'Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk' -
'... fully appropriate disorder ...'
Mtsensk is a little further from Moscow than Ipswich is from London. As yet the Suffolk town
has not inspired an opera. When it eventually arrives, I would not expect our dear Queen to be
any more enamoured of it than Stalin was of Shostakovich's shocker. The consequences to the
composer, however, would be less drastic. How far my tastes and Stalin's ever coincided I cannot
be bothered to investigate. But this is not my favourite twentieth-century opera; indeed
Shostakovich can keep company with Berg and Zimmermann somewhere near the bottom of my list.
They would of course be missed, but this Lady Macbeth leaves her Scottish prototype nowhere.
Eva-Maria Westbroek as Katerina Lvovna Ismailova. DVD screenshot © 2006 De Nederlandse Opera/Opus Arte
Copyright © 10 February 2007
Robert Anderson, London UK