Kát'a Kabanová, Janácek's 1921 tragedy, is proof if any were needed that tales of personal oppression and turmoil will always make fine raw material for opera composers. Janácek took Ostrovsky's tumultuous drama of infidelity , The Storm, and created a compelling piece in which his music heightens the relationship between the troubled landscape of Kát'a's inner mind and the elements doing battle outside. In 1988, this Glyndebourne Festival production successfully distilled the heroine's wretched journey from put-upon wife and daughter-in-law to suicide via the ecstasy of a forbidden love affair into 100 minutes of intensely emotional operatic drama. At its heart, Janácek's unique tonal score underlines a powerful, almost naturalistic dialogue and exposes the impact of Kát'a's experiences on her escalating self-destruction. Felicity Palmer's Kabanicha - the mother-in-law from hell and the real instrument of Kát'a's downfall - is curiously remote and muted rather than the domineering figure of fear that we might expect. But the singing, particularly by Nancy Gustafson (tremendously affecting and emotionally convincing in the title role) and Ryland Davies as Kát'a's weak husband Tichon, is outstanding. Gustafson's performance alone makes this essential viewing for anybody with a passion for the great modern soprano roles.