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Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District
Opera by Dmitri Shostakovich
Libretto by Alexandre Preis
First performed in 1934 at the Maly Drama Theatre
Last performed at the Grand Théâtre de Genève 2006-2007
Katerina Lvovna Ismaïlova
Boris Timoféiévitch Ismaïlov
Zinovi Borissovitch Ismaïlov
Pope / Old Convict
Chief of Police
Grand Théâtre de Genève Chorus
Orchestre de la Suisse Romande
Produced by the Opera Ballet Vlaanderen, first performed in 2014
Dmitri Shostakovich wrote of his second opera: "Even if Katerina Lvovna is a murderer, she is not a scumbag. Her conscience torments her. (...) I can empathise with her...". In addition to murder, the opera features (audibly!) brutal sex, sadistic harassment and sexual assault.
Buoyed by the steamy love affair between Katerina and Sergey, the opera also includes fragments of operetta, music hall, cabaret and jazz with the orchestra leading the party - one senses Shostakovich's vast experience as a silent film accompanist. Calixto Bieito, for one, is in a film noir mood, setting the opera in a rotten industrial labyrinth, where one can only work in hazmat suits, and which recalls the polluted and dilapidated metropolises of Russia and China... or Detroit.
According to Bieito: "It's not Romeo and Juliet, it's the apocalyptic thriller of love in a post-capitalist system." The Argentine Alejo Pérez conducts the OSR and we introduce the dazzling Lithuanian soprano Aušrinė Stundytė in the title role.