This production of Katia Kabanova, recorded at Madrid's Teatro Real in December 2008, received universal acclaim from the Spanish critics. Much of the credit goes to the stunning beauty of Robert Carsen's theatrical production, the magnificent direction and a bold and powerfully poetic stage design. All the action takes place on a huge expanse of water, filled with the reflections of extraordinarily graceful images shaped by exquisite lighting. The cast, dominated by the remarkable Finnish soprano Karita Mattila, is the perfect match for Janacek's masterpiece. The rare talent of conductor Jirí Belohlávek provides a musical direction that brings out every element of the story - all the passion, subtlety, fragility and drama. Mattila's performance embodies all the intensity needed to portray Katia the dreamer at the beginning of the opera and the tormented Katia at its close.