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Sergey is now to be Katerina's husband, and it is during the ghastly wedding meal, with the Netherlands Opera Chorus in fully appropriate disorder, that Katerina notices the cellar lock has been broken off. She realises this means disaster for the couple, with instant escape the only hope [watch and listen -- DVD2 chapter 6, 15:22-16:42]. The police chief, though, does his stuff, and it is arrest for both of them. In prison Sergey finds at once the attractive Sonyetka of Lani Poulson, while Katerina lapses into a lethargic misery approximating to Lady Macbeth's sleep-walking [watch and listen -- DVD2 chapter 15, 44:10-45:52]. Her end is not Shostakovich's suicide but a gutter-press lynching by fellow-prisoners. I doubt if Stalin would have cared either way.

Katerina Lvovna Ismailova's lynching by fellow prisoners. DVD screenshot © 2006 De Nederlandse Opera/Opus Arte
Katerina Lvovna Ismailova's lynching by fellow prisoners. DVD screenshot © 2006 De Nederlandse Opera/Opus Arte


Copyright © 10 February 2007 Robert Anderson, London UK


Shostakovich: Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk

OA 0965 D 2xDVD9 NTSC 16/9 anamorphic All regions LPCM Stereo; Digital DTS Surround NEW RELEASE 236' 2006 De Nederlandse Opera/Opus Arte

Eva-Maria Westbroek, Katerina Lvovna Ismailova; Christopher Ventris, Sergey; Vladimir Vaneev, Boris Timofeyevich Ismailov and old convict; Ludovít Ludha, Zinovy Borisovich Ismailov; Carole Wilson, Aksinya and female convict; Alexandre Kravets, shabby peasant; Nikita Storojev, chief of police; Alexander Vassiliev, priest and guard; Valentin Jar, teacher; Lani Poulson, Sonyekta; Martin Vijgenboom, steward; Jan Polak, porter; Ruud Fiselier, first foreman; Jan Majoor, second foreman; Leo Geers, third foreman; Harry Teeuwen, millhand; Cor de Wit, coachman; Wojtek Okraskra, sentry; John van Halteren, drunken guest; Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra; Chorus of De Nederlandse Opera rehearsed by Winfried Maczewski; Mariss Jansons, musical director; Martin Kusej, stage director; Martin Zehetgruber, sets; Heide Kastler, costumes; Reinhard Traub, lighting; Marion Tiedtke, dramaturgy; Thomas Grimm, TV director; Ferenc van Damme, TV producer; Hans Petri, TV executive producer

Dmitri Shostakovich (1906-1975): Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk (opera in four acts, libretto by Alexander Preis and Dmitri Shostakovich, first performed 1934, after the 1865 short story by Nikolai Leskov)


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