7-24 March 2006. Conducted by John Eliot Gardiner, directed by Robert Carson, with Vladimir Ognovenko, Peter Straka, Judith Frost, Janice Watson, Stefan Margita.
La Scala di Milano presents an opera outside its normal repetoire: Kta Kabanov by Leos Jancek (7-24 March), a sombre love story set in Russia greatly reminiscent of Gustave Flauberts Madame Bovary. It is an opera rich with passionate melodies and lyrics which characterise atmosphere and state of being. This opera can be seen both as a voyage into mans psyche, and also as an analysis of the conflict between freedom of the individual and middle-class conformity. John Eliot Gardiner conducts for the first time at La Scala, but director Robert Carsen is no first-timer, having presented Poulencs Dialogues des Carmlites years ago: an extraordinary production much feted by Italian critics. This production was already seen in Antwerp in 2004 and is judged as one of Carsens most beautiful and moving creations. Under his direction, water and light are fundamental elements; he eliminates from the stage almost all objects and concentrates on the performance, bringing forth the emotions and sentiments (even if ignoble) with which the opera brims over.
Paolo Di Nicola