Shostakovich opera Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk, was disliked by Stalin. He had seen it is December 1935. To receive Stalin's displeasure meant that you would be shot. The composer was lucky he was not. I know in jest, some singers actually do think, that a composer should be shot for inflicting some difficult part upon them, but this nearly happened to this great man. He fought back in his so called war symphonies,5-9. There is a DVD on this subject, called Shostakovich against Stalin The war Symphonies.
Mariss Jansons vigorously conducts the Royal Concertgebown orchestra.He is a Shostakovich specialist. The Staging by Martin Kusej,may not appeal to traditionalists.I then suggest you obtain the version conducted by James Conlon with the rough hawn voice of Jeanne Charbonnet. I can recommend this version, as I have it. In this modern staged version, Katerina is well portrayed by Eva-Maria Westbroek,who is also Sieglinde on the Blu ray version of Wagners Die Walkure, conducted by Simon Rattle.She is able to to sing this role, as any aspiring Brunnhilde should be able to do. Sergey is sung by Chris Ventris and Boris is Vladimir Vaneev.All the parts are well sung. For those lovers of modern staging this is a must for your collection.