The Seattle Public Library will host preview lectures of Seattle Opera's upcoming production of Leoš Janáček's "Katya Kabanova" at several locations throughout the city in January and February.

Library events and programs are free and open to the public. Registration is not required. Free parking is available at the branches.

"Katya Kabanova" is a 1921 opera by the Czech composer and is considered by many to be his first "mature" opera, despite that he was 67 years old when it premiered. In the opera, sheltered Katya-who is recently awakened to true love-longs to be free of her dreary arranged marriage and monstrous mother-in-law. Will her fragile world survive when pent-up passions burst forth? Overflowing with startlingly original music inspired by Slavic folk songs, Janáček's romantic tragedy weaves a visceral, dreamlike story of isolation and provincial oppression.

Featuring local opera experts, these hour-long presentations will include recorded musical excerpts designed to enhance the enjoyment and appreciation of the production. Times and locations are listed below.

West Seattle Branch
2306 42nd Ave. S.W., 206-684-7444

  • 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 29

Green Lake Branch
7364 E. Green Lake Dr. N., 206-684-7547

  • 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 5

Northeast Branch
6801 35th Ave. N.E., 206-684-7539

  • 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 7

Featuring professional singers and an accompanist, these hour-long presentations will take you on a journey through the story and music of the opera. Times and locations are listed below.

Ballard Branch
5614 22nd Ave. N.W., 206-684-4089

  • 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 22

Central Library
1000 Fourth Ave., Level 1, Microsoft Auditorium, 206-386-4636

  • Noon to 1 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 23