Lady Macbeth fra Mtsensk - Dmitrij Sjostakovitsj

Premiered at the Norwegian National Opera and Ballet Oslo on 5th September, 2014
Premiered at the Deutsche Oper Berlin on 25th January, 2015

Conductor: Donald Runnicles
Director: Ole Anders Tandberg
Stage-design: Erlend Birkeland
Costume-design: Maria Geberx

Choir Conductor: William Spaulding
Choreographer: Jeanette Langert
Dramaturge: Jörg Königsdorf
Photo: Erik Berg


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].

A coproduction with The Norwegian National Opera and Ballet, Oslo.
Kindly supported by Förderkreis der Deutschen Oper Berlin e. V.