Opera of the week – The amazing Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk

Opera of the week – The amazing Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk


norman lebrecht

July 16, 2021

Our new free-stream from OperaVision is Birmingham Opera Company’s extraordinary production of Shostakovich’s Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk, full and unexpurgated.

Graham Vick’s production relocates Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk by Russian composer Dmitri Shostakovich to a disused, iconic nightclub where, amidst the 150 volunteer actors and chorus, audience members encounter bloody brides, oversized rats and poisoned wedding guests. Accompanied on stage by the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and musicians from the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire, and with a radical set design by the Banksy collaborators Block 9.

Here is an extract from the opera ‘What must be, must be’.

Watch below:


  • Nikolai Leskov says:

    It is Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District (Леди Макбет Мценского уезда), a nod to banality, pace Deutsche Grammophon.

  • John Borstlap says:

    That must be a particularly pleasant outing.

  • Derek H says:

    The 2019 production was very successful for Birmingham Opera Company, which won the International Opera Award for “Outreach and Education” and the Royal Philharmonic Society award for “Opera and Music Theatre”.

    Soon after these performances, three of the leading soloists – Chrystal E. Williams, Eric Greene and Joshua Stewart, joined Sir Simon Rattle, Iwona Sobotka, the CBSO and Choruses in a fund raising concert at Symphony Hall, where they featured in a brilliant Beethoven’s 9th Symphony.

  • Don Ciccio says:

    Vick also directed the equally striking and strikingly different Met production.