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Draw-me Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk

Understand the plot in 1 minute — By Octave

Of Shostakovich’s initial undertaking – a trilogy on the tragic destinies of Russian women through the ages – only one opera was ever written: the hard-hitting Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk. Although one of the mainsprings of the work, the Shakespearean parallel is here bitterly ironic: unlike Lady Macbeth, Katerina Ismaïlova who, in the remote reaches of rural 19th century Russia, falls in love with one of her husband’s employees and is finally forced to commit suicide, is less a manipulator than a victim of a violent and patriarchal society. Krzysztof Warlikowski liberates all the subversive power of this scorching and scandalous work, which marked the early years of the Opéra Bastille.

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