One of Ostrovsky's most poetical works, The Storm is set in Kalinov, a provincial town on the banks of the Upper Volga. Trapped in an unhappy marriage, Katerína is tormented by her widowed mother-in-law, Marfa Kabanova. Katerína seeks solace in an affair with a similarly toermented young lover, and the confession of this affair to her husband leads ultimately to tragedy. The Storm was a great success on its first performance the Maly Theatre, Moscow, in November 1859, and continues to be critically regarded as one of Ostrovsky's best plays. It inspired Janácek's opera Katia Kabanova.
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