Janacek: Katya Kabanova (In English) - Haywood, Fisher, Woollam; Mackerras. London, 1973
Listen to a Sample:
My regulars here all know that I have a soft sport for opera in English and if ever there was a recording that exemplified the merits of opera in English this is it! Not only is the sound crystalline, but the diction of the singers is first-rate, to the point that in compiling the track info, I didn't even have to refer to the score, I just took it as dictation. The cast is lead by Lorna Haywood in the title role. Haywood was a regular at Sadler's Wells and Covent Garden. Her voice was lyrical in nature but it had reserves of power that allowed her to dabble in roles like Sieglinde. She came along just after Marie Collier's death left a void in the world of Janacek and she went on to sing in The Makropulos Case, Jenufa and The Excursions of Mr. Broucek. Sylvia Fisher sings the formidable Kabanicha. Although well past her prime, her austere presence in this part is nonetheless bone-chilling. Charles Mackerras not only conducts but is responsible for the critical edition used in this performance. The sound is excellent.