Critical praise for the Norwegian "Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk"

Norwegian soprano Solveig Kringlebotn receives enthusiastic reviews for her interpretation of the tragic murderess Lady Macbeth at the San Francisco Opera. "Vocal heroics" and "performance of rare tenderness and muscle" are word used to describe Kringlebotn’s achievement.

Solveig Kringlebotn

Solveig Kringlebotn is one of the leading opera singers in Scandinavia, and she has a speciality for Norwegian songs as well as a wide operatic repertoire. She studied at the Norwegian State Academy of Music and the Royal Academy of Opera in Stockholm. She made her operatic debut at the Royal Swedish Opera in 1987 and received the Norwegian Critics' Award for her Mimi in La Bohème in 1990. Since then, Kringlebotn has performed all over the world, and this season, she has already, among other roles, sung Rosalinde in “Die Fledermaus” at the Metropolitan Opera and Lisa in “Pique Dame” at the Liceu in Barcelona.

The destiny of the tragic bride
“Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk” by Dmitri Dmitrievich Shostakovich and directed by Johannes Schaaf, is so vividly sensual that it was banned from Shostakovich’s homeland for 30 years. The opera follows the downward spiral of the young bride, Katerina (Lady Macbeth), and her tale of unfulfilled love. Caught between a loveless marriage and Sergei, her manipulative lover, Katerina is driven to kill—first her
father-in-law, then her husband. She confesses to the crimes in a fit of passion, and she and Sergei are banished to Siberia where Katerina realises that her lover has flagrantly exploited her.

The newspaper San Francisco Gate writes that “to mount this scabrous melodrama about murder and passion in the Russian hinterlands, the company has assembled a large and nearly flawless cast of singers and provided it with incisive artistic leadership”.

Convincing Kringlebotn
About Kringlebotn’s contribution the critic, Joshua Kosman, writes: “the cast, lead by Norwegian soprano, Solveig Kringlebotn in the title role, seemed to inhabit the spirit of the unyielding work – a characteristically Shostakovichian mix of corrosive satire and haunting lyricism – with uncanny specificity”.

The Kosman was at first a bit surprised by the choice of Kringlebotn as Lady Mcbeth, but she convinced him fully: “she dispatched the assignment with utter conviction. Her soft-edged singing was best suited for the role’s more lyrical interludes – the Act 1 reverie offered a heart-wretching picture of emotional deprivation – but she rose to more piercing vocal heroic as well”.
Another critic in the Mercury News calls her “The milk-cream-voiced Solveig Kringelborn”.

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