Katerina Izmailova

Historic Stage Opera in four acts

Tickets to the Katerina Izmailova opera

Official tickets
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If you enjoy opera, then you should definitely see this four act opera - Katerina Izmailova. The opera premiered at the Bolshoi Theatre in February 2016 and has become very popular since then. The opera is staged by Rimas Tuminas based on the novel "Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District" by Nikolay Leskov. Official tickets to this opera can be bought on our website.


Music Director - Tugan Sokhiev

Stage Director - Rimas Tuminas

Set Designer - Adomas Jacovskis

Costume Designer - Maria Danilova Choreographer - Anzelica Cholina

Lighting Designer - Damir Ismagilov

Chief Chorus Master - Valery Borisov

Presented with one interval. Running time: 3 hours 10 minutes.

ACT I

Scene 1

The merchant Zinoviy Borisovich Izmailov’s house. His wife Katerina Lvovna is bored with her tedious life and loveless marriage.

Boris Timofeyevich, her father-in-law, reproaches her for not yet having given his son an heir.

A mill-hand arrives with news that a dam at the mill has broken and needs immediate repair. Zinoviy Borisovich personally goes to oversee the work. Before leaving, he introduces to his father a new foreman named Sergei.

Boris Timofeyevich wants the servants to see the master off with crying and makes Katerina swear an oath to be faithful while her husband is away.

When no one’s listening, the cook, Aksinya, tells Katerina that the handsome Sergei was dismissed from his last job because the mistress fell for him.

Boris Timofeyevich again reproves his daughter-in-love for being indiffirent to her husband leaving.

Scene 2

The Izmailovs’ yard. The male servants are molesting Aksinya. Katerina appears and makes them let Aksinya go. Sergei challenges her to a fight in joke, but in the heat of the moment Boris Timofeevich appears. He threatens Katerina to tell Zinoviy about her behavior.

Scene 3

Katerina is in her bedroom. She complains to herself of her loneliness. Sergei knocks at her door. He pretends to be asking for a book, but this is only a pretext to get the mistress into a conversation. They hear Boris Timofeyevich’s voice at the door. Katerina hurries Sergei to leave her room, because her father-in-law is going to lock all the doors, but Sergei remains. He feels sure of success of his affair with Katerina.

ACT II

Scene 4

At night. Boris Timofeyevich keeps watch over the yard, convinced that there are thieves around. He notices the light is on at Katerina’s room. As he approaches her window he sees his daughter-in-love saying goodbye to a man, in which Boris Timofeyevich recognizes Sergei. As the young man is climbing down, Boris Timofeyevich grabs him and shouts for help.

After summoning Katerina to watch, he flogs Sergei. When Boris Timofeyevich gets tired, Sergei is locked in the storeroom. Boris Timofeyevich sends a servant for Zinoviy and demands something to eat. Katerina serves him mushrooms with rat poison. As the old man writhes in agony, she takes off him the keys to the storeroom and goes to release Sergei.

The day is breaking. The foremen are going to work and find the master dying. They call the priest. Boris Timofeyevich points at Katerina as his poisoner. But Katerina insists that the mushrooms is the cause, and the priest finds her explanation sufficient.

Scene 5

The bedroom. Sergei is dismayed by forthcoming arrival of Zinoviy Borisovich: he wants to be Katerina’s husband. Katerina promises him to do everything he wants. Sergei falls asleep. Katerina has visions of the ghost of Boris Timofeyevich, cursing her for having poisoned him.

Behind the door barely audible steps are heard – Zinoviy Borisovich has returned from the mill. Katerina hides Sergei. On noticing a man’s belt left in her room, Zinoviy Borisovich begins to beat his wife with it. Sergey jumps out at Katerina’s cries, together they strangle Zinoviy Borisovich and hide the corpse in the cellar.

ACT III

Scene 6

The Izmailovs’ yard. Katerina is standing near the cellar. The murder gives Katerina no peace. Sergei tries to convince her not to draw people’s attention to this place on the very day of their wedding. As they leave for their nuptials, a drunken Shabby Peasant, in search of liquor, breaks down the door to the cellar and on finding the decaying corpse in horror runs off to the police.

Scene 7

Police station. The police headed by the Sergeant are bored without any case and try to distract themselves by tormenting a local nihilist because of atheism.

When the Shabby Peasant bursts in with the news that he has found a corpse in the Izmailovs’ cellar, the Sergeant and his men hurry off to investigate.

Scene 8

The wedding feast is in progress in the Izmailovs’ garden. The drunken guests are greeting a newly married couple. Katerina notices that the padlock on the cellar door has been broken. She tells Sergei that they have been found out and must leave immediately. As he goes to get money from inside the house, the policemen enter the garden. Katerina, realizing there is no point in feigning innocence, holds out her wrists to be handcuffed. Sergei tries to escape but is captured.

ACT IV

Scene 9

A convoy of shackled convicts with Katerina and Sergei among them stops for a rest on the bank of a lake. Bribing a sentry to let her go to the men’s column, Katerina finds Sergei, who rebuffs her, blaming her for his predicament.

Meanwhile, Sergei flirts with another convict named Sonyetka. Together with her he mocks at Katerina. Sonyetka promises Sergei she will be his if he can get her new stockings. Sergei goes to Katerina to trick her out of her stockings and gives them to Sonyetka. The rest of the women taunt her.

In despair Katerina seems to see a remote wood lake, and the water in it is black like her conscience.

Sonyetka provokes her rival by showing to her Sergei’s gift. An officer orders everyone to get ready to continue the march. Katerina goes over to Sonyetka, pushes her into the lake and jumps in after her. Both women are drowned.

Every true theater lover wants to know what's new and exciting during a an upcoming theater season. And for this one we are pleased to present you Katerina Izmailova - an opera in four acts, staged by Rimas Tuminas with libretto by Dmitry Shostakovich and Alexander Preis, and based on a novel Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District by Nikolai Leskov. The news of this Opera are sure to delight both Muscovites and the city's guests! The premiere was held on February 18, 2016 at 19:00, but you can still attend this season's premiere at the Bolshoi Theater and the tickets may be purchased right now on our website.

Katerina Izmailova Tickets

Katerina Izmailova is an opera by Dmitry Shostakovich and you can enjoy a new and exciting production of this classic on the historic stage of the Bolshoi Theater.

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Opera Katerina Izmailova

Opera Katerina Izmailova, also known as Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District, has a very rich and interesting history. This opera of Dmitry Shostakovich was based on the novel of the same name by Nikolai Leskov, written in 1864 in Kiev.

The opera was created as a theatrical performance in 1932, and Dmitry Shostakovich's condemnation by the Communist Party followed after, along with a ban on performing the opera for almost 30 years. Only in 1962 did a self-censored version of Katerina Izmailova came out, and a film of the same name was made in 1966.

There are also many interesting facts about the first time Katerina Izmailova was performed. Shostakovich's opera premiered in 1932 on the stage of Nemirovich-Danchenko Moscow Academic Music Theater. National Artist of the USSR Grigory Stolyrov conducted the opera, and it was directed by Vladimir Nemirovich-Danchenko himself. A year later in January 1933 Katerina Izmailova was staged in Leningrad's Maly Opera Theater (now Mikhailovsky Theater, St. Petersburg) and presented by Samuil Samosud, a renowned conductor. There the opera Katerina Izmailova was so popular that it was staged more than 50 times in less than a year.

The Bolshoi Theater premiere of Katerina Izmailova took place on December 26 1935. Dmitri Smolich, National Artist of the USSR, was the first director brave enough to present his own vision of the work, and it was conducted by Alexander Melik-Pashayev. In no time the opera gained such fame that it became known far outside the country: at first Shostakovich's opera premiered in Cleveland, then in Philadelphia, Buenos Aires, Zurich, London, New York, Stockholm, and Prague.

As more directors staged their own versions of Katerina Izmailova, bigger departures were made from the opera's original libretto. Just from 1932 to 1935 three versions of this great work were released. But the performances of the opera became more frequently banned after the authorities of the Communist Party turned their attention to it. Only during the 1960s did Katerina Izmailova make its return to the stages of the Soviet Theater.

We are delighted to bring to your attention the masterpiece of Shostakovich and Preis, with the execution and vision by Rimas Tuminas - a Soviet-Lithuanian director, who is also the Creative Director of the Vakhtangov Academic State Theater.

You should not delay booking the tickets to one of the most popular premieres of this theater season, and purchase tickets to the opera Katerina Izmailova right now, with our agency en.bolshoi-tickets.ru.

Characters

  • Boris Timofeyevich Izmailov, Merchant
  • Zinoviy Borisovich Izmailov, his son
  • Katerina Lvovna Izmailova, wife of Zinoviy Borisovich
  • Sergei, a workman employed by the Izmailovs
  • Aksinya, a workwoman employed by the Izmailovs
  • Tattered Peasant/Village Drunk
  • Steward/Assistant
  • Porter/Yardman
  • Worker from a mill
  • Driver
  • Priest
  • Drunk Guest
  • Police Inspector
  • Local Nihilist
  • Policeman
  • Old Convict
  • Sonyetka, Female Convict
  • Female Convict
  • Sergeant
  • Sentry