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Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District

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Deutsche OperBismarckstraße 35, Berlin, Germany
April 07, 14, 20 at 19:30
Performers
Deutsche Oper Berlin
Donald RunniclesConductor
Ole Anders TandbergDirector
Erlend BirkelandSet Designer
Maria GeberCostume Designer
Evelyn HerlitziusSopranoKaterina Lvovna Izmailova
Sergey PolyakovTenorSergey
Kurt RydlBassBoris Timofeyevich Izmailov
Thomas BlondelleTenorZinoviy Borisovich Izmailov
Vasilisa BerzhanskayaMezzo-sopranoSonyetka
Nadine SecundeMezzo-sopranoAksinia
Andrew HarrisBassOffice Manager
Seth CaricoBass-baritonePolice inspector
Tobias KehrerBassPope
Berlin Deutsche Opera Orchestra
Berlin Deutsche Opera Chorus

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 Norwegian 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].

© Marcus Lieberenz
© Marcus Lieberenz
April 2018
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