Káťa Kabanová 

Leoš Janáček

Why can’t people fly like birds?  

Spanish director Calixto Bieito is known as a radical figure in the opera world, someone who does not make compromises. ‘I am guided by intuition’, he has said.   

Bieito shows what happens to sensitivity and the thirst for life in confined conditions. The young Káťa is trapped in her own home. She longs for contact, but her spineless husband Tichon is cold and her mother-in-law Kabanicha is cruel. Her desperate thirst for the love she lacks leads to rash decisions with fateful consequences.   

‘Kamila, if it weren’t for you I wouldn’t want to live. It’s just an alliance of our souls which binds us.’
The composer Janáček to his unattainable beloved 

Opera was well suited to the composer Leoš Janáček. It provided him with a natural outlet for emotions, including his own. He fell in love with a married woman 38 years his junior. Kamila remained unattainable, so the composer wrote her into his music and also into the character of Káťa. Káťa’s monologues have tremendous expressive power. She is present in the music even when she is not singing. 

Performed by our visiting opera company National Theatre Prague. Suitable for audience from 12 years.

Grab your early bird tickets – discount is 5-10 %. Valid until 30 September 2023.


Our guest – Národní divadlo, the National Theatre in Prague – is one of Europe’s great opera houses. Its story is part of European history, through the Nazi occupation and communism. Even in challenging times, its spirit has retained a special appeal.  

When the Prague National Theatre visited the Savonlinna Opera Festival in 1991, the company’s dramaturge told Helsingin Sanomat: ‘Many international singers visit Prague. The Prague Opera, however, has no foreign currency with which to pay them. But that’s not a problem, because visiting singers don’t even want money in the current situation. They just want to sing in the Prague Opera that they love.’ 

Times have changed, but the love remains.  


  • Conductor


  • Director

    Calixto Bieito

  • Set designer

    Leonor Guardia

  • Costume designer

    Eva Butzkies

  • Chorus master

    Lukáš Kozubík

  • National Theatre Prague Chorus

    National Theatre Prague Orchestra

  • Language


  • Surtitles

    Finnish and English

  • Duration

    approx. 1 h 30 min, no interval

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