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Saturday, March 24, 2018

Scarlet sails for Aida

Novosibirsk Opera and NOVATUS, as has now become known as the theatre closed the season at the culmination point — the premiere of Verdi’s “Aida” directed by conductor Dmitri Jurowski and stage Director Viacheslav Starodubtsev. Performance, fully adequate to the spirit and letter of one of the best scores of Verdi (the composer himself modestly called it “one of the least bad”), on the scale of production can compete with the most spectacular and large-scale versions of this masterpiece.

Photo — press-service of the theater

Good luck Aida lies in the simple yet sophisticated things — a harmonious synthesis of the music making of one of the most intelligent and sensitive Opera conductors Dmitri Jurowski, staged by the young Director Viacheslav Starodubtsev, for which you (including because of his first profession as an Opera soloist) musical drama is the main motivation when composing the play.

The Alliance of orchestra, chorus and soloists in “Aida” is close to ideal. A trio of main characters is the star of love-vocal ensemble, which rarely converge on one stage. Mikhail Agafonov – Radames, Agunda Kulaeva – Amneris and the tip of the triangle Veronika Dzhioeva – Aida. Vote for which “block” the huge hall of the Novosibirsk Opera with the largest in Russia the mirror of the stage is not difficult. None of the artists will not boost sound. Moreover, manage a full sound mezzo piano.

Dzhioeva and Kulaeva not for the first time, compete on stage for the possession of one tenor. They have had to fight for don josé in “Carmen”, but in “Aida” actress first met, though long dreamed of, to be partners in this Opera. Both singers have beautiful, rich overtones of the voices. The volume of tone and consistency in changing registers is a happy gift that can boast of Dzhioeva and Kulaeva. Need to take into account good looks of both Actresses: don’t even know who, exactly, should prefer bewildered Radames. Duet scene of Aida and Amneris, where the difference in the colors of their voices creates an amazing harmony, is truly a delight for lovers of Opera as vocal in the first place. And in the second too. And when they are joined by a bright, warm, voluminous tenor Agafonov – one more reason for fun. And when the moment comes Verdi tutti, where breathing passion orchestra merges with a powerful chorus (chorus master: Vyacheslav Podelsky), voices of soloists and crowned with a soaring above the dense musical fabric voice Dzhioeva (classical Italian Opera), operaman quite feels at ease: it Opera so Opera.

“Viacheslav Starodubtsev and his production team – the artist watch Putevoy, the lighting designer and the author of the video Sergei Skornickova, Director of the plastic Artur Oshchepkov also comes from this principle: we put the big Opera.

The action takes place in a magical world where mystical dreams about Ancient Egypt organically intertwined with the current ideas of computer design. In the video a lot of abstract, not particularly amenable to decoding, but creating the mood of the characters: cubes, pyramids, spirals, blobs. It’s all in the movement, flow from one to another. Artistic talent costumes stylize our understanding of ancient Egyptian fashion and exquisitely adjust them: they were the typical Egyptian hairstyles “care” the priestesses are the original black hats. The color combination is striking coloristic variety, which, thanks to the precise selection of shades, creates a unity of colour concepts. Look beautiful mirrored inserts in cloth and gold headdresses bizarre.

The performance is much expressive, sometimes eccentric details. Suddenly across the room, scaring the audience to the stage rapidly runs Messenger. Or the antiphon of two groups of four pipes, placed on the front of the stage in the famous triumphal March. On stage, a lot of people: the Egyptians, the priests, priestesses, soldiers, Ethiopians. Each group – your plastic drawing. Particularly impressive is the slow procession of priests on the edge of the pyramid, which is one of the essential foundations of the scenery. Visual focus – three huge mummified elephant on long thin legs, as if borrowed from extraterrestrial insects. When in the third act to them symmetrically joined by two giant quite modern windmill, then the picture is both beautiful and eerie.

Light about the score you can write a separate article. Let me just say that its effectiveness and variety, capable to decorate the most “awesome” show, are comprehended and subordinated to the drama, first of all, music.

For Starodubtseva (and read that he was a student of Dmitry Bertman) directing is working with actors. Which he, of course, luck. All the three main artist – inspired play of their characters, giving them true motivations, psychologically justified only as much as is appropriate in Opera. The Director leads the actors in domestic details while allowing you to experience every nuance of the text – the musical and verbal. However, not everything went smoothly. In the last scene in the most dramatic episode where Aida and Radames find each other, buried alive, the Director suddenly decided literally to embody the fact that they are in complete darkness. Their “blind” plastic spoiled the atmosphere by making a unnecessary fuss, and even some inappropriate comic. Perhaps this is why the ending is paradoxically a major Duo of characters from which only the stone is not crying, was slurred.

And in the play there is a mysterious character: a Boy (Michael Zhumabaev). It is, of course, utterly charming, but to attribute it not quite possible. Brother Of Aida? Her captive tribesman? Or … scary thought… her son from Radames? It is not known. But the play begins with the fact that the kid is playing in a boat with scarlet sails is a romantic symbol of the dream, which in the life of Aida, alas, was not to be realized. What can be said about Novate, acquired (let’s use again the words of Verdi, “a success that will fill the theater.”

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