Shostakovich's Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk

Krzysztof Warlikowski (stage director), Ingo Metzmacher (conductor) – With Dmitry Ulyanov (Boris Timofeevich Ismailov), John Daszak (Zinovy Borisovich Ismailov), Aušrinė Stundytė (Katerina Lvovna Ismailova)...

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Krzysztof Warlikowski — Stage director

Małgorzata Szczęśniak — Costume designer, stage design

Felice Ross — Lighting

Denis Guéguin — Video

Kamil Polak — Animation

Claude Bardouil — Choreographer

Christian Longchamp — Dramaturgy

Dmitry Ulyanov — Boris Timofeevich Ismailov

John Daszak — Zinovy Borisovich Ismailov

Aušrinė Stundytė — Katerina Lvovna Ismailova

Pavel Černoch — Serguei

Sofija Petrovic — Aksinya

Orchestre et Chœurs de l'Opéra national de Paris

José Luis Basso — Chorus Master

Ingo Metzmacher — Conductor

Program notes

Experience the subversive Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk, a unique and mordant work that perfectly encapsulates Shostakovich's conflicted relationship with the Stalin regime (explored in further deal in this superb documentary from our archives). Loosely based on a novella by Russian writer Nikolai Leskov, the libretto follows the attractive Katerina, unhappily married to rich merchant Zinoviy Ismailov, who ends up giving in to murderous urges… Shostakovich sympathized with his anti-heroine, "a beautiful and intelligent young woman suffocating in a vulgar, venal world… The murders she commits are not truly crimes, but an expression of revolt against her sordid and sickening milieu." The work was swiftly censured by Stalin himself, who had little taste for the cruelty of Shostakovich's realism.

In this production at the Paris Opera, Polish director Krzysztof Warlikowski offers up a gritty, no-holds-barred staging, in keeping with the spirit of the opera. Conductor Ingo Metzmacher leads the house orchestra in the pit while, onstage, soprano Aušrinė Stundytė brings thrills and chills in the lead role of Katerina!

Photo © Bernd Uhlig

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