From 3. Sérénade
Le précaution inutile


Staatsoper Stuttgart's production of Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk came to San Francisco for six performances last November. The set was stark and geometric. The choreography was highly artificial and omnipresent, at times it was effective.

Soprano Solveig Kringelborn was excellent as the lead, Katerina Lvovna Ismailova. Her voice was powerful, but she had good control as well. Christopher Ventris as Sergei was one of the better tenors I've heard this year, his voice is very pretty indeed. Also strong was mezzo-soprano Jane Dutton, who had the small part of Sonyetka in Act IV. Her duet with Sergei was the high point of the opera.

Shostakovich's music was at times melodramatic, but on the whole, it was rather good.