New Production! Of Shostakovich’s initial undertaking – a trilogy on the tragic destinies of Russian women through the ages – only one opera was ever written: Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk, his visceral story of love, emancipation, and murder, a searing and provocative work that was banned from performance for thirty years by the Soviet authorities.
Although one of the mainsprings of the work, the Shakespearean parallel is here bitterly ironic: unlike Lady Macbeth, Katerina Ismaïlova (acclaimed Lithuanian soprano Aušrinė Stundytė) is less a manipulator than a victim of a violent and patriarchal society. Stifling in a failed marriage in the remote reaches of rural 19th century Russia, Katerina begins a passionate relationship with one of her husband’s employees, the handsome Sergey (Pavel Černoch), commencing a cycle of crime that will lead hear to prison and ruin.
This new production is by Krzysztof Warlikowski, one of the most fascinating directors of his generation, whose Don Carlos was presented in the last Palace Opera & Ballet season. Here, Warlikowski liberates all the subversive power of this scorching, scandalous work.
Please note: The Paris Opera advises that this production contains nudity and scenes that may offend some viewers. It has been officially classified MA15+ (Strong sexual violence and sex scenes).