Dmitri Shostakovich’s Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk was deemed to be offensive and banned for nearly 30 years by the Communist Party in Russia. The story goes that Joseph Stalin himself sat through a performance, a picture of masked fury, while Shostakovich sat quivering in his seat. Still, the opera shed great light on human suffering and oppression. And now, it is fitting that it finds its way back to the Metropolitan Opera at the time of a war between Ukraine and Russia. If violence won’t work against Russia, perhaps satire will!
The opera is a great choice for the Met Opera’s 2022-2023 season. And, it is also a great choice for you to watch live from the comfort of your living room, now possible through ‘The Met: Live at Home’, a new initiative by the Met to make its live programmes accessible to viewers from 171 countries, including India. The price of the transmissions, which include free viewings during a seven-day window, will be either $10 or $20, depending on the country. The first live transmission takes place on October 22, and users can access it through the Met’s website.
Whether it is Sondra Radvanovsky as the vengeful sorceress in Cherubini’s Medea or Nadine Sierra as the self-sacrificing courtesan in Verdi’s La Traviata—both operas being staged this season—the Met’s new initiative will open a whole new world to you, full of exaggerated pathos, sacrificial pain, and human nature at its most dramatic.