October12 2024 (Sat)
6:00 PM

Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk

Opera by D. Shostakovich

Prague State Opera | Opera and Ballet

175 minutes | Available

Show image detail
Date: October 12, 2024 | 18:00 (Sat)
Venue: Prague State Opera
Duration: 175 minutes
Status: Available
Reviews: (2)
Buy ticket
Ticket in your mobile device accepted

Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk: Dmitri Shostakovich's opera, a satirical tragedy

In Russian, surtitles in Czech, English

The Russian composer Dmitri Shostakovich set Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk to a libretto he wrote together with Alexander Preis after the eponymous novella by Nikolai Leskov. He himself referred to the opera as a satirical tragedy. The main character, Katerina, is a murderess haunted by qualms of conscience. Yet, with a touch of bitter humour, Shostakovich also focuses on the moral decay of the inhabitants of a Russian village, revealing the omnipresent torpidity and recklessness. Life without hope and love is the very reason for the heroine’s downfall.

Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk premiered to great acclaim in 1934 at the Small Opera Theatre in Leningrad (today St Petersburg). Yet it would only enjoy general popularity in Russia until January 1936, when Joseph Stalin attended a performance at the Bolshoi in Moscow, following which the official Communist Party newspaper Pravda condemned the piece in the infamous article titled “Muddle instead of music”. Subsequently, Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk had to be withdrawn from the repertoire of theatres throughout the Soviet Union. (By the way, it was also banned in Nazi Germany.)

On the very day when Stalin saw the production in Moscow, the opera received its premiere, for the very first time in German translation, at the Neues deutsches Theater (now the State Opera) in Prague, conducted by Georg Széll and staged by Renato Mordo. Shostakovich’s Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk was prohibited in Russia until 1963, when its revised version, Katerina Izmailova, was first performed in Moscow.

After the composer’s death, the majority of opera houses worldwide returned to the original version, which is also the case of the new production to be presented at the State Opera.


State Opera Chorus
State Opera Orchestra
National Theatre Opera Ballet


  • Purchased tickets cannot be returned or exchanged.
  • No discounts are provided. 
  • Theatre is a cultural institution. Please respect the common principles of appropriate behaviour and clothing.
  • The program may be subject to change.
  • The price includes service fee of 3,7 € (100,- CZK)

More opera and ballet 


Similar events