STUDY GUIDE AND PRE- AND POST-PERFORMANCE LESSON PLANS For Reading & Writing Common Core Standards Grades 9 – 12
KÁTYA KABANOVÁ ESTHER NELSON, GENERAL & ARTISTIC DIRECTOR
DAVID ANGUS, MUSIC DIRECTOR
JOHN CONKLIN, ARTISTIC ADVISOR
Esther Nelson General & Artistic Director David Angus Music Director John Conklin Artistic Advisor
Kátya Kabanová Study Guide and Pre- and Post-Performance Lesson Plans Table of Contents
Welcome from BLO Manager of Education Programs
History of Opera: An Overview
Science of Sound from BLO and Museum of Science, Boston
Leoš Janáček’s Biography
Kátya Kabanová Synopsis
Kátya Kabanová Cast of Characters
Janáček’s Personal Relationships
Kátya Kabanová Productions from the 21st Century
Play and Libretto Read-Through
What to Listen For
Pre-Performance Lesson Plan, Grades 9 – 10
Pre-Performance Lesson Plan, Grades 11 – 12
Post-Performance Lesson Plan, Grades 9 – 10
Post-Performance Lesson Plan, Grades 11 – 12
References and Resources
Esther Nelson General & Artistic Director David Angus Music Director John Conklin Artistic Advisor
February 18, 2015 Dear Educator,
Boston Lyric Opera is pleased to invite high school students to Final Dress Rehearsals at the Shubert Theatre throughout our Season. We look forward to seeing you and your students at the theatre for this production of Janáček’s Kátya Kabanová, performed for the first time in BLO’s history! The experience of seeing and hearing live, professional opera is second to none. However, we encourage you to explore the world of the opera in your classroom as well. We are proud to offer a study guide to support your discussions and preparations for Kátya Kabanová that includes special insights into the production process, the opera’s history, and ready-to-use pre- and post-performance lesson plans for grades 9-12. Boston Lyric Opera’s mission is to build curiosity, enthusiasm, and support for opera. This new study guide is one way in which we hope to reach this goal and support the incredible work of educators like you, who bring this beautiful art form into your students’ lives. As we continue to develop these study guides this Season, we want your feedback. Please tell us about how you use this guide and how it can best serve your needs by emailing email@example.com. If you’re interested in other opera education opportunities with Boston Lyric Opera, please visit blo.org/ learn to discover more about our programs. We look forward to seeing you at the theatre!
Elizabeth Mullins Manager of Education Programs Boston Lyric Opera 3
The Life of Leoš Janáček (1854-1928)
Leoš Janáček was a Czech composer widely known for his nationalistic music. He studied at conservatories in Prague, Leipzig, and Vienna. From 1881-1888 he served as the conductor for the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, and in 1920, he was appointed as a professor to the Prague Conservatory, where he taught composition. Janáček’s music was largely influenced by Czeck folk music. His vocal pieces reflect the natural inflection of the Czech language, and much of his instrumental music is based on scales found in popular Czech folk melodies.
Page of the autographed manuscript from Jenůfa
Janáček’s marriage was a source of distress in his life. He was married to Zdenka Schulzová, who had formerly studied piano with him, but their union was not a happy one. It seemed as though both his personal and professional lives were stagnant. The muse who inspired Janáček’s now famous musical pieces was Kamila Stösslová, a woman for whom he developed an infatuation.
Janáček’s family house in Hukvaldy, Moravia.
Kamila was much younger than Janáček, but the two continued a correspondence until his death.
Janáček was a unique composer because his
He continued composing until late in his life,
success did not come until later in life. He had an
finishing the orchestral work Sinfonietta in 1926.
interest in Russian culture, and traveled there
At this time, his works were being performed in
three separate times. Kátya Kabanová was a
London, Berlin, and Prague, gaining him more
product of his interest in Russia and was written in
international acclaim. When Janáček passed away
1921. This and other late works were widely well-
in 1928 of pneumonia, he was given a large
received and fostered an international interest in
public funeral which included music from his
Janáček as a composer.
opera The Cunning Little Vixen.
Sources: Opera North Study Guide. Kátya Kabanová, 2007.
Encyclopedia Britannica Editors. “Leoš Janáček Biography.” Encyclopedia Britannica Chicago: Encyclopedia Britannic, 2014. Web. 28 Oct. 2014. Photos: Wikipedia contributors. "Leoš Janáček." Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 2014. Web. 28 Oct. 2014.
Plot Synopsis Act One Outside the Kabanov house. Morning. Glascha, a servant in the Kabanov household, listens to Kudryash admiring the beauty of the river Volga. They are disturbed by Dikoy arguing with his nephew, Boris. Learning that the widow, Kabanicha, has not yet returned from church, Dikoy departs. Kudryash asks Boris how he tolerates Dikoy’s abuse; Boris explains that his inheritance is entirely dependent on his uncle’s goodwill. Feklusha, a pilgrim, praises the hospitality of the Kabanov household. Boris confides his unhappiness to Kudryash and confesses that he has fallen in love with a married woman, Kátya Kabanová. They watch as the Kabanovs return from church. Kabanicha scolds her son, Tichon, for not showing his mother enough affection while being too soft with his wife. She orders him to go away on a business trip. After Kabanicha and Kátya have gone into the house, Varvara, a foster child in the Kabanov household, mocks Tichon’s weakness. Inside the Kabanov house. Afternoon. Kátya dreams of escaping to another life. She tells Varvara that she wishes she were happy and carefree as she was before she married. In those days she experienced visions in church, but now she dreams of a secret lover and is terrified of what will happen while Tichon is away. Tichon enters, and she pleads with him to let her travel with him, or at least to make her swear to be faithful. Kabanicha announces that it is time for Tichon to depart and orders her son to instruct his wife about how to behave in his absence. Act Two Inside the Kabanov house. Evening. Kabanicha reprimands Kátya for not showing more grief at Tichon’s departure. Once alone with Kátya, Varvara reveals that she has stolen the key to the garden gate and offers to arrange a night-time meeting with Boris. Kátya is appalled by Varvara’s suggestion but, when she hears voices approaching, hurriedly hides the key and resolves to see Boris. Kabanicha is visited by Dikoy; he is drunk and confesses to her that he has almost beaten to death a peasant who had asked him for money. 11
Outside the garden gate. Night. Kudryash has arranged to meet Varvara and is surprised by the arrival of Boris. Varvara joins them and, after reassuring Boris that his wait will soon be rewarded, she leads Kudryash down to the river. Kátya appears. At first filled with guilt, she eventually gives in to her desires, and by the time Varvara and Kudryash return, she and Boris are enraptured with each other. Act Three Beside the Volga. Afternoon. Kudryash and his friend Kuligin shelter from a storm. Dikoy joins them and scornfully dismisses Kudryash’s rationalist explanation of storms as just electricity; to Dikoy storms represent punishment from the Almighty. Varvara warns Boris that Tichon has returned unexpectedly and that Kátya is distraught with guilt. Kátya rushes in, overwrought by the gathering thunderstorm. At the appearance of Kabanicha and Tichon she breaks down and confesses that she has sinned with Boris. Kátya runs out into the storm. Beside the Volga. Night. Tichon and Glascha search in vain for Kátya. Varvara and Kudryash resolve to escape to a new life in Moscow. Kátya is in despair, wanting only to see Boris again and then die. Yet she knows that her punishment is to stay alive to atone for her sin. She calls into the night for Boris and he comes to her. As she tries to gather her fevered thoughts, Boris explains that Dikoy is sending him to work far away. Left alone, Kátya drowns herself in the river.
Source: Synopsis courtesy of Opera North; Photos: Richard Moran for Opera North’s production of Kátya Kabanová
Cast of Characters VANYA KUDRJASCH, a schoolteacher, Varvara’s lover GLASCHA, a servant DIKOY, a merchant BORIS GRIGORYEVICH, Dikoy’s nephew, Kátya’s lover FEKLUSCHA, a servant KABANICHA, widow of a rich merchant, Kátya’s mother-in law TICHON KABANOV, Kabanicha’s son, Kátya’s husband KÁTYA KABANOVÁ, Tichon’s wife VARVARA, an adopted daughter of the Kabanovs KULIGIN, friend of Vanya Kudrjasch
© 2003-2013 Thomas Schmall (OperaZuid, Maastricht 2011) Costume Designer Yan Tax
The Infatuation That Inspired the Music: Leoš Janáček & Kamila Stösslová
Janáček was indeed a married man, although not happily. His relationship with his wife became strained further after the deaths of his two children. The true love of his life was a woman named Kamila Stösslová, with whom Janáček kept a correspondence until his death. She was the inspiration for many of his great musical works later in life. Janáček first met Kamila while on a holiday at a spa in Moravia in 1917. Janáček was 38 years older than Kamila at the time of their first meeting; he was infatuated with her beauty and her simple outlook on life which so differed from his own growing fame as a composer. The two maintained an ongoing correspondence until he passed away. Many speculate that Janáček felt Kamila was his “true wife” and that she was tied to him in some way, although she never left her own
Kamila Stösslová with her son Otto in 1917.
Janáček wrote several shorter works for piano each time he visited Kamila and used her as the muse for his string quartet, Intimate Letters. She is also quite clearly the inspiration for his opera, Kátya Kabanová. The two attended a premiere of the work in Prague, and Janáček confessed to her: “I know a marvelous lady, miraculously
husband, nor he his wife.
she is in my mind all the time. My Kátya
Over the years of their correspondence, the
Neumannová! [her maiden name] The
tone of Janáček’s letters changed from harmless flirtation to all-consuming passion. Janáček traveled to Písek in 1927 to visit Kamila. It was this visit that altered the dynamic of their relationship. Kamila allowed Janáček to kiss her, which further ignited his passion for her. “And I kissed you. And you are sitting beside me and I am happy and at peace. In such a way do the days pass for the angels…,” (Leos Janáček to Kamila Stösslová). 14
grows in her, in her, Mrs. Kamila work will be one of my most tender!” (Leos Janáček to Kamila Stösslová, 12 February 1928). Musicologist John Tyrrell published a book that translates and provides commentary on the letters between the two: Intimate Letters: Leos Janáček to Kamila Stösslová, available through Princeton University Press. Source: Tyrrell, John. " Leos Janáček" BBC Music Magazine 1. 22 Dec. 2014 <http://www.classical-music.com/topic/leosjanacek>.
Kátya Productions from the 21st Century One of the most exciting aspects of
LYRIC OPERA OF CHICAGO (2009)
opera is the production process.
- Traditional Production (Time Period,
Depending on the type of audience,
resources, and vision of the production
- Original Language (Czech) with
team, operas can be presented in a
variety of captivating ways! The
- Originally Created for the
following snapshots depict various
productions of Kátya Kabanová that have been performed in the 21st century. OPERA NORTH (2007) - BLO will be performing this version - Sung in English - Set is two-dimensional, set in original time period and location - Dark colors for costumes - Bleak lighting to mimic the
Source: Lyric Opera of Chicago
predicament of the characters
Source: Opera North’s production of Kátya Kabanová;
Source: Lyric Opera of Chicago
Photo Credit: Richard Moran
ENGLISH NATIONAL OPERA (2010)
SPOLETO FESTIVAL (2014)
- Sung in English
- Minimalist Production (not a lot of
- Slanted, rotating set
- Used light to mimic shadow,
- Set had a low ceiling (to show the
background in the landscapes
oppression of the characters - “Updated” costumes for characters
Source: operacritic.com; Photo: Julia Lynn
Source: Embassy of the Czech Republic in London; Photo: Clive Barda
Source: the artsdesk.com; Photo: Clive Barda
Source: operacritic.com; Photo: Julia Lynn
Comparing Libretto and Literature – Play and Libretto Read-Through In 1921, Leoš Janáček wrote the opera Kátya Kabanová based on a play called The Storm by Alexander Ostrovsky, written in 1859. Below are adapted scenes from the play The Storm and the corresponding scenes from Kátya Kabanová. The rest of The Storm is accessible online at http://www.gutenberg.org/files/ 7991/7991-h/7991-h.htm. Scene Comparison #1 The Storm, Act II, Scene III: with TICHON, KABANICHA, and KÁTYA The action takes place in the town of Kalinov, on the banks of the Volga, in summertime. In this scene, Tichon and his wife Kátya are being berated by Kabanicha, Tichon’s mother. Kabanicha scolds Tichon for not showing her enough affection while being too soft with his wife. She orders him to go away on a business trip and to instruct his wife about how to behave in his absence. KABANICHA: Now do you remember everything I've told you? Mind you do remember it! Keep it in your heart! TICHON: Yes, mamma. KABANICHA: Well, now everything is ready. The horses are at the door. You've only to say good-bye and be off in God's name. TICHON: Yes, mamma, it's time I was off. KABANICHA: Well? TICHON: What do you desire? KABANICHA: Why are you standing about? Don't you know the way to do things? Lay your commands upon your wife, exhort her how she is to live in your absence. [Kátya looks at the ground.] TICHON: But she knows quite well without that. KABANICHA: The way you talk! Come, come, give your commands, that I may hear what commands you lay upon her! And then when you come back, you can ask if she has performed everything exactly. TICHON: (standing opposite Kátya). Obey mamma, Kátya. KABANICHA: Tell her not to be saucy to her mother-in-law. TICHON: Don't be saucy! KABANICHA: To revere her mother-in-law as her own mother. 17
TICHON: Revere mamma, Kátya, as your own mother. KABANICHA: Not to sit with her hands in her lap like a fine lady. TICHON: Do some work while I am away! KABANICHA: Not to go staring out of window! TICHON: But, mamma, whenever has she.... KABANICHA: Come, come! TICHON: Don't look out the window! KABANICHA: Not to stare at young fellows while you are away! TICHON: But that is too much, mamma, for mercy's sake! KABANICHA: (severely) Enough of this nonsense! It's your duty to do what your mother tells you. (With a smile) It's always as well when it's forbidden. TICHON: (in great confusion) Don't look at young men! [Kátya looks sternly at him.] KABANICHA: Well, now you can talk by yourselves a little, if you want to. [She leaves.] The Storm, Act II, Scene IV: TICHON and KÁTYA Kátya has been dreaming of a secret lover and is terrified of being unfaithful while Tichon is away. She pleads with him to let her travel with him, or at least to make her swear to be faithful. Kabanicha announces that it is time for Tichon to depart. TICHON: Kátya! (silence) Kátya, you're not angry with me? KÁTYA: (after a protracted silence—shakes her head). No! TICHON: But why are you like this? Come, forgive me! KÁTYA: (still in the same position, slightly shaking her head). Peace be with you! (Hiding her face in her hands) She has hurt me! TICHON: If you take everything to heart so, you'll soon fall into a decline. Why listen to her! You know she must talk! Well then, let her talk, and you let it go in at one ear and out at the other. Come, good-bye, Kátya! KÁTYA: (falling on her husband's neck) Tichon, don't go away! For God's sake, don't go away! Dear one, I implore you!
TICHON: I must, Kátya. When mamma sends me, how can I not go? KÁTYA: Well, take me with you, do take me! TICHON: (freeing himself from her embrace) But it's impossible! KÁTYA: Oh, why, Tichon, impossible? TICHON: Much fun there would be in going with you! You've worried me out of my life here between you! No sooner have I a hope of escaping then you want to fasten yourself upon me. KÁTYA: Why, can it be that you are tired of me? TICHON: No, I'm not tired of you; but to get out of this slavery a man would run away from the loveliest woman in the world! Just consider for a minute; I may not be good for much; but I'm a man anyway; and living all my life as you see, one's glad to run away from one's wife even. Why, when I think now, that for two whole weeks there'll be no storm hanging over me, no fetters on my legs—do you suppose I can think of my wife? KÁTYA: How can I care for you, when you say things like that? TICHON: Say things? Why, what things am I to say? God knows what it is you're afraid of! You won't be alone, you know, you'll be with mamma. KÁTYA: Don't speak of her, don't torture my heart! Ah, how wretched I am, how wretched! (weeps) Where can I go? Whom can I cling to? Merciful Heavens, I am lost! TICHON: Come, be quiet! KÁTYA: (goes up to her husband and draws him to her) Tichon, dear one, if you would stay, if you would take me with you, how I would love you, how I would cherish you, my dear one! TICHON: I can't make you out, Kátya! Often there's no getting a word out of you, to say nothing of a kiss, and now you come coaxing up to me of your own accord. KÁTYA: Tichon, what are you leaving me to? There'll be trouble when you're away! There'll be trouble! TICHON: Now, come, I can't, so it's no use. KÁTYA: Well, here then! Take from me some dreadful vow... TICHON: What vow? KÁTYA: A vow that I will not dare while you're away on any ground whatever to speak with any outsider, nor see anyone—that I will not even dare to think of anyone but you.
TICHON: But what's this for? KÁTYA: Set my heart at rest, do this for me! TICHON: But one can never answer for oneself like that, anything may come into one's head. KÁTYA: (falling on her knees) May I never look upon my father nor my mother! May I die impenitent, if I... TICHON: (pulling her up) Hush! Nonsense! What wickedness is this! I won't hear you! [Voice of KABANICHA heard offstage, "It's time to start, Tichon!"] Kátya Kabanová, libretto excerpt from Act I: KÁTYA, TICHON, and KABANICHA KÁTYA: Tichon, never leave me! Don’t go, my darling, never leave me. TICHON: How can I, Kátya? How can I not go when mamma has asked me to? KÁTYA: Then take me with you, Tichon! Take me too. TICHON: (moving away from her arms) I cannot do that. KÁTYA: Oh, but why can’t you do it? So then you love me no more? TICHON: Love? Yes – of course! But in this kind of slave existence, even a man with the loveliest wife in the world cannot bear it, so when a man has lived all his life as I have done, he runs away and leaves his wife. KÁTYA: When you speak to me harshly, oh, how am I still to love you? TICHON: Only words. Only talk. What am I to make of you? KÁTYA: What will become of me when you go? Who will look after me? TICHON: Stop it! KÁTYA: Tichon, my dear, either stay here with me or let me go with you, then my dearest, I would love you, love you so tenderly. Tichon, don’t leave me here without you. TICHON: I don’t understand you, Kátya! Sometimes I can never get a word out of you – but now? KÁTYA: Tichon, don’t leave me here alone. TICHON: You know I cannot help it. Nothing I can do. KÁTYA: If you go something dreadful will happen. Something will happen. Do you know what you must do Make me swear an oath to you – swear on my sacred soul. TICHON: What kind of oath?
KÁTYA: An oath like this – that while you are gone on your journey, I will never for any reason either speak to a stranger or even look at one. That I will never dare to think of another man but only you, Tichon. TICHON: But why should I? KÁTYA: Do just this one thing for me, set my heart at rest. TICHON: How could anyone keep such promises? KÁTYA: (falling on her knees) May I never see my mother or see my father again, may no priest absolve me when I die, if I should… (Tichon raises her up) TICHON: How can I? How can I? It is a terrible sin. KABANICHA: (offstage) It is time, Tichon. (Enters) It is time, the carriage is at the gate. Everything’s all prepared. TICHON: (undecided) I know, mamma, now it is time to go! KABANICHA: Well then, don’t just stand there. TICHON: What are your wishes? KABANICHA: Don’t you know what’s proper? Tell your wife how she should comfort herself while you are absent. TICHON: I have no need to tell her that. KABANICHA: I want no excuses. Give your orders clearly so I too can hear just what you tell her. And then when you’re back home you can find out just how well she’s obeyed them. TICHON: Do all that mamma… KABANICHA: Make it clear that she must always respect me. TICHON: And respect her. KABANICHA: And must honor me as she would her own mother TICHON: Kátya, honor mamma as you would your own mother. KABANICHA: And not sit about all the time with her hands in her lap. TICHON: And be sure to help mamma while I am absent. KABANICHA: And not stare out of the window. TICHON: Oh, but mamma. KABANICHA: Say it all. 21
TICHON: Don’t look out of the window. KABANICHA: And keep her eyes off other men. TICHON: Oh, but mamma dear, how can I? KABANICHA: What’s all the fuss about? It’s just as well to say everything. TICHON: Keep your eyes off other men. (Kátya breaks down) KABANICHA: And now have a word together. (Exits) TICHON: Are you angry with me? KÁTYA: No. (harshly) Good-bye. (Enter Kabanicha) KABANICHA: Now, Tichon, it is time. God be with you. Scene Comparison #2 The Storm, Act III, Scene VII: BORIS and KÁTYA Varvara, a young girl adopted by the Kabanovs, has arranged for Boris and Kátya to secretly meet in the garden at night. Kátya and Boris become enraptured with one another and proclaim their love. BORIS: Here I am waiting for something. And what I am waiting for—I know not and cannot picture to myself; only my heart is throbbing and every nerve is quivering. I cannot think even what to say to her, I can hardly breathe, my knees are shaking! My stupid heart is in my mouth, I can't quiet it. Here she comes. (Kátya slowly comes down the path, wrapped in a large white kerchief, her eyes fixed on the ground. Silence) Is it you? Kátya Kabanová? (Silence) How can I ever thank you—I don't know. (Silence) If you only knew, Kátya Kabanová, how I love you! [Tries to take her hand] KÁTYA: (with terror, but not raising her eyes). Do not touch me, do not touch me! Alas, alas! BORIS: Do not be angry! KÁTYA: Go away from me, go away, unhappy man! Do you know that never by any prayer can I be free of this sin, never again! Like a stone it will lie on my soul, like a stone. BORIS: Do not send me away! KÁTYA: Why did you come? Why did you come for my undoing? I am a wife, you know, I must live with my husband, till I lie in the grave... BORIS: You told me yourself to come... KÁTYA: Till the grave; do you understand?
BORIS: Better if I had never seen you. KÁTYA: (with great emotion) You see what I am preparing for myself? What is the only place left for me? BORIS: Calm yourself. (Takes her hand) Sit down! KÁTYA: Why do you wish for my ruin? BORIS: How can I wish to injure you, when I love you more than anything in the world, more than myself? KÁTYA: No, no! You have been the undoing of me. BORIS: Am I such a wicked wretch? KÁTYA: (shaking her head) I am lost, lost, lost! BORIS: God forbid! I'd rather perish myself! KÁTYA: Have I not forsaken my home, and come out to you in the night? BORIS: You came of your own free will. KÁTYA: I have no will. If I had had any will left of my own, I would not have come to you. (Lifts her eyes and looks at Boris. A short silence.) Your will is upon me now, don't you see that? [Sinks on his neck] BORIS: (puts his arms about Kátya) My life! KÁTYA: Ah, if death would come quickly now! BORIS: Why die when life is so sweet for us? KÁTYA: No, life is not for me! I know it is not for me! BORIS: Don't say such things, please, don't torture me. KÁTYA: Yes, you are happy, you are free as the air, but I…! BORIS: No one shall know of our love. Do you think I have no feeling for you? KÁTYA: Ah! Why feel for me, it's no one's fault. I have come to this of myself. Don't think of me! Anyone may know, anyone may see what I do! (Takes Boris in her arms) Since I have not feared to do wrong for you, am I likely to fear the judgment of men? They do say, it will be better for one, if one has to suffer here on earth for any sin. BORIS: Come, why think of that, when we are happy now! KÁTYA: Why, truly! I shall have long years to weep enough hereafter. 23
BORIS: And I was so frightened, I thought you would send me away. KÁTYA: (smiling) Send you away! How could I? Not with my heart. If you had not come, think I should have gone to you myself. BORIS: I never even guessed you loved me. KÁTYA: I have loved you for so long. It's as though, for my sins, you came here to torment me. Directly I saw you I ceased to belong to myself. From the first moment, I believe, if you had beckoned to me, I would have followed you; to the ends of the earth I would have followed you, and never looked back. BORIS: Has your husband gone away for long? KÁTYA: For a fortnight. BORIS: O, then we will be happy! That is a long time. KÁTYA: We will be happy. And then...(sinks into dreamy musing) if they lock me up, that will be my death! And if they don't lock me up, I will find some way to see you again! Kátya Kabanová, libretto excerpt from Act II: BORIS and KÁTYA BORIS: And I still wait here, and don’t know what I wait for; and I can’t imagine what it may be. Oh, how my heart beats. What am I to say to her? She’s here. (Kátya comes quietly down the footpath, her eyes on the ground) Is that you, Kátya Kabanová? I don’t know how I can ever thank you. Oh, if you knew, Kátya Kabanová. Oh, if you only knew…(tries to take her hand) how much I love you! KÁTYA: Stay away from me. No, stay away from me. Leave me here alone. BORIS: How much I love you! KÁTYA: You know that I can never atone for my sin. It lies so heavy on my guilty soul, lies so heavy. BORIS: Don’t send me away. Don’t send me away from you like this. KÁTYA: What did you come for? You know I am married and until I die must live with my own husband. So what is it you want then? You just want my ruin. BORIS: Why should I want your ruin? When to me you are more than all the world itself. KÁTYA: Do you want to ruin me, yes, ruin me? BORIS: What’s your will then? KÁTYA: Since I left my home to come here in the night and secretly, my own will is abandoned. If my will were free any longer I would not have come to meet you here. You must see that. (raises her eyes, looks at Boris with mounting excitement) It is your will conquering my will! You must surely see! (throws her arms 24
around Boris’ neck) Light of my life! BORIS: Light of my life! KÁTYA: Now might I die, and die happy. BORIS: Why do you talk of death, when it is so sweet to live? KÁTYA: No, not so. I must not live. BORIS: Don’t say that! You make me so sad. Can’t you see how much I suffer with you? KÁTYA: Why should you suffer? No one’s to blame for this but only, only I who came to you. Kill me but don’t pity me! So all may see me, all may know me – the guilty one! BORIS: You make too much of it. KÁTYA: I am guilty of a sin in loving you… Scene Comparison #3 The Storm, Act V, Scene III: KÁTYA and BORIS Tichon has returned unexpectedly and Kátya is distraught with guilt due to her love for Boris. At the appearance of Kabanicha and Tichon she breaks down and confesses that she has sinned with Boris. Kátya runs out into the storm and is in despair, wanting only to see Boris again and then die. She calls into the night for Boris and he comes to her. As she tries to gather her fevered thoughts, Boris explains that he is being sent to work far away. Left alone, Kátya drowns herself in the river. BORIS: (not seeing Kátya) My God! It's her voice! Where is she? (Looks round) KÁTYA: (runs to him and falls on his neck) At last I see you again! (Weeps on him. Silence) BORIS: We are weeping together, God has brought us together. KÁTYA: You have not forgotten me? BORIS: Me forget you? Don't! KÁTYA: Oh no, oh no! You're not angry? BORIS: How could I be angry? KÁTYA: Forgive me, anyway! I did not mean to harm you; but I was not free myself. I did not know what I was doing, what I was saying. BORIS: Oh don't! How can you! How can you! KÁTYA: Well, how is it with you? How are you now?
BORIS: I am going away. KÁTYA: Where are you going? BORIS: Far away, Kátya, to Siberia. KÁTYA: Take me with you, away from here! BORIS: I cannot, Kátya. I am not going of my own free will; my uncle is sending me, he has the horses waiting for me already; I only begged for a minute, I wanted to take a last farewell of the spot where we used to see each other. KÁTYA: Go and God be with you! Don't grieve over me. At first your heart will be heavy perhaps, poor boy, and then you will begin to forget. BORIS: Why talk of me! I am free at least; how about you? What of your husband's mother? KÁTYA: She tortures me, she locks me up. She tells everyone and tells my husband: "Don't trust her, she's sly and deceitful." They all follow me about all day long and laugh at me before my face. At every word they reproach me with you. BORIS: And your husband? KÁTYA: One minute he's kind, one minute he's angry, but he's drinking all the while. He is loathsome to me, loathsome; his kindness is worse than his blows. BORIS: You are wretched, Kátya? KÁTYA: So wretched, so wretched, that it were better to die! BORIS: Who could have dreamed that we should have to suffer such anguish for our love! I'd better have run away then! KÁTYA: It was an evil day for me when I saw you. Joy I have known little of, but of sorrow, of sorrow, how much! And how much is still before me! But why think of what is to be! I am seeing you now, that they cannot take away from me; and I care for nothing more. All I wanted was to see you. Now my heart is much easier; as though a load had been taken off me. I kept thinking you were angry with me, that you were cursing me... BORIS: How can you! How can you! KÁTYA: No, that's not what I mean; that's not what I wanted to say! I was sick with longing for you, that's it; and now, I have seen you... BORIS: They must not come upon us here!
KÁTYA: Stay a minute! Stay a minute! Something I meant to say to you! I've forgotten! Something I had to say! Everything is in confusion in my head, I can remember nothing. BORIS: It's time I went, Kátya! KÁTYA: Wait a minute, a minute! BORIS: Come, what did you want to say? KÁTYA: I will tell you directly. (Thinking a moment) Yes! As you travel along the highroads, do not miss over one beggar, give to everyone, and bid them pray for my sinful soul. BORIS: Ah, if these people knew what it is to me to part from you! My God! God grant they may one day know such bitterness as I know now. Farewell, Kátya! (embraces her and tries to go away) Miscreants! monsters! Ah, if I were strong! KÁTYA: Stay, stay! Let me look at you for the last time (gazes into his face). Now all's over with me. The end is come for me. Now, God be with thee. Go, go quickly! BORIS: (moves away a few steps and stands still). Kátya, I feel a dread of something! You have something fearful in your mind? I shall be in torture as I go, thinking of you. KÁTYA: No, no! Go in God's name! (Boris is about to go up to her) No, no, enough. BORIS: (sobbing) God be with thee! There's only one thing to pray God for, that she may soon be dead, that she may not be tortured long! Farewell! KÁTYA: Farewell! [Boris leaves. Kátya follows him with her eyes and stands for some time, lost in thought.] The Storm, Act V, Scene IV: KÁTYA KÁTYA: (alone) Where am I going now? Home? No, home or the grave—it's the same. Yes, home or the grave!...the grave! Better the grave...A little grave under a tree...how sweet...The sunshine warms it, the sweet rain falls on it...in the spring the grass grows on it, soft and sweet grass...the birds will fly in the tree and sing, and bring up their little ones, and flowers will bloom; golden, red and blue...all sorts of flowers, (dreamily) all sorts of flowers...how still! How sweet! My heart's as it were lighter! But of life I don't want to think! Live again! No, no, no use...life is not good!...And people are hateful to me, and the house is hateful, and the walls are hateful! I will not go there! No, no, I will not go! If I go to them, they'll come and talk, and what do I want with that? Ah, it has grown dark! And there is singing again somewhere! What are they singing? I can't make out...To die now...What are they singing? It is just the same whether death comes, or of myself...but live I cannot! A sin to die so!...They won't pray for me! If anyone loves me he will pray...they will fold my arms crossed in the grave! Oh yes...I remember. But when they catch me, and take me home by force...Ah, quickly, quickly! (Goes to the river bank. Aloud) My dear one! My sweet! Farewell! [Exit] 27
Kátya Kabanová, libretto excerpt from Act III: KÁTYA and BORIS BORIS: That is her calling me. KÁTYA: Answer me! Oh, answer me! BORIS: Kátya! (embrace) KÁTYA & BORIS: Now once again I see you! BORIS: Thanks be to God! KÁTYA: You have not forgotten me? BORIS: Forget you, my dearest! How could I? KÁTYA: No, no! It was something else I wanted to tell you. Then you are not angry? BORIS: How could I be angry? KÁTYA: I never meant any harm. I had surely lost my reason when I told him all about us. No, not that! It was something else I wanted to tell you. (recollecting quickly) What will you do now? Tell me that. BORIS: Uncle is sending me to Siberia on a business journey. KÁTYA: Then take me with you. Ah, no! God bless you, go and forget me. BORIS: It’s easier for a man. I shall be free to do as I wish. But you… What of Kabanicha, what will she do? KÁTYA: Lock me in, torture me, tell the townspeople what I did, so when I go out walking they’ll mock and laugh in my face. BORIS: And your husband? KÁTYA: Sometimes he is gentle, then he gets angry. Drinks then, and beats me. (losing herself in thought) No, not that! I want to talk to you of other things. It was something else I wanted to tell you. I was so sick with longing for you, and now, now at last I see you once again. Listen, listen… something I had to tell you… everything is confused. BORIS: It is time. KÁTYA: I can no longer remember it. Listen, this is what I’m thinking! When you have left me, give alms to each beggar you meet with. Ask them to pray for my soul. (Behind the scene, sounds like a sigh of the river. It is now quite dark) And for the last time look in my eyes as I look in your eyes. What is that song they sing? God be with you. Now go. God be with you! BORIS: Oh, if they only knew how cruel parting is. Cruel! (Exit) KÁTYA: And still they sing that song. And flowers will blossom there, yellow flowers, blue flowers, red flowers. So peaceful, so lovely, so lovely, and I must die! (Crosses her arms and jumps into the river) 28
Kátya Kabanová – What to Listen For General Guiding Questions: • What instruments are playing? • How fast is the music? Are there sudden changes in speed? • Is the rhythm steady or unsteady? • Key/Mode: Is it major or minor? (Does it sound bright, happy, sad, urgent, dangerous?) • Dynamics/volume: Is the music loud or soft? Are there sudden changes in volume (Either in the voice or orchestra)? • What is the contour of the line? Does the voice move smoothly or does it make frequent or erratic jumps? • Do the vocal lines move noticeably downward or upward? • What effect do the above factors have on you as a listener? • Does the type of voice singing (baritone, soprano, tenor, mezzo, etc.) have an effect on the listener? • Predictability: Do the melodies end as you would expect or do they surprise you?
Second Listening and Follow-up Questions: • What is the orchestra doing in contrast to the voice? How do they interact? • What kinds of images, settings, or emotions come to mind when listening to the music? Does it remind you of anything you have experienced in your own life? • Do particularly emphatic notes (low, high, held, etc.) correspond to dramatic moments in the text? • What type of character fits this music? Romantic? Comic? Serious? Etc.
LISTENING #1: It’s Time, Tichon (Act I Finale) Tichon’s mother has ordered him to leave town on a business trip. Kátya begs him to allow her to join him, for she fears what will happen when he is away. (She has been having dreams about having an affair with another man.) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f7vbazHGe84
LISTENING #2 The two pairs of lovers are meeting in the garden (Act II, Scene II Finale) Varvara arrives, joining Vanya in a song. Boris is also there, so Varvara tells him to wait and he will “get what he is looking for.” Varvara and Vanya leave to take a walk by the river. When Kátya appears, Boris proclaims his love, but she is torn between her sense of duty as a wife to Tichon and her passion for Boris. She eventually gives in to passion. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3g54z2MHX9I
LISTENING #3 Birds Will Sing As They Fly Above Me (Kátya’s Final Aria) Kátya’s lover Boris has just revealed that his uncle is sending him away to Siberia. Kátya cannot cope with this news and sings this aria before throwing herself into the Volga river. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qgPw8iYWqYI
**Text synopses for these listening excerpts can also be found in the section “Comparing Libretto and Literature – Play and Libretto Read-Through”**
Lesson Topic: Familial Obligations Grade Level 9-10 Pre-Performance Lesson Plans, Length of Lesson: Variable, 2-3 Class Periods Stage 1 – Desired Results Content Standard(s): Reading Standard MA.8.A: Analyze a work of fiction, poetry, or drama using a variety of critical lenses (e.g., formal, psychological, historical, sociological, feminist). CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.9-10.2: Write informative/explanatory texts to examine and convey complex ideas, concepts, and information clearly and accurately through the effective selection, organization, and analysis of content. CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.9-10.3: Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, well-chosen details, and well-structured event sequences. Understanding(s)/goals Students will understand: • How to evaluate a work based on the social beliefs of the time • How to compare social beliefs from one time period with their own • How to compare/contrast their family obligations with those of the characters
Essential Question(s): • How have family dynamics changed since this opera was written? • What type of family dynamics do you relate to from the selected readings?
Student objectives (outcomes): Students will be able to: • Compare the social attitudes between two different time periods • Write an essay based on personal experiences with family Stage 2 – Assessment Evidence Performance Task(s): Other Evidence: • Organize ideas from their own experiences • Group discussion regarding familial into a narrative obligations and motivations for students • Produce a well-constructed essay explaining after the read-through of libretto excerpts personal experiences with family Stage 3 – Learning Plan
Learning Activities: Total Time: 2-3 class periods Introductory Activity: Discussion and contextualizing: (1-2 class periods) • Read through selected libretto excerpts from Kátya Kabanová. As a class, discuss the students’ understanding of social conventions regarding obligations to family. • As a class, discuss how these social factors have either changed or stayed the same. • Allow students time to “free-write” and brainstorm a time when they felt an obligation to do something for a family member (or someone very close to them). Developmental Activity: Writing Activity: (At home) • Have students respond to the following prompt in essay format: Describe a time in your life where you felt obligated to do something for your family members. What drove you to do it? How did you feel before and after? How important a role does family play in our society today? Closing Activity: Sharing Activity: (1 class period) • Allow students to share an excerpt from their essays with the class. They should choose one or two of the statements from the essay prompt to share. This can be done aloud, on the board, or on large chart paper so that it can be easily seen by all. • Compare and contrast the students’ responses to see if there are any prevalent themes.
Lesson Topic: Oppression in Society Grade Level 11-12 Pre-Performance Lesson Plans, Length of Lesson: 1-2 Class Periods Stage 1 – Desired Results Content Standard(s): Reading Standard MA.8.A: Analyze a work of fiction, poetry, or drama using a variety of critical lenses (e.g., formal, psychological, historical, sociological, feminist). CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.11-12.1: Initiate and participate effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grades 11–12 topics, texts, and issues, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively. b. Work with peers to promote civil, democratic discussions and decision-making, set clear goals and deadlines, and establish individual roles as needed. c. Propel conversations by posing and responding to questions that probe reasoning and evidence; ensure a hearing for a full range of positions on a topic or issue; clarify, verify, or challenge ideas and conclusions; and promote divergent and creative perspectives. d. Respond thoughtfully to diverse perspectives; synthesize comments, claims, and evidence made on all sides of an issue; resolve contradictions when possible; and determine what additional information or research is required to deepen the investigation or complete the task. CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.11-12.2: Integrate multiple sources of information presented in diverse formats and media (e.g., visually, quantitatively, orally) in order to make informed decisions and solve problems, evaluating the credibility and accuracy of each source and noting any discrepancies among the data. CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.11-12.2: Write informative/explanatory texts to examine and convey complex ideas, concepts, and information clearly and accurately through the effective selection, organization, and analysis of content. b. Develop the topic thoroughly by selecting the most significant and relevant facts, extended definitions, concrete details, quotations, or other information and examples appropriate to the audience's knowledge of the topic. d. Use precise language, domain-specific vocabulary, and techniques such as metaphor, simile, and analogy to manage the complexity of the topic. e. Establish and maintain a formal style and objective tone while attending to the norms and conventions of the discipline in which they are writing. Understanding(s)/goals Students will understand: • How to evaluate a work based on the social beliefs of the time • How to suspend contemporary ideals in order to understand the mindset of a past generation • How to write convincingly and support their point of view
Essential Question(s): • What were the social expectations of men and women in 1860s Russia? • What do social expectations look like today? • What does oppression look like in our society today?
Student objectives (outcomes): Students will be able to: • Compare social attitudes between two different time periods • Compare their personal experiences to those of a certain character • Assess the credibility of a certain mindset within a given time period and social sphere • Express their opinions clearly and logically in writing Stage 2 – Assessment Evidence Performance Task(s): • Class discussion regarding the theme of oppression in Kátya Kabanová • Read through selected excerpts from the play and libretto from study guide • Create an essay to organize their ideas
Other Evidence: • Gauge students’ familiarity with Russian history and familial hierarchy • How is oppression developed as a theme in the play?
Stage 3 – Learning Plan Learning Activities: Total Time: 1-2 class periods Introductory Activity: Discussion and contextualizing: (1 class period) • Discuss the plot, characters, and social ideals of Kátya Kabanová. (See Kátya Kabanová synopsis) • Listen to selected arias that develop the themes found in the synopsis (See “Libretto and Play Read-Through” and “What To Listen For” pages) Developmental Activity: In-depth discussion/reading: (1 class period) • Dramatic read-through of selected excerpts from Kátya Kabanová and The Storm - Assign the roles in the play to different students • Follow-up class discussion regarding the motivations of each character: who do they feel is the oppressor in the story? The oppressed? Why? Closing Activity: Writing Assignment: (Outside of class) • Have students complete an essay in response to the following prompts: What does oppression look like today? Choose a character from the selected readings and discuss how they were oppressed. Imagine a time when you felt oppressed in some way. Compare and contrast the actions and decisions that you made in relation to those of your chosen character.
Lesson Topic: Character Relationships Grade Level 9-10 Post-Performance Lesson Plans, Length of Lesson: 1-2 Class Periods Stage 1 – Desired Results Content Standard(s): Reading Standard MA.8.A: Analyze a work of fiction, poetry, or drama using a variety of critical lenses (e.g., formal, psychological, historical, sociological, feminist). CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.9-10.3: Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, well-chosen details, and well-structured event sequences. a. Engage and orient the reader by setting out a problem, situation, or observation, establishing one or multiple point(s) of view, and introducing a narrator and/or characters; create a smooth progression of experiences or events. b. Use narrative techniques, such as dialogue, pacing, description, reflection, and multiple plot lines, to develop experiences, events, and/or characters. c. Use a variety of techniques to sequence events so that they build on one another to create a coherent whole. d. Use precise words and phrases, telling details, and sensory language to convey a vivid picture of the experiences, events, setting, and/or characters. CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.9-10.9: Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research. Understanding(s)/goals Students will understand: • How to interpret character motivations based on their relationships with others • How to justify an opinion using evidence from a work of fiction
Essential Question(s): • Discuss the obligation between family members that you witnessed in the opera. • How do the characters relate to one another? How did these relationships influence the decisions characters made? • What types of sacrifices were made due to family obligations?
Student objectives (outcomes): Students will be able to: • Understand the characters’ thought processes, motives, and decisions • Write engagingly in order to justify their point of view Stage 2 – Assessment Evidence Performance Task(s): • Attend Boston Lyric Opera’s dress rehearsal performance of Kátya Kabanová • Create an essay that synthesizes student ideas with those found in the opera
Other Evidence: • Discuss how to use persuasion effectively • Class discussion and free-write about relationships between characters and how that affects their motivations
Stage 3 – Learning Plan Learning Activities: Total Time: Variable (1-2 class periods) Introductory Activity: (1 class period) • Observe the final dress rehearsal of BLO’s production Kátya Kabanová • Have students compare/contrast the relationships they viewed in the opera with the relationships in their own life (free-write or aloud) Developmental Activity: (1 class period) • As a class, discuss the character motivations witnessed in the opera • Choose a particular character from the opera and analyze the major actions taken by them. Did this character act based on their own feelings or desires? Do you think this character was influenced by another character in particular? If this character was influenced by someone else, was it a family member? Closing Activity: Writing Activity: (At home) • Students will respond to the following essay prompt: Discuss the obligation between family members that you witnessed in the opera. How do you think characters rationalized the decisions they made? Were their actions largely based on other characters’ opinions? How large a role does “familial obligation” play in the opera?
Lesson Topic: Defending Character Motivations Grade Level 11-12 Post-Performance Lesson Plans, Length of lesson: 1-2 Class Periods Stage 1 – Desired Results Content Standard(s): CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.11-12.1: Initiate and participate effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grades 11-12 topics, texts, and issues, building on others' ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively. c. Propel conversations by posing and responding to questions that probe reasoning and evidence; ensure a hearing for a full range of positions on a topic or issue; clarify, verify, or challenge ideas and conclusions; and promote divergent and creative perspectives. d. Respond thoughtfully to diverse perspectives; synthesize comments, claims, and evidence made on all sides of an issue; resolve contradictions when possible; and determine what additional information or research is required to deepen the investigation or complete the task. CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.11-12.4 Present information, findings, and supporting evidence, conveying a clear and distinct perspective, such that listeners can follow the line of reasoning, alternative or opposing perspectives are addressed, and the organization, development, substance, and style are appropriate to purpose, audience, and a range of formal and informal tasks. CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.11-12.1 Write arguments to support claims in an analysis of substantive topics or texts, using valid reasoning and relevant and sufficient evidence. a. Introduce precise, knowledgeable claim(s), establish the significance of the claim(s), distinguish the claim(s) from alternate or opposing claims, and create an organization that logically sequences claim(s), counterclaims, reasons, and evidence. b. Develop claim(s) and counterclaims fairly and thoroughly, supplying the most relevant evidence for each while pointing out the strengths and limitations of both in a manner that anticipates the audience's knowledge level, concerns, values, and possible biases. Understanding(s)/goals Students will understand: • How to express opinions articulately • How to synthesize and organize ideas of a group • How to use persuasion effectively
Essential Question(s): • Now that you have seen the way in which Kátya dealt with her feelings of oppression, how does this change your viewpoint on the subject? • Why do you think Kátya chose to end her life? • Do you think Kátya’s final decision was necessary given her circumstances?
Student objectives (outcomes): Students will be able to: • Logically defend their argument against a competing idea • Work in a group cooperatively • Orally present their argument to a group of students 37
Stage 2 – Assessment Evidence Performance Task(s): • Attend the final dress rehearsal of BLO’s production Kátya Kabanová • Class discussion and free-writing time regarding the essential questions • Students will form groups based on their answers to the essential questions • Students will create a case for their opinions and present it to the class in a debate setting
Other Evidence: • Students will discover how a debate works • Students will discover how to use persuasion effectively
Stage 3 – Learning Plan Learning Activities: Total Time: 3-4 class periods Introductory Activity: • Attend the final dress rehearsal of Kátya Kabanová Discussion and contextualizing: (1 class period) • Students will free-write in response to the essential questions • Students will share their answers in group discussion with the whole class • Class discussion regarding what a debate looks like and what are its goals • Students form groups with peers with similar responses to essential questions Developmental Activity: Mock Trial Activity: (1 class period) • In groups, students will create a 5-7 minute defense of their argument for or against Kátya’s final decision • Students should use contextual evidence from the opera to support their decision (students can use what they viewed at the performance, they may go back to the synopsis provided in the study guide, or use the many resources available online for research) • Students will participate in a debate (two groups for each viewpoint) Closing Activity: Student Presentations: (1-2 class periods) • Students will take turns presenting their evidence to the class while remaining classmates listen to evidence and vote on whether the group has “won” their case, noting the strengths and weaknesses of each group’s arguments.
References and Resources Listening Examples: #1: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f7vbazHGe84 #2: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3g54z2MHX9I #3: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qgPw8iYWqYI
Works Cited: Encyclopedia Britannica Editors. “Leoš Janáček Biography.” Encyclopedia Britannica Chicago: Encyclopedia Britannic, 2014. Web. 28 Oct. 2014. Opera North Study Guide. Kátya Kabanová, 2007 Tyrrell, John. " Leos Janáček" BBC Music Magazine 1. 22 Dec. 2014 <http:// www.classical-music.com/topic/leos-janacek>.
Readings and Libretto: The Project Gutenberg EBook of The Storm Title: The Storm Author: Aleksandr Nicolaevich Ostrovsky Translator: Constance Garnett Release Date: May 12, 2013 [EBook #7991] Language: English Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1 Produced by Eric Eldred, S.R.Ellison and the DP Proofreading Team Title: Kátya Kabanová: Libretto in English Uniform Title: Kát'a Kabanová. Libretto. English Author: Janáček, Leoš Publisher: [Place of publication not identified] : Universal Edition : Sole agent, European American Music, Clifton, N.J., ©1950.
Boston Lyric Opera