In what might be termed Russo-Shakespearean noir, a ruthless woman's adulterous affair with a drifter sets in motion a chain-reaction of murder and deception in a remote village in 19th Century Mtsensk.
Wonderful Vishnevskaya in a fine film of Shostakovich's Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk District
Shostakovich is a composer I appreciate rather than love, but while not one of my favourite operas Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk District(or Katerina Izmailova as the film is called) is still rather fascinating. This is an excellent film version. Sadly much of the black humour is lost due to cuts, however the story and its basic crux is intact and the drama is still riveting. The final scene is especially well done and it was interesting to see it as Shostakovich intended. The filming and production values are splendid with a lot of hauntingly atmospheric colour, and the orchestral playing still has much colour and intensity. The performances are really wonderful, especially Galina Vishnevskaya's hugely compelling and at times sympathetic title role performance. Apparently Shostakovich's best friend and secretary Lev Atomvyan considered Vishnevskaya definitive as Katerina, and seeing her you can't argue with that. The other roles are also very well done vocally and dramatically. All in all, a fine opera film. 9/10 Bethany Cox
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