MAZEPPA by Tchaikovsky
"If it at first it seemed a little foolhardy to mount such a big work on a small scale, any doubts were quickly laid to rest right from the opening women's chorus. You could just sit back, forget the spectacle and concentrate on Tchaikovsky's luscious vocal writing."

Wayne Gooding, OPERA CANADA

2019 - 2020 SEASON

L'Enfant et les Sortilèges &
L'Heure espagnole

Sunday, October 20, 2019
2:30 pm

Katya Kabanová
Sunday, December 1, 2019
2:30 pm

Sunday, February 16, 2020

2:30 pm

Adriana Lecouvreur
Sunday, April 5, 2020
2:30 pm





Sunday, December 1, 2019— 2:30pm

In English

Based on The Thunderstorm by Russian playwright Ostrovsky, the opera shines a lyrical light on the harshness of society's unbending traditions, and the coarse and repressive middle-class values that ultimately lead to tragedy.

Jo Greenaway, Music Director and Pianist
Robert Cooper, Chorus Director

Lynn Isnar
Emilia Boteva
Michael Barrett
Cian Horrobin



Scene 1: Outside the Kabanov house, afternoon

Kudrjas, a science teacher, admires the beauty of the river. The servant Glasha is unimpressed. Dikoj arrives, rebuking his nephew Boris for his laziness. He leaves when he learns Kabanicha, the matriarch of the household, is not at home. Left alone with Kudrjas, Boris explains he only stays with his uncle because of a provision in his grandmother's will: if he and his sister are to claim their inheritance, they must respect their uncle and do as he says. Boris also admits to Kudrjas he has fallen in love with Katya Kabanova, wife of Tichon Kabanov.

When the Kabanov family returns from church, Kabanicha orders her son, Tichon, to leave at once for the market in a nearby city. She complains that he neglects her for his wife, Katya, and rebukes Katya when she dares to answer. Varvara, Tichon's younger adopted sister, criticizes him for drinking too much and not defending his wife from his mother's attacks.

Scene 2: Inside the Kabanov house, afternoon

Katya tells Varvara of her happy childhood. Varvara encourages Katya to talk about her dreams. Katya says she hears a man's voice whispering in her ear, urging her to run away with him. Tichon appears, about to leave for market as his mother has ordered. Kabinicha insists that Tichon lay down the law for Katya before he leaves: she must respect and obey Kabanicha and not look at other men.


Scene 1: Inside the Kabanov house, late afternoon

Kabanicha reproaches Katya for not making a show of grief at Tichon's departure. Once Kabanicha has left the room, Varvara reveals she has stolen the key to the garden gate; she tells Katya she will ask Boris to come to the garden. Katya nervously takes the key, hurriedly hiding it when Kabanicha re-enters with Dikoj who is drunk.

Scene 2: Outside the Kabanovs' garden gate

Kudrjas arrives in the garden, waiting for Varvara. Boris arrives, hoping to meet Katya. Kudrjas warns him of the risks involved. Varvara tells Boris that Katya is coming, and then goes off with Kudrjas toward the river. Katya soon arrives. Boris declares his passion. Katya is guarded but ultimately concedes her impassioned feelings for him. Kudrjas and Varvara are heard declaring their love. Katya goes back through the gate, leaving Boris behind.


Scene 1: Two days later, a ruined building overlooking the river

Seeking shelter from a storm, Kudrjas and his friend Kuligin hide in a ruined building. They notice old paintings of hell and the damned still visible under the ruined apse. Dikoj arrives to take shelter. Kudrjas thinks the storm is "just electricity," while Dikoj considers the storm a punishment from God.

Varvara tells Boris that Tichon has returned unexpectedly, prompting Katya to become hysterical. Everyone, including Kabanicha, soon gather in the ruined building to shelter from the storm. Arriving panicked, Katya falls on her knees and publicly confesses her infidelity, collapsing into her husband's arms. She immediately tears herself away, and rushes out into the storm.

Scene 2: On the banks of the river

Tichon and Glasha are searching for Katya. Varvara and Kudrjas decide to run away together to the big city. Katya enters alone. Confused, she regrets her confession and longs for death. Boris arrives and tells her that his uncle is sending him away. Katya will remain at the mercy of her mother-in-law and drunken husband.

Boris leaves and Katya imagines her grave. Crossing her arms, she throws herself into the river. A search party enters, and Dikoj arrives with Katya's corpse. Tichon blames his mother for Katya's death. Kabanicha thanks all the neighbors for their kindness.