A plot of the Opera was the essay by N. Leskov, one of the most horrifying pages of the Russian literature, revealing the "dark kingdom" of the pre-reform merchant Russia. The librettist A. Preis and the managing composer D. Shostakovich significantly reinterpreted Leskov's plot. They made few changes to the actions of Katerina Lvovna, but changed the motives of those completely. The main character appeared not only as a product but as a victim of domestic way of merchant life. Her protest against injustice and bullying, the assertion of human dignity took an ugly and cruel shape of the environment in which it was formed. Katherine is the only character in the opera able to feel, aware of strong soul impulses, seeking to escape from provincial life.
Shostakovich called his work a "tragic satire". Unlike household essay by Leskov here grotesque beginning is highly developed, especially in the depiction of the society surrounding the main characters. "Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk district" is the opera of a truly tragic sense. The opera performance is full of events, which deeply reveal the characters of the numerous heroes. The power of expression and laconism are peculiar for her. Musical sketches strike you with psychological accuracy and insight.
The opera has a complicated history. The first staging of the play in 1934 was severely criticized and it was not until the 60s that it appeared on the stage. In 1956 the composer issued a new version with the title "Katerina Ismailova". This was the version of the opera to be performed in Moscow in December 1962. The first edition was called "Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District". It was that revision that was presented on the stage of the Samara Academic Opera and Ballet Theatre.
Production Group: Conductor Alexander Anisimov, Director Georgy Isaakyan (Moscow), Art Director Vyacheslav Okunev (St. Petersburg), Lighting Designer Irina Vtornikova (Rostov-on-Don).