Live Recording From The Teatro Comunale Firenze 2008
Boris Izmailov VLADIMIR VANEEV
Zinoviy Izmailov VSEVOLOD GRIVNOV
Katerina Izmailova JEANNE-MICHÈLE CHARBONNET
Sergei SERGEJ KUNAEV
Aksinya NANÀ MIRIANI
ORCHESTRA AND CHORUS OF MAGGIO MUSICALE FIORENTINO
Conducted by JAMES CONLON
Directed by LEV DODIN
Set and Costume Design by DAVID BOROVSKY
At first glance, the title of Shostakovich’s opera seems to speak for itself: Katherina, neglected and unhappy in her marriage, commits the most heinous crime just like the Shakespearian Lady Macbeth. But Nikolai Leskov’s short novel, which portrays Katherina as a monster, was only the starting point for Shostakovich to elicit understanding for an oppressed woman whose pursuit for self-determination is suppressed by society.
Through combining satiric, grotesque and tragic elements in his music, Shostakovich succeeds in striking the balance between repulsion at Katherina’s immoral acts and sympathy for her. Violence, eroticism and the paralysing boredom of Russian society in the 19th century are the founding elements of this composition.
The choir and orchestra of the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino conducted by James Conlon accompany tremendous soloists such as Jeanne-Michèle Charbonnet, Vladimir Vaneyev and Vsevolod Grivnov in the original language in this live recording.