Loud premiere at Musical theatre of a name of Stanislavsky and Nemirovich-Danchenko: Rimas Tuminas, the artistic Director of the Vakhtangov theatre, after the apparent success in Large theater staged two one-act operas of the twentieth century — “Oedipus Rex” of Igor Stravinsky and “the Castle of Duke Bluebeard” by Bela Bartok. What a drama Director chooses works of the twentieth century, very revealing and wise: they still unexplained are perceived as modern (despite what is sometimes written 100 years ago) and don’t have such a giant stage background as a classical Opera hits.
Photo: Sergei Rodionov
The Union of these one-act operas seems very natural. Between them of approximately 10 years (Edip — 1927, “the Duke” — 1918). Both are based on myth or fairy tale, in both “human” upstaged “pointedly symbolic”, both the libretto — “complicated” (Stravinsky so all in Latin) and have nothing in common with everyday speech, characteristic of their older contemporaries — Berestov, Puccini, Massenet. Well, the stories, of course, United by a common theme such as “many will know soon grow old”. And probably even die. What happened to the characters of both operas, when they learned the terrible truth, to which so persistently sought. Would have remained ignorant of might would cost. But this is impossible, because all the rules of the universe, and not uninteresting authors people with their sentimental ambitions and emotions. And there’s another bunch that are not obvious, but amusing in this schematic the context: it is believed that the prototype of Blue Beard became king of Brittany Komora, who lived in the VI century and was famous for having killed their pregnant wives. The reason for this atrocity directly points to the connection with the myth of Oedipus: Komora predicted that he would die at the hands of his own son…
The music in these operas are totally different. In “Oedipus” is a brilliant Stravinsky’s Mature style, with all its fantastic energy, recognizable by two bars of orchestral sound, original melody and incredible beauty of the choral verticals. Music “Blue Beard” (Yes will forgive me admirers of bartók) is a lot easier; it’s like she’s scooping out some of the common expressionistic boiler and flavored syncopation on the first beat, giving it a kind of “Hungarian chargesnot”. Nevertheless, the music is beautiful and obviously more enjoyable, understandable and easy for the orchestra under Felix Korobov.
There are two outstanding vocal work: Natalia Zimina in the party Jocasta in “Oedipus” and Denis Makarov in the role of Duke Bluebeard. Larisa Andreeva of the party of Judith was somewhat surprised coloratura paint tone, but she managed to convey the character of the heroine, combining tenderness and femininity with a maniacal desire for destruction. But male role in “Oedipus” left more questions than sensations convincing vocal and dramatic victories. However, Roman Ulybin managed CREON, which the artist played and sang very funny, causing Association with the image Polkan from “the Golden Cockerel” by Rimsky-Korsakov.
The Opera-oratorio Stravinsky’s “Oedipus the King” by Rimas Tuminas set after its dramatic staging of the tragedy of Sophocles first on the stage of the Greek amphitheatre of Epidaurus, and then Vakhtangov theater. It makes no sense to compare them: original Sophocles is even further removed from the ironic opus Stravinsky than the “Onegin” by Pushkin — from Eugene Onegin by Tchaikovsky.
Tuminas very organically took an ironic style of Stravinsky, giving the facilitator (this role with impeccable taste and sense of proportion takes the actor of the Vakhtangov theatre Vitaliys, Semenovs) elegance slightly campy and slightly pretentious artist of the art Deco era. All in the Director’s decision seems adequate material: the static characters, “talking” plastic choir from Angelica Cholina, austere scenery Adomas Jacovskis, square “burqa” by Maria Danilova. Tuminas after Stravinsky did not humanize this “Melchizedek”, being interested in them only as a “universal man.” In the end, the myth of Oedipus, which is not interpreted only lazy, however, remained encrypted message.
A similar story happened in “Duke Bluebeard”. The story made popular by Charles Perrault, is still mysterious. Tuminas did not offer their own clues, leaving the audience a pleasure to come up with answers to a series of questions. Starting with why this is quite a noble and charismatic Duke killed their wives, and ending with why his last wife wanted the truth, as if she was a composer Dargomyzhsky and fantastic beauty. Here, too, everything was very ascetic and strict. The Duke more was sitting on a chair, and Judith opened the mysterious door. And nothing has happened. Behind the door was darkness. And the only singing actress (in Russian, by the way, language) we learnt, what she sees there. And the audience also saw something more inside yourself than outside. Perhaps, long ago seen on the stage did not serve as strong incentive to include their own imagination and intellect.
So, two ancient mysteries, myth and fairy tale, and has remained a mystery. Rimas Tuminas together with the creative team and artists made them, lightly marking the path of the solution. And then — think for yourself and waiting for revelation.