4-21 June 2007. Conducted by Kazushi Ono, directed by Richard Jones, with Anatolij Kotscherga, Evelyn Herlitzius, Christopher Ventris and Alexandre Kravets.
Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District by Dmitri Shostakovich will be preformed at La Scala in Milan (4-21 June). It tells the story of Katerina, a sad and unsatisfied woman who kills her obstructive husband with the help of her lover, Sergei. Their crime is discovered and the pair are deported to Siberia, but during the voyage Sergei betrays Katerina, who throws herself into the river (dragging her rival with her) before the rest of the convicts continue their sad march onwards. The opera was first performed in Leningrad in 1934, but it was condemned for the modernity of the music and the audacity of its subject matter and was swiftly closed. To keep the work alive, Shostakovich rewrote it in 1963 with the title Katerina Izmajlova, minimising the harsher parts of the libretto, the sharpness of the music and the difficulty of the singing. But today Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District is the preferred version. Kazushi Ono will conduct, and the principal roles will be sung by Evelyn Herlitzius and Christopher Ventris. The staging by New York director Richard Jones is new, and this production promises to be one of the great homages to Shostakovich