Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk DistrictLedi Makbet Mtsenskogo Uyezda
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Dmitri Shostakovich (1906 – 1975)
Opera in 4 acts
Libretto by Alexander Preis, based on the novelle by Nikolai Leskow
First performed on 22nd January, 1934 at the Maly Theater St. Petersburg (Leningrad)
Premiered at the Norwegian National Opera and Ballet Oslo on 5th September, 2014
Premiered at the Deutsche Oper Berlin on 25th January, 2015
In Russian language with German and English surtitles
|Director||Ole Anders Tandberg|
|Choir Conductor||William Spaulding|
|Boris Timofeyevich Izmailov||John Tomlinson|
|Zinoviy Borisovich Izmailov||Thomas Blondelle|
|Katerina Lvovna Izmailova||Evelyn Herlitzius|
|Aksinya / A female convict||Nadine Secunde|
|Local Nihilist||Burkhard Ulrich|
|Porter / Policeman / Sentry||Noel Bouley|
|Workman in a Mill||Thomas Lehman|
|Police Inspector||Seth Carico|
|Sonyetka||Dana Beth Miller|
|Old Convict||Stephen Bronk|
|Ghost of Boris Timofeyevich||John Tomlinson|
|Chorus Master||Chor der Deutschen Oper Berlin|
|Orchestra||Orchester der Deutschen Oper Berlin|
The pivotal character of Dmitri Shostakovich’s opera LADY MACBETH OF MZENSK is the fascinating businesswoman Katerina Ismailova. Despite being presented with a female character who murders her husband and father-in-law, the composer’s audiences are more likely to empathise with her than condemn her. Katerina, wrote Shostakovich, was a woman who is capable of anything in the name of love. His opera traces the transformation of a woman perverted by the hardness and roughness of her environment.
The 1934 premiere of Shostakovich’s second opera marked the first peak in the career of the 26-year-old composer, a trajectory that was also paralleled by musical works such as his fourth symphony. The banning of the opera four years later by Stalin, who took umbrage at musical temerity and doubtless also at the core humanist message of the piece, severely affected the reception of LADY MACBETH OF MZENSK but failed to prevent the work from being performed to rave reviews in the opera houses of the world.
Shostakovich’s work is being staged at the Deutsche Oper Berlin by a director making his debut in Germany. In Scandinavia the Swede Ole Anders Tandberg is one of the best-known directors of staged drama and has come to attention in recent years directing works of musical theatre such as THE MAGIC FLUTE [Stockholm] and THE RETURN OF ODYSSEUS [Oslo].
A coproduction with The Norwegian National Opera and Ballet, Oslo.
Kindly supported by Förderkreis der Deutschen Oper Berlin e. V.
Presented by kulturradio vom rbb, Yorck Kinogruppe, tip berlin and taz.die tageszeitung.
Pre-performance lecture (in German): 45 minutes prior to each performance