MUSIC: Out, Damned Opera Director

A Met staging sinks Shostakovich's Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk

The Metropolitan Opera's new production of Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk is so bright, so impish and in its energy so reflective of the dazzling score it dramatizes that it's a shame to say that it represents a waste of talent. But it does.

Composed in 1932, Dmitri Shostakovich's second and last opera is one of the finest scores of the 20th century, a passionate and bawdy setting of Nikolai Leskov's 1865 short story. This tale of a frustrated, lascivious and ultimately homicidal rural housewife and her working-class lover boosted Shostakovich's art to a new level of technical assurance and emotional maturity,...

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