28 Jul 2009
Kát’a Kabanová at Holland Park
Geoff Brown [Times Online, 28 July 2009]
Anne Sophie Duprels’s opera heroine must be one of the few to think of committing suicide by throwing herself into the orchestra’s timpanist. It should be the River Volga, but Opera Holland Park’s production of Janácek’s searing marvel Kát’a Kabanová — their last attraction in this summer’s season — never comes near water. At the same outdoor venue in 2007, the director Olivia Fuchs, the designer Yannis Thavoris and their team scored a palpable hit with Jenufa, but here, despite firm performances, the Czech composer’s power gets neutered by a staging that swings madly between the over-emphatic and the thrown-away.