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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Katya Kabanova, 16 July 2011
This review is from: Janacek: Kat'a Kabanova -- Glyndebourne [DVD] [2001] (DVD)
This is pretty good stuff. Vocally the cast was strong. The American soprano Nancy Gustafson's singing appreared effortless in the challenging title role. She has a vast array of colour and timbre that she uses sensitively - very easy on the ear! Barry McCauley's singing as Boris was strong, if a little too declamatory at times. However, his voice has a warmth to it, almost an audible caring, that seems to convey affection and, in the third act, concern for Katya. Another notable performance came from English tenor John Graham-Hall as Vana Kudrjas, whose light, graceful singing perfectly suited Janácek's speech-like vocal lines. The minor characters were all superb - Kuligin's brief song that punctuates Katya's grief in Act III was beautiful and added to the chilling tragedy, as did the distant singing of the Glyndebourne chorus.

Unfortunately, the acting in this production often seemed unnatural and was characterised by somewhat exaggerated gestures and expressions. Perhaps this was OK on stage, but at times looks a bit odd on the DVD.

The set cleverly managed to be both austere and vivid all at once and yet it left me undecided as to whether this was nicely appropriate for the plot or just overpowering and slightly distracting. The set further contradicted itself in terms of the period that it suggested. Was it ancient and fairytale-like or ultra modern? Perhaps Hoheisel was aiming for `timeless'. Interestingly, the costumes by the same designer were non-descript compared with the set, leading to a slight feeling of disarray.

Overall though, I think this is worth watching and it's generally an authoritative performance of a fantastic opera.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Definitive Performance, 3 Sep 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Janacek: Kat'a Kabanova -- Glyndebourne [DVD] [2001] (DVD)
Simply the best interpretation of Katya available. Andrew Davis conducts the London Philharmonic Orchestra with a real sense of passion and lust.This Glyndebourne production won critical acclaim just over 10 years ago. The sound conveys all the feeling of being part of the unique intimate experience of sitting in the opera house just before it was rebuilt. The set designs are both stunning and stark. Nancy Gufstavson's performance conveys just the right amount of passion and angst. Opera at it's best, lovingly transferred to DVD.Buy it now, the Janack is in the post.
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2 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not Bad at All, 6 July 2008
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This review is from: Janacek: Kat'a Kabanova -- Glyndebourne [DVD] [2001] (DVD)
I enjoyed this DVD - It's good visually, I thought as well as good singing and music.
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Janacek: Kat'a Kabanova -- Glyndebourne [DVD] [2001]
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