STAVROS NIARCHOS FOUNDATION
364 Syggrou Avenue, Kallithea
+30 213 0885700
Milena Canonero, Petra Reinhardt
Collectif LA(HORDE) – Marine Brutti, Jonathan Debrouwer, Arthur Harel
With Eva-Maria Westbroek, Sergei Semishkur and Yanni Yannissis in the main roles
With the Orchestra, Chorus and Soloists of the GNO
The presale of tickets will start soon
Opera • Revival
Greek National Opera - Stavros Niarchos Hall
Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center
Starts at 19.30 (Sunday 18.30) |
This production, part of a tribute to the 2021 bicentennial of the Greek Revolution, is made possible by a grant from the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF) [www.SNF.org].
Based on a novel by Nikolai Leskov, Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk treats the subject of woman’s position in provincial pre-revolutionary Russia. At the same time, Shostakovich astutely satirizes institutions of his day, such as the church and the tsarist police. The story is about Katerina Ismailova, the wife of a wealthy merchant, who feels neglected and trapped in her marriage. She falls in love with one of the workers at her homestead and, for his sake, she ends up murdering her father-in-law and her husband. Katerina marries her beloved one, however, when the murders are revealed, the couple is arrested. On the way to Siberia, Katerina gets in a fight with some new prospective mistress of her husband, and they both get swept away in the freezing waters of the river.
Dmitri Shostakovich was born in 1906 in Saint Petersburg and ranks among the most influential composers of the 20th century. His relationship with the Soviet regime, especially during the Stalinist period, was not an easy one, as his style was incompatible with the directives about art, and he was twice officially accused of formalism. Although influenced by Igor Stravinsky’s neoclassical works, and by Gustav Mahler –in his symphonic music–, he did shape his own absolutely recognizable personal idiom. He composed all kinds of works, among which 15 symphonies, 6 concerts, 15 string quartets, choral works, music for ballet and the cinema, works for piano, song cycles and operettas. He completed two operas, The Nose (1930) and Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk (1934, second version as Katerina Ismailova, 1962) while leaving behind drafts for many more.
Shostakovich was, from the beginning, clear in his intention to make the murderess protagonist of his opera appear as a victim. Bluntly realistic in its action and love scenes, and during Zinovy’s murder, the music is highly poetical in its wildness. The work doesn’t stand out only for its rawness and cruelty; it is also deeply moving, and not only in its final scene, which summarizes centuries of pain and deprivation in Russia.
Fanny Ardant, directing opera for the first time in her career notes: “Lady Macbeth puts a mirror in front of us. And in it, we look at ourselves. Lady Macbeth is our wild reflection, restless and free. How can the part of ourselves which fights back against the law survive in a conventional and uniform society? To love criminals is a risk. And I take it. I love Katerina Ismailova”.