I attended the COC's production of Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk last Thursday. The performance was excellent, although the low brass were too loud. And I say that as a tuba player! I know the parts are awesome, but no one could hear anything but you!
The tuba is the orchestra's brassiere - there to support, but never to get in the way! But this is a minor complaint, nay, or if you prefer, an act of heresy.
So if you live in or around Toronto, go see it, because it seems to be some of his finest music in the service of some excellent dramatic material. Indeed, between this and his piano quintet, I'm beginning to be convinced that Shostakovich deserves at least some of the accolades he received last year on the occasion of his centenary. Or at least I feel safe to say that he is not, as Boulez said (via some folks at Sequenza21), a fourth pressing of Mahler.
But I don't really want to review Lady Macbeth. I'm much more interested in how important boredom was in the opera as a dramatic device, and how the audience reaction to the operas more raunchy moments spoke volumes about the conceptual space we inhabit when it comes to sex. But that essay's still in the shop, so you'll have to settle for this. And yes, I am going to get to my Doderer posts, beginning tomorrow.