“Katerina Ismailova”. Opera.
Second version of the opera “Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District”. Opus 29
1960. Dusseldorf. Conductor A. Erese.
1963. London. Covent Garden. Conductor E. Downes.
1964. Zagreb, Conductor A. Horvat.
1965. Vienna. Conductor D. Krombholc.
Also in Helsinki. Milan, Buenos Aires, Basle, Vienna, Pec (Hungary), Barcelona, Turin, Berlin, Copenhagen, Munich, Oslo, Warsaw, Amsterdam, Klagenfurt (Austria), New York, London and Hamburg.
First Edition: “Muzfond” Publishers, Moscow, 1963.
The premiere of the opera “Katerina Ismailova” in its second version took place on January 8, 1963 on the stage of the Stanislavsky and Nemirovich-Danchenko Academic Music Theatre in Moscow.
Opus 114/29a. “Katerina Ismailova”. Music for the film.
Screen version of the opera.
Scriptwriter and Composer: D. Shostakovich.
Director: M. Shapiro. “Lenfilm” studios.
Released: October 1966.
Awarded a prize at the XX International Film Festival in Cannes.
“Rehearsals of my opera ‘Katerina Ismailova’ at the Stanislavsky and Nemirovich-Danchenko Theatre are of special concern to me. This work was performed in Soviet theatres as far as back as the thirties. I am now aware of the many imperfections in it and have done thorough work on the score. A good number of changes have been made to the text and the music itself.”
(“On New Musical Works” - A Conversation with D. Shostakovich. “ Pravda” - October 21, 1962)
“I cut out many instrumental effects, in particular, some glissando passages for the trombones. They irritated me, being inappropriate and detracting attention from the main idea of the opera”
(“Last Interview with D. Shostakovich”, “Muzyka l naya Zhizn”, 1976, No.17)
“...La Scala is planning to stage ‘Katerina Ismailova’ in the old version. This upset me very much. In the new version I had managed to correct a good deal. It had improved. I have a big favour to ask of you. Please tell them of my request that they should without fail stage the opera either in the new version or not at all. <...> I also want to let you know that I am categorically against them making any cuts or rearrangements in the opera”.
(From Shostakovich’s letter to N. Benoit dated May 5, 1964: sent from Zagreb to Milan)