Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District

Ledi Makbet Mtsenskogo Uyezda

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 Deutsche Oper Berlin on 25th January, 2015

In Russian language with German and English surtitles

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Cast

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Cast

Conductor Donald Runnicles
Director Ole Anders Tandberg
Stage-design Erlend Birkeland
Costume-design Maria Geber
Light-design Ellen Runge
Choir Conductor William Spaulding
Dramaturge Jörg Königsdorf
Boris Timofejewitsch Ismailow John Tomlinson
Sinowij Borissowitsch Ismailow Thomas Blondelle
Katerina Ismailowa Evelyn Herlitzius
Sergej Maxim Aksenov
Aksinja Nadine Secunde
Der Schäbige Burkhard Ulrich
Verwalter Andrew Harris
Hausknecht Noel Bouley
Pope Seth Carico
Polizeichef Tobias Kehrer
Polizist Andrew Harris
Wächter Noel Bouley
Sonjetka Dana Beth Miller
Alter Zwangsarbeiter Stephen Bronk
Zwangsarbeiterin Nadine Secunde
Geist des Boris Timofejewitsch John Tomlinson
Chorus Master Chor der Deutschen Oper Berlin
Orchestra Orchester der Deutschen Oper Berlin
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Information

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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 Royal Opera House, Oslo.
Kindly supported by Förderkreis der Deutschen Oper Berlin e. V.

Presented by kulturradio vom rbb, tip berlin and taz.die tageszeitung.

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Accompanying Programme

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Accompanying Programme

Pre-performance lecture (in German): 45 minutes prior to each performance