24 Jul 2006
Richard Morrison at the Coliseum [Times Online, 25 July 2006]
These days Katerina Izmaylova is a rarity. Western opera houses, at least, prefer Shostakovich’s opera about the repressed merchant’s wife who turns triple-murderer in its original 1932 version, Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk. That is regarded as being edgier and earthier, whereas the toned-down Katerina, produced 30 years later, is seen as a product of self-censorship on the part of a composer psychologically devastated by official attacks on his music.