At the Den Norske opera & Ballet Thater in Oslo
A starkly cold fishing village in Northern Norway, a male-dominated society, a loveless marriage, an absent husband, a warm and willing lover, a quick-tempered father-in-law, a poisoned meal, a hidden body, a surprising return, a wedding with complications and a woman with sensational dynamism. These are the main ingredients of Dmitri Shostakovich’s tragic satire Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk, staged here in a new production by Ole Anders Tandberg.
The opera is based on an 1865 novel by Nikolai Leskov. Inspired by Shakespeare’s Macbeth it depicts an unscrupulous woman who kills both her father-in-law and husband in order to follow her desires and satisfy her lusts. But Shostakovich’s music gives her a depth that makes her more sympathetic. The composer justified this choice thus: «To Leskov the woman is a murderer. I see her as a complex, tragic force of nature. She is a woman full of love, a deeply sensitive woman, in no way without feelings.» The result is a fascinating woman: strong and weak, affectionate and ambitious, sensitive and brutal, uncertain and unscrupulous, warm and cool, calculating and unpredictable. With the story of this dynamic woman, Shostakovich moves in the area between tragedy and comedy. The music is a blend of grotesque, beautiful, lyrical, dramatic, ironic and humorous – like a little scary laughter in the cold darkness.
Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk is a co-production with Deutsche Oper Berlin, and has its Berlin premiere on 25 January 2015.
Premiere discussion one week before the premiere / free introduction one hour before the performance
Original title : Ledi Makbet Mtsenskogo Uyezda
Music : Dmitri Shostakovich
Libretto : Alexander Preis and Dmitri Shostakovich
Conductor: Oleg Caetani
Direction : Ole Anders Tandberg
Choreographer: Jeanette Langert
Set design : Erlend Birkeland
Costumes : Maria Geber
Lighting design : Ellen Ruge
Cast: The Opera Chorus, The Opera Orchestra
CAST: Main roles
Svetlana Sozdateleva as
Katerina Lvovna Izmajlova
Svetlana Sozdateleva has been a leading soloist at Helikon Opera Moscow since 1999 and performed Katerina Izmailova in Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk, Liza in The Queen of Spades, Maria in Mazeppa, Lady Macbeth in Macbeth, Abigaille in Nabucco, Emilia Marty in The Makropulos Case, Carmen, Madame Lidoine in Dialogues des
Carmelites, Dvořák’s Rusalka, Stefanie in Giordano’s Siberia, and Isabella in Wagner’s Das Liebesverbot. She also sang Katerina in Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk (Radio France Festival, Montpelier, Ravenna Festival 2003), Abigaille in Nabucco
(Dijon, Mariinsky Theatre St. Petersburg, Shalyap in Opera Festival Kazan, Russia, Eva Marton Festival Miskolc,Hungary), Renata in The Fiery Angel (La Monnaie Brussels, Komische Oper Berlin), Lady Macbeth in Macbeth (Glyndebourne Festival),
Isolde, cover and Kostelnička in Jenufa (both Glyndebourne), Tosca (Latvian National Opera Riga), Sieglinde in Die Walküre (Russian National Orchestra, Kent Nagano), Shostakovich’s 14th Symphony (Russian National Orchestra, Sir Mark Elder).Upcoming engagements include Renata in The Fiery Angel (Deutsche Oper am Rhein), Amelia in Un Ballo in Maschera (Helikon Opera Moscow), and Fevronia in The Legend of the invisible city of Kitezh (Gran Teatre del Liceu, Barcelona) among others. Sozdateleva is nominated for the award DER FAUST in 2014.
Alexey Kosarev as Sergej
The Moscow born tenor Alexey Kosarev graduated from the Gnessin State Musical College.
He made his debut as Harlequin in Pagliacci in Helikon Opera Theatre in Moscow where he sang for 10 years main tenor parts such as Alfredo in La Traviata, Lykov in The Tsar’s Bride, Alfred in Die Fledermaus, Lensky in Eugene Onegin, Duca in Rigoletto, Macduff in Macbeth, and Sergey in Lady Macbeth Of The Mtsensk District.
Other engagements include Sergey in Lady Macbeth Of The Mtsensk District (Musiktheater im Revier Gelsenkirchen, Staatsoper Hannover, Oldenburgisches Staatstheater, Theater Freiburg, Festival Internacional de Santander, and Festival de Radio France et Montpellier), Macduff in Macbeth and Manrico in Il Trovatore (Landestheater Detmold), Prince Vasiliy Golitsin in Khovanshchina (Deutsche Nationaltheater and Staatskapelle Weimar), Vodemon in Iolanta (Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen), Alfredo in La Traviata, Manrico in Il Trovatore, Cavaradossi in Tosca and Radames in Aida (Oldenburgisches Staatstheater), Pinkerton in Madama Butterfly (Oldenburgisches Staatstheater and Staatstheater Mainz), the title role in G. Kingsley & M. Kunze‘s Raoul (Theater Bremen), Herr Hermann in Hindemith’s Neues vom Tage (Landestheater Linz), Calaf in Turandot, Macduff in Macbeth, Prinz in Dvorak’s Rusalka, Radames in Aida, the title role in Don Carlo, Rodolfo in La bohème, Hans in The Bartered Bride, and Tambourmajor in Wozzeck (Freiburg), Hoffmann in Les contes d’Hoffmann (Freiburg and Theater Flensburg), Hermann in The Queen of Spades (St-Pölten Festspiele), Lykov in The Tsar’s Bride (Opernhaus Zürich), Husar in Mavra (Opéra National de Paris), and Alfred in Die Fledermaus (Rostropovich Festival Evian)
Recent and upcoming engagements are Boris in Katja Kabanova (Opéra de Dijon), Sergey in Lady Macbeth Of The Mtsensk District (Pfalztheater Kaiserslautern), and
Manrico in Il Trovatore (Landestheater Detmold), among others.
Magne Fremmerlid as
Boris Timofeevich Izmajlov
«Exceptional», «clear as ever» and «one of his finest performances ever» are just some phrases critics have used to describe Magne Fremmerlid in the past couple of years.
A member of the Norwegian National Opera soloist ensemble since 1997, Fremmerlid’s diverse repertoire includes roles as Scarpia in Tosca, Sarastro in The Magic Flute, Colline in La Bohème, the Commendatore in Don Giovanni, Fafner in Das Rheingold, Hagen in Götterdämmerung, the Water Goblin in Rusalka, King Mark in Tristan und Isolde, Hermann in Tannhäuser, Stuart in Around the World in 80 Days and Time/Neptune in The Return of Ulysses to his Homeland. In September 2012 he gave a solo recital in the Second House with Boris Schäfer.
Fremmerlid’s stylistic range is extensive, including both the opera Querini on the island of Røst and the jazz opera Storkaren (The High Flyer) as part of the Fjord Cadenza Festival.
He is also a sought-after concert and oratorio singer, and has been a soloist a number of times with Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra, Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra and Stavanger Symphony Orchestra.
Marius Roth Christensen as Zinovij Borisovich Izmajlov
Marius Roth Christensen has a versatile career. He first became known as the guitarist and vocalist of the rock band Seigmen. He later studied at Østlandet Music Conservatory and the National Academy of Operatic Art.
Roth Christensen made his debut at the Norwegian National Opera in 2006, in the role of Tamino in The Magic Flute. He has been a member of the soloist ensemble since 2013, and we have seen him in roles likelike Beppe in Pagliacci, Alfredo in La traviata, the White Minister in Le Grand Macabre and Der Steuermann in The Flying Dutchman.
His roles on opera stages around Norway include Rodolfo in La Bohème, Tamino in The Magic Flute, Rinuccio in Gianni Schicci, Bastien in Bastien und Bastienne and Turiddu in Cavalleria rusticana. He has also sung in several musicals, including West Side Story, Jesus Christ Superstar, Carousel and Fiddler on the Roof. In 2012 he had his debut at the Lyric Opera Dublin in the role of Pinkerton in Madama Butterfly.
Earlier this year he sang Don Ottavio in Don Giovanni – a role he will do again this fall. In addition he will do Zinovij Borisovich Izmajlov in Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk and Alfredo in La Traviata.
Knut Skram as Gammel tvangsarbeider
Svein Erik Sagbråten
Per Andreas Tønder
Thor Inge Falch