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Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District Synopsis

Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk

ACT I
Katerina is the bored and unfulfilled wife of the merchant Zinovy. Boris, her father-in-law, keeps an eye on her and continually pesters her about providing an heir.
While her husband is away a new labourer, Sergei, is employed. Sergei instigates an assault on the cook, and when Katerina
intervenes he wrestles her to the ground. That night, when Katerina is in bed, Sergei knocks on the door and asks to borrow a book. They start to make love.

ACT II
Boris, lurking around Katerina's window, catches Sergei as he leaves the house. In a rage, he beats Sergei and then demands food from Katerina. He eats mushrooms which Katerina has laced with rat poison, dying horribly some moments later, but not before he has revealed the crime to a priest.
When Zinovy returns and tries to beat his wife, Sergei and Katerina murder him and hide the body in the cellar.

ACT III
Katerina and Sergei are to be married. A peasant, desperate for alcohol, finds the body of Zinovy and tells the police, who are resentful at not being invited to Katerinas wedding. The police descend on the wedding feast and arrest the newlyweds.

ACT IV
Katerina and Sergei are prisoners, marching on the road to Siberia. Sergei rejects Katerina, blaming her for their predicament.
Sergei now has a new woman, Sonyetka, who demands Katerina's stockings. When Sonyetka and the other women convicts taunt Katerina she pushes Sonyetka into the river and then jumps in herself. The convicts continue along the road.