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Wednesday, December 7, 2016

At the Mariinsky theatre he staged last Opera Weinberg “the Idiot”


The fate of the Opera by the Soviet composer Mieczyslaw (Moses) Weinberg “the Idiot” dramatic as his own. Written in 1986, this piece received the first staging of the full version in 2013 in Mannheim, 17 years after the author’s death. The Opera was conducted when Thomas Sanderling. And now it is a massive four-hour essay presented on stage of Mariinsky theatre in the production of the same Maestro Sanderling, Director (artist) Alexei Stepanyuk, with the participation of soloists of the Mariinsky Academy of young singers of the Mariinsky theatre. Ahead, by the way, the Bolshoi theatre, who said that the Prime Minister, suddenly became extremely popular, Opera for the next season. So both the main Opera house of the country now live life with “Idiot”.

The press service of the theater

Biography of Moses Weinberg is fantastic. A Polish Jew fleeing the Nazis in the Soviet Union in 1939, but received a blow from the Communists in 1953 was arrested on the case of doctors (!!!), released what a lot of effort put Dmitri Shostakovich. Author of 22 symphonies, 17 quartets, 8 operas, during his lifetime was known for the soundtrack to the film “the cranes are Flying” and the cartoon about Winnie the Pooh. And after all, if I was a scribbler – no! Composed beautiful music, which may well be put on a par with the other two Soviet geniuses like Prokofiev and Shostakovich. We, the students, in sufficient detail, held his works in high school course of history of music, could not understand, in what here a secret, why is it not performing?

Fortunately, cared and musicians: thanks to Thomas Sanderling began to show interest in the work of Weinberg. Not far off another premiere – “the Passenger” at the Ekaterinburg Opera and ballet theatre.

“Idiot” is playing at the Mariinsky-3 (Concert hall) is a non-traditional space in which the audience placed around the scene. Staging means designed to convey the atmosphere of St. Petersburg, is very stingy: top hung inverted fragments of the famous St. Petersburg architectural monuments – the dome of St. Isaac’s Cathedral, the angel from the spire of Peter and Paul Cathedral, the top of the Alexander column; bottom – covering scene print in the form of pavers, granite and checkered chain of embankments. Very strange costumes (Tatiana Mashkov). Somehow the asymmetrical sleeves on the dress Alexandra, absolutely episodic character that doesn’t need any special allocation, a huge fur coat fur up from Rogozhin, and even dress of Prince Myshkin – and is reminiscent of the outfit of today’s St. Petersburg homeless Frick: short trousers, army boots with laces, knitted sweater, jacket second hand. As if all of the selection is eclectic and very casual. On the stage move the screen with the photographic image of the ugly dilapidated St. Petersburg’s facades – they are run by men in suits of funeral agents. The atmosphere, frankly, grim.

Well, what is there to have fun? Dostoevsky! Yes, and combined with the music of Weinberg: crisp texture, great orchestration, with lots of brass, developed the system of leitmotifs, the end-to-end development. And, very importantly, melody. A true Opera melody – of course, recitative-Arioso, characteristic of music of the twentieth century, but filled with expressive intonations with inexhaustible semantics, meanings and codes, which are impossible to replace. Perhaps this is the magic of music Weinberg, not gone beyond the traditional musical language and traditional forms of Opera.

Another thing, can I share similar musical means and forms the content of the novel of Dostoevsky? All the strange, marginal, leading to a frenzy “shizuo” his characters? The improbability of motivation? Instant change of mental conditions, from hysteria to euphoria, from hatred to adoration? Can I bring to the operatic genre, which, even if reformed in the twentieth century, designed to create generalizations, convex rectilinear images, bright, friendly characters, passionate feelings, an intelligible plot? After all, these are “Lady Macbeth” by Shostakovich, “War and peace” by Prokofiev, and “Dialogues des Carmelites” by Poulenc, and “the turn of the screw Britten. But this is not it. Here, as he wrote to Dostoevsky, quite another: a winding path is not quite normative human psyche, perverted relationship, a story that a wise man called “the gossip involved in the metaphor of the” one word, “dostoevschina”…

Alexei Stepanyuk bravely solved this unsolvable problem. Decided, rushing from side to side – at times, resorting to the methods of psychological theatre and the touching domestic scenes, in which actors with varying degrees of success trying to give the action some semblance of realism. Particularly successful in this Elena Vitman (Elizabeth Yepanchin). Sometimes, including the grotesque and buffoonery – Dmitry Koleushko in the role of Lebedev. Totsky (Jaroslav Petryanik) somehow got some operetta gambler, and Ganechka Ivolgin performed by Artyom Melikhov – a kind of ambitious the life around us in the interpretation of the national theater. Lacked a unified directorial vision, concept, move, which would become the key to understanding all these poor and sick people, constituting, in fact, one whole: the personality of their great sstates the epileptic Dostoyevsky. It must be said that he sang everything very well. Especially expressive was Ekaterina Sergeeva in the party Aglaia. The two artists were not only talented to sing, but very accurate to play their characters – most, by the way, complex in the novel and in the Opera: Alexander Mikhailov (Myshkin) and Maria Bayankina (Nastasia). Mikhailov himself whether or at the behest of the Director – tried on a bright smile Yevgeny Mironov in the role of Myshkin from the recent film adaptation of the novel, and she came to him. The young artist was the main thing: Myshkin – an avatar of Christ, and without any external utility and vulgar means. It is written in the writer as written by the composer, that’s what they are going to play in the play. And Maria Bayankina, despite their irresistible appearance, plays a fatal temptress, a mangled, disfigured, tragic female destiny. Her character, insulted and humiliated, feels disgust for herself and therefore lives by the principle “the worse, the better” and aggressively seeking death.

It is hardly appropriate to criticize the work of Maestro Sanderling, to whom we owe the revival of this Opera and who is a recognized expert on the music of Weinberg. And still, dares. Wanted more movement, nerve, dynamic. However, all this may still be uncovered: the show only begins his life on the stage.

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