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Lady Macbeth von Mzensk

Music Dmitri Schostakowitsch

31. May 2023
19.00 - 22.15
1 intermission
Buy tickets Werkeinführung 30 Minuten vor der Vorstellung im Gustav Mahler-Saal
03. June 2023
19.00 - 22.15
1 intermission
Buy tickets
08. June 2023
16.00 - 19.15
1 intermission
Buy tickets
12. June 2023
19.00 - 22.15
1 intermission
Buy tickets

Cast 12.06.2023

Conductor Alexander Soddy
Production Matthias Hartmann
Set design Volker Hintermeier
Costume Design Su Bühler
Choreography Teresa Rotemberg
Boris Ismailow Günther Groissböck
Sinowi Ismailow Andrei Popov
Katerina Ismailowa Elena Mikhailenko
Sergej Dmitry Golovnin
Sonjetka Maria Barakova
Zwangsarbeiterin Jenni Hietala Jenni Hietala
der Schäbige Thomas Ebenstein
Verwalter Hans Peter Kammerer
Hausknecht Marcus Pelz
Pope Evgeny Solodovnikov
Polizeichef Attila Mokus
Polizist Hans Peter Kammerer
Lehrer Carlos Osuna
Wächter Marcus Pelz
Alter Zwangsarbeiter Dan Paul Dumitrescu
Geist des Boris Timofejewitsch Günther Groissböck


Synopsis: Katerina was unhappily married to Sinowi. She suffers from her husband's lack of attention and falls for servant Sergej. To maintain their affair, the two kill Sinowi, but his body is discovered. Sergej and Katerina are sentenced to forced labour, where Sergej seeks the favour of a fellow prisoner. When Katerina notices this, she kills herself and her rival.


The young Katerina Ismailowa, from a poor background is unhappily married to the rich provincial merchant, Sinowi. After 5 years, the marriage is still childless, and Katerina suffers from a lack of affection of her husband. The daily accusations and innuendoes from her tyrannical father-in-law Boris, who supervises the family, also set the young lady off. Through the hiring of the servant Sergej, the daily nagging is abruptly interrupted. Katerina is warned of Sergej, and even has to witness him taking part in a collective rape, and still unresistingly falls under his spell. 

The fact that Sinowi is away from home for long periods of time, allows Sergej and Katerina countless undisturbed nights of love. One night however, the two are surprised by Boris, who then furiously whips Sergej publicly. In view of this cruelty, Katerina decides to kill Boris, and serves him a plate of mushrooms laced with rat poison, which he eats with great relish. Shortly thereafter, Boris dies. 

The two lovers Katerina and Sergej are surprised one night by the returning Sinowi. They unceremoniously kill him and hide his body in the cellar. A while later, Katerina and Sergej decide to marry and organize a big wedding party. In the meantime, a drunken builder finds the body of Sinowi and alarms the police, who interrupt the wedding party and arrest Katerina and Sergej.

Despite Sergej and Katerina’s punishment of forced labor, Katarina’s love for Sergej remains strong. Sergej however attempts to win the favor of Sonjetka, a pretty fellow prisoner. When Katerina notices that Sergej is chasing her, she kills herself and her rival.


The premiere in 1934 was a triumphant success: Shostakovich's ironic, pointed, but also moving music made both the audience and the press rejoice: the unvarnished, harsh story of oppression, devotion and murder was impossible to resist. But Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk also represents Shostakovich's ordeal, who fell out of favor with Stalin because of this opera: it did not correspond to the political-aesthetic guidelines.