Below is a complete performance of Shostakovich’s first opera The Nose. I have previously written about he opera – here. As I mentioned in that earlier post the opera needs to be seen to be fully appreciated. This 1979 staging has English subtitles. The 21 year old composer’s exuberance explodes off of the stage. The orchestral writing is beyond brilliant. Unfortunately Stalin extinguished this effervescence when he condemned the composer’s second opera –  Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk. Genius remained, but it became a morose genius more more in keeping with the national temper.

The Russian cast under Gennady Rozhdestvensky fiery and idiomatic direction gives a much more fully realized performance than the versions  staged at the Met and Santa Fe even the hall and stage are quite small. A tour de force.


Dmitri Shostakovich
The Nose

Eduard Akimov, Platon Kuzmich Kovalyov
Alexander Lomonosov, The Nose
Valery Belykh, Ivan Yakovlevich, a barber
Nina Sasulova, Praskovia Osipovna, the barber’s wife
Boris Tarkhov, Local Policeman
Boris Druzhinin, Ivan, Kovalyov’s footman
Ashot Sarkisov, Doctor

Moscow Chamber Opera Theatre Chorus & Orchestra
Gennady Rozhdestvensky, conductor

Moscow 1979