Shostakovich - THE NOSE
Shostakovich - THE NOSE Shostakovich - THE NOSE Shostakovich - THE NOSE
Shostakovich - THE NOSE
Duration: 02:11:41"

Shostakovich - THE NOSE

Composers of Russia

One morning, Major Kovalov discovers his nose has gone missing. A desperate nose-hunt ensues. Barrie Kosky makes his Royal Opera debut with a new production of Shostakovich’s surrealist satire, conducted by Ingo Metzmacher and translated by David Pountney.

Shostakovich was only 20 when he began writing THE NOSE, his operatic debut. He turned to a short story by Gogol: an absurdist satire, where a civil servant’s errant nose launches its owner on a ludicrous battle against both nose and the authorities, as bureaucratic processes break down in the face of so unusual a problem.

Gogol’s surrealist fable fired Shostakovich’s imagination, and he responded with a work of exuberant energy, full of musical jokes and grotesque parody – from the famed Act I entr’acte for percussion ensemble to plaintive laments, careening counterpoint, folksong (accompanied by balalaika) and rambunctious polkas.


Shostakovich finished the work in about a year, and in the following months gave successful performances of extracts from the opera. But it was to be another two years, in 1930, before THE NOSE was staged in full, by which time Soviet cultural climate had turned sternly against works of such perceived frivolity.

The opera was quickly dropped from the repertory; but since its rediscovery in the 1960s it has steadily gained recognition for Shostakovich’s baffling, brilliant wit. This new production is The Royal Opera’s first and it is directed by Barrie Kosky, Artistic Director of Berlin’s Komische Oper, whose YEVGENIY ONEGIN delighted audiences of The Opera Platform in January 2016. THE NOSE is performed in English, in a new translation by David Pountney.


Ailish Tynan - Podtotschina's daughter
Helene Schneiderman - Pelageya Podtotschina
Rosie Aldridge - Osipovna, Pretzel Seller
Susan Bickley - Old Lady
Alexander Kravets - District Inspector
Alexander Lewis - The Nose
Wolfgang Ablinger-Sperrhacke - Ivan
Peter Bronder - Iaryzhkin
Martin Winkler - Platon Kuzmitch Kovalev
John Tomlinson - Ivan Iakolevitch, Clerk, Doctor
Choir - Royal Opera Chorus
Orchestra - Orchestra of the Royal Opera House
Composer - Dimitry Shostakovich
Libretto - Dimitry Shostakovich, Yevgeny Zamyatin, Georgy Ionin, Alexander Preys
Translation - David Pountney
Music director - Ingo Metzmacher
Director - Barrie Kosky
Sets - Klaus Grünberg
Lighting - Klaus Grünberg
Costumes - Buki Shiff
Choreography - Otto Pichler

Available until

08 May 2017 at 23h59 CET
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The Opera Platform presents Shostakovich - THE NOSE from Royal Opera House. Starting 13 November 2016 at 19h30 CET, the opera will be available as video on demand.


English - French - German - Italian - Spanish - Polish