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  • Your Reaction: What did you think of Shostakovich's Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk?

Your Reaction: What did you think of Shostakovich's Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk?

Audience responses and press reviews of The Royal Opera's production of Shostakovich's 20th century masterpiece.

By Chris Shipman (Head of Brand Engagement and Social Media)

13 April 2018 at 10.46am | 17 Comments

Press reviews:

Telegraph ★★★★★
Guardian ★★★★★
Independent ★★★★★
Express ★★★★★
Financial Times ★★★
Times ★★★
The Stage ★★★★
Arts Desk ★★★★

What did you think of Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk?

Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk runs until 27 April 2018. Tickets are still available.

The production is staged with generous philanthropic support from Mrs Susan A. Olde OBE, Mr and Mrs Christopher W.T. Johnston, The Taylor Family Foundation, The Tsukanov Family Foundation, The Maestro's Circle and the Friends of Covent Garden.

By Chris Shipman (Head of Brand Engagement and Social Media)

13 April 2018 at 10.46am

This article has been categorised Opera and tagged by Richard Jones, Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk, Production, review, your reaction

This article has 17 comments

  1. Gwyneth responded on 13 April 2018 at 4:09pm Reply

    The quality of this production is outstanding - the soloists, chorus, acting ability, staging, choreography, lighting - are all of the highest order but my greatest praise goes to the orchestra (plus stage band) which, under Pappano's magical baton made the stupendous Shostakovich music come so alive that it took my breath away. Bravissimo!

  2. Stephen Ratcliffe responded on 13 April 2018 at 5:33pm Reply

    Brilliant evening. Whole cast sensational. Thanks.

  3. Linda Farrell responded on 14 April 2018 at 11:44am Reply

    Absolutely fantastic production. Eva-Maria Westbroek and John Tomlinson in terrific voice but the whole cast were brilliant - outstandingly sung and acted - and great performances by Antonio Pappano, the ROH Orchestra and Chorus. Well done to all, I had a great evening

  4. Outstanding evening including the most amazing scene change in the West End. Beautifully choreographed and executed in front of a full house. I admit a bias as I spent my working life in Stage Management but I felt it had to be said.

  5. peterstephen responded on 18 April 2018 at 9:27am Reply

    Saw this amazing production on 17/04/18. For once I didn't laugh, cry, criticise or examine the motives of the director. I was swept along by an evening of unbridled talent that took me to places that are usually beyond the reach of even the ROH. I pay tribute to Shostakovich whose music allowed this to happen, but also to the whole cast and Antonio Pappano in particular in whose safe hands we were taken through the looking glass and back again.

  6. Tricia Bennett responded on 19 April 2018 at 6:28pm Reply

    Was there on 17/04/18. It was one of the most memorable evenings I have ever experienced in 50 years at ROH. Everything was perfect, the singing, the acting, the orchestra and oh that scene change..........I’d so love to see it over and over.

  7. Mike Aylott responded on 19 April 2018 at 7:57pm Reply

    Love this opera, and saw a previous ROH production a few years ago. Sad that the ROH Live programme, while appreciated as far as it goes, never seems to include works like this, or Janacek, or anything slightly out of mainstream. Those of us who live well out of London are finding the livestream repertoire just a bit stifling, (though thanks anyway for doing it at all).

  8. Michael de Navarro responded on 21 April 2018 at 11:51pm Reply

    Saw this wonderful production for the third time. Fantastic performance of a great piece. Whole cast terrific and Eve Marie Westbroek has done nothing better. Pappano and the orchestra were on fire. A perfect piece for Richard Jones's talents. Like the recent Verdi Macbeth this was a world class performance. Tragic that Shostakovitch wrote no more operas.

  9. Philip Vallentin responded on 23 April 2018 at 1:17am Reply

    What a train wreck of a story. Days after watching this opera I remain traumatised. How can people find gang rape funny entertainment? What is the ROH thinking??
    Yet another evening where I felt quite sullied when leaving The House. As an audience member stuck in the middle of a row I have little choice but to become complicit in the ROH's comfort with staging sexually violent humour......UGH!! Please warn me if you are going to stage this sort of content!!!

    • Mel Spencer (Senior Editor (Social Media)) responded on 24 April 2018 at 10:38am

      Dear Philip,

      I am very sorry to hear this. We do ensure there are guidance warnings on the website for productions with graphic content or adult themes; we are working to ensure these are more prominent for future productions.

      In the case of Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk, the production is intended to be deliberately uncomfortable to watch, and does not soften the harsh realities of life for women of the time, nor does it soften the brutal attitudes of many in that environment towards women. We hope that productions such as this will continue to encourage further dialogue and discussion about attitudes to women in society.

      All the best,


  10. Brian responded on 23 April 2018 at 9:09am Reply

    A great Covent Garden evening. A brilliant dramatic and musical performance that makes the best possible case for Shostakovich's masterpiece. Eva Maria Westbroeck was quite wonderful and very moving in a cast that had no weak links. Pappano got some of the best playing I have heard from the ROH orchestra, lyrical as well as searing. I hope the ROH revives Richard Jones's production of Prokofiev's The Gambler as soon as possible.

  11. Nina Battleday responded on 25 April 2018 at 11:18am Reply

    One of the very best productions I have seen at the ROH. I still have fond memories of the ENO production in the 70s, but I think this production brought out the very black humour and bitterness more. Unfair to pick out any performance as being outstanding, everyone was on top form. But please let me say how much I enjoyed John Tomlinson, an artist that I've seen since the start of his career and who can, I think, still show everyone how it should be done!

  12. Stewart Coulter responded on 25 April 2018 at 5:32pm Reply

    Mushrooms never tasted the same since seeing the very first performance in Britain at the other place way back! That was a unique privilege. So was last night. Superlative, one of the best evenings ever at ANY opera. Stunning performances, stunning production, stunning playing, a stunning opera.

  13. Mark responded on 28 April 2018 at 1:28am Reply

    I knew very little about this work, or anything by Shostakovich for that matter; I purposely had kept away from any reviews so I could go into this with a relatively open mind. I have to say what an amazing performance this evening (27/4) and what a tour-de-force of Opera.

    Bar none, everyone performed superbly and the set was well managed and the choreographed change was well timed.

    It was a very enjoyable work.

    Are there any plans for a DVD release of the 2018 performances?

  14. John Rose responded on 28 April 2018 at 11:48am Reply

    What an absolute pleasure to witness the final performance on Friday eveningI A rare occasion when production, music,singers and orchestra were all working in tandem with each other. I would say that this is one of the most memorable performances I can recall in over 50 years' opera going.
    It also brings home to me how disappointing some recent productions have been.
    I just hope management spends some time looking at the overall tone of these blogs...and takes care to select their producers carefully.
    All we ask, after all, is that future productions have some sense of cogency and musical relevance; as this one spades.

  15. Ann O'Shaughnessy responded on 28 April 2018 at 12:03pm Reply

    As with the recent performance of Macbeth, I am lost for words to describe this amazing production. It was perfection in every respect - ROH is truly world class when it delivers opera like this. Thank you to all concerned.

  16. Roger Taylor responded on 28 April 2018 at 10:40pm Reply

    There are many superlatives that could be used to describe this production. The orchestral playing exceeded Antonio Pappano's usual high standards. Eva Maria Westbroek's and John Tomlinson's interpretations were exceptional. It was great to see this opera which represented such a turning point in Shostakovich's career and so relevant to 20th century history. The bleak nature of the story and the black humour were so well portrayed that this led to a conflict of emotions for the observer.

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