The Nose

Opera by Dmitri Schostakowitsch

Based on the novella of the same name by Nikolai Gogol, »The Nose« displays the early genius of the 22-year-old Dmitri Shostakovich. While Gogol’s work satirized tsarist officialdom, the opera, which premiered in 1930, places the spotlight on an entire society when an opportunistic official finds himself ensnared by petty bureaucracy, a nose becomes a media sensation and the police keep a close watch on their citizens. Featuring dance tunes, balalaikas, Russian church music and classical music’s first essay into pure percussion, »The Nose« is no less grotesque than the strange events it narrates: The nose of the collegiate assessor Kovalev has suddenly and mysteriously disappeared. Understandably, Kovalev is beside himself –  What is a person without their nose? The vain civil servant turns to the police, then to the press, and descends ever deeper into a grotesque and surreal vortex, in which all sense of normality is lost.

Premiere 2. July 2022