always so. Following Janacek's death in1928, some fifty years passed before stagings of Janaceks's works outside Czechoslovakia became more than a rarity. The conductor Charles Mackerras played a large role in the rediscovery of Janacek, and the CD/DVD recordings of productions in which he conducted are the 'standard of excellence' still today. Of the four DVDs of Janacek's "The Cunning Little Vixen", Mackerras is the conductor on two, and they are miles better than the other two. The conductor of this Salzburg Festival performance of "Katya Kabanova" is Sylvain Cambreling, with the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra and the Slovak Philharmonic Choir. I'm sure we'll hear wistful voices murmuring "if only Sir Charles," but Cambreling does a superb job here, worthy of the music and the Mackerras tradition. Janacek's operas are supremely symphonic. Not only are there extended passages of purely instrumental music, but also the vocal lines are tightly integrated into the orchestra texture. In other words, Janacek didn't write opera as a series of extractable flashbulb arias.
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