While I admired the singers for their enormous efforts, I couldn't help thinking that Gogol und Shostakovich were clearly both drunk over many years. G's piece by itself is delicious and subversive, but young S ruined it.

The set/production/Buehnenbild was gimmicky ad nauseam -- what is clever about wall-to-wall cyrillics and the obligatory "Russian" banalities ?

The kaleidoskopic score is the flavour of that post-revolutionary moment, every one of the fashionable xylophon-y etc. noisemakers trotted out, and en masse. The buzzing only subsided after 500 grams of Vodka.