Katya Kabanova

Leoš Janáček

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A storm is coming…

When her husband leaves town on business, Katya is enticed by the advances of another man. Temptation proves impossible to resist and she embarks on an electric love affair. Wild with regret, when her husband returns, the storm in Katya’s heart finally breaks…

This highly-charged drama is driven by music that crackles with tension and eroticism, as the characters are drawn ever-closer to a final confrontation.


Pre-show talks
Leeds: Sat 9, Thu 21 & Wed 27 Feb, (6.30pm–7.00pm) — free; please book in advance with Box Office or when booking your tickets.

From £15 to £75*

Leoš Janáček

Running time
Approximately 1 hour 45 minutes with no interval

Sung in English with English titles

*Prices vary by venue. Booking fees may apply.

What the critics said...

“The acting is superbly believable and the storytelling gripping… an incisive and detailed account of Janáček’s magnificent score.”

★★★★ — The Times

“Stephanie Corley’s pure tone and youthfulness are perfectly suited to the role, and she plays the frustrated Katya with desperate sincerity”.

★★★★ — The Arts Desk

“… a compelling account of the beauty and intensity that the composer injected into every phrase…a first class theatrical experience…”

★★★★ — Bachtrack


In a small Russian town on the banks of the River Volga, Katya Kabanova lives an unhappy life. Her husband, Tichon, is weak-willed. Constantly scorned by his domineering mother, Kabanicha, he seeks solace in drink rather than standing up for himself and Katya.

When Tichon leaves town on business, Katya fears that she will not be able to resist temptation. She asks Tichon to make her swear an oath that she will speak to no strangers during his absence…

With Tichon gone, Katya begins to feel tempted knowing that local romantic, Boris, has feelings for her. Varvara, the family’s foster daughter, reveals that she is meeting Vana, her lover, that night in the garden behind a locked door to which she has the key. She suggests that Katya should go there too to meet Boris.

Later that night, she meets Boris at the bottom of the garden. Though she is worried about the consequences of an affair, she cannot resist and as he declares his love for her, she admits her feelings for him.

Tichon’s return is marked by a violent storm and Katya becomes increasingly agitated. She confesses her affair to Tichon in front of everybody, before running out into the tempest… Later, when the storm has finally subsided, Tichon sets out to find her.

Katya reunites with Boris, who tells her that he is leaving. At first, she begs to go with him but then decides that she cannot leave. Boris departs and Katya, overcome with sorrow, throws herself into the Volga. Tichon arrives just in time to witness Katya leap into the torrent. He rushes to help but his mother holds him back. As Katya’s body is pulled from the water, Tichon weeps and Kabanicha thanks the bystanders for their help.

Accessible information

The following audio notes give detailed information about the story, the sets and costumes, the cast list, and the dates and venues of the performances. These are to aid customers who are blind or partially sighted. Please note, the story and the details of the sets and costumes contain spoilers!

Katya Kabanova

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