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Billy Budd (Opera by Benjamin Britten)

Billy Budd (Opera by Benjamin Britten)

Benjamin Britten
Opera in two acts
Libretto by Edward Morgan Forster and Eric Crozier based on the novel of the same name by Herman Melville
Music Director: William Lacey
Stage Director: David Alden
Set Designer: Paul Stainberg
Costume Designer: Constance Hoffman
Lighting Designer: Adam Silverman
Movement Director: Maxine Braham
Fight Coordinator: Jessica Jackson-Smith
Chief Chorus Master: Valery Borisov
Co-production with English National Opera.
Premiered at the Bolshoi Theatre on November 25, 2016.

SYNOPSIS

Prologue
Captain Vere, an old man, is haunted by a moment in his life when he was tested and found wanting.

ACT I
Scene 1 On board HMS Indomitable, a British man-of-war, during the French wars of 1797
Parties of seamen are at work. A novice seaman collides accidentally with the Bosun and later slips on the deck; the Bosun orders him to be flogged.
A boarding party returns from a passing merchant ship, the Rights o" Man, with three men impressed for naval service. Master-at-Arms John Claggart interviews the men. Only the last, Billy Budd, pleases the officers: he is a strong and enthusiastic sailor whose one defect is an occasional stammer. He bids a joyful welcome to his new life and an impassioned farewell to the Rights o" Man. Misunderstanding his farewell for a revolutionary declaration, the officers are alarmed and order to clear the deck.
Claggart, who is responsible for discipline, is instructed to keep an eye on Billy. He sets his corporal, Squeak, to watch and harass him.
The Novice returns from the flogging. The new recruits, appalled by the sight, are assured by Donald and Dansker that no one can escape his share of punishment. They warn against Claggart while showing their devotion to Captain Vere. Billy is attracted to the goodness of Vere and, along with the other men, swears to die for him if necessary.

Scene 2 Captain Vere"s cabin, a week later
Vere is reading alone at night. He sends for two officers to share a drink with him. They discuss the recent naval mutinies at Spithead and the Nore. Vere discounts their fears about Billy"s influence on the men, who are heard singing below decks. Another officer arrives to announce that enemy land has been sighted.

Scene 3 Below decks, the same evening
The men are off-duty and singing sea shanties. Billy discovers Squeak meddling with his kit-bag and they fight until Squeak is disarmed. Claggart arrives, has Squeak arrested and congratulates Billy. The men turn in for the night.
Claggart reveals his determination to destroy Billy. He forces the Novice to try and bribe Billy into leading a mutiny.
Billy wakes from a dream of drowning to hear the Novice"s proposal. In his fury at the idea of mutiny he can only stammer; the Novice runs away. Dansker realizes that Claggart is behind it all, but Billy refuses to believe him, dreaming instead of promotion.

ACT II
Scene 1 Some days later

Mist surrounds the ship. Claggart begins telling Vere that there is a dangerous seaman aboard, when a French ship is sighted. The crew are called to action stations; a shot is fired, but the wind fails, the mist returns and the chase is abandoned.
Claggart returns to Vere; he accuses Billy of planning a mutiny. Vere, disbelieving him, orders both men to his cabin.

Scene 2 Captain"s Vere"s cabin, a few minutes later
Billy arrives expecting promotion, only to be confronted by Claggart"s false accusation of inciting mutiny. Finding himself unable to speak in his defence, Billy hits out and Claggart falls dead. Vere is horrified. Sending Billy into an adjoining room, he summons his officers to an immediate trial, knowing that the penalty for striking a superior officer is death. Billy is brought before the drumhead court martial. Aware of the injustice of the death sentence in this instance, the officers appeal to Vere for guidance; he refuses to advise them and they reluctantly resolve that Billy should be hanged at dawn. Vere knows that he could have saved Billy. He goes to tell him the verdict.

Scene 3 The next morning, shortly before dawn
Billy awaits his execution; Dansker brings him food and drink.

Scene 4 On deck, four o"clock the same morning
The crew assemble to witness the hanging. Billy"s final words are "Starry Vere, God bless you!", a shout which is echoed by the crew. But after the hanging they turn on the officers in anger and resentment. Ordered below, their rebellion subsides into sullen obedience.

Epilogue
Vere, an old man, knows he has failed Billy and himself: he could have saved him. He receives Billy"s last words as a kind of benediction, redeeming him at the last.

Coppelia (Ballet by Leo Delibes)

Coppelia (Ballet by Leo Delibes)

Ballet in three acts
Libretto by Charles Nuitter and Arthur Saint-Leon after the stories by Ernst Theodore Amadeus Hoffmann
Choreography: Marius Petipa and Enrico Cecchetti
Revival and new choreographic version: Sergei Vikharev
Designer: Boris Kaminsky
Costume Designer: Tatiana Noginova
Music Director: Igor Dronov
Lighting Designer: Damir Ismagilov

SYNOPSIS

Act I
A public Square in a small town, on the borders of Galicia, with wooden houses painted with bright colors. One house stands out in contrast to the others, with grating before the windows and the door securely fastened. This is the residence of Coppelius.
Swanilda is approaching the house of Coppelius, raises her eyes to a large window, behind which Coppelia, the daughter of old Coppelius, is seen, sitting with a book in her hands apparently absorbed in her reading. Every morning she is seen at the same window and in the same attitude, and then disappears. She never goes out from this mysterious residence. She appears to be pretty, and many young men in the town have passed long hours beneath her window, beseeching for one look.
Swanilda suspects that her fiance, Frantz, is not indifferent to the beauty of Coppelia. She tries to attract her attention, but Coppelia has her eyes always fixed on her book, of which she does not even turn the leaves.
Swanilda cannot contain her feelings of anger. She starts to knock at the door, but she perceives Frantz approaching, and remains in hiding to see what he is going to do.
Frantz, who at first was going toward Swanilda house, suddenly stops. Coppelia is at the window. He bows to her. At the same time she turns her head and appears to return Frantz s salute. Frantz has scarcely time to throw a kiss to Coppelia before old Coppelius has opened his window, and seems to be amused at what has been going on.
Swanilda is furious against Coppelius and against Frantz. However, she remains quiet and pretends to have seen nothing. She runs after a butterfly. Frantz runs with her, and catching it, pins it in the collar of his coat. Swanilda reproaches him for his cruelty: "What has this poor insect done to you?" After many reproaches, the young maid brings herself to tell him, that she knows all. He has deceived her. He loves Coppelia. Frantz tries in vain to defend himself.
The Burgomaster announces that on the next day a grand fete will take place - the Lord of the manor has given a bell to the Town. They crowd round the Burgomaster. The noise is being made in Coppelius house. Odd looking lights are shining at the windows. Some of the girls shrink with fear from this mysterious abode. But it is nothing but the clash of the hammer on the anvil, and the light is the reflection from the forge. Coppelius is an old fool who is always working. At what? No one knows and who cares? He must be left alone and not be stopped from amusing himself. The Burgomaster approaches Swanilda. He tells her that tomorrow the lord of the manor will give a dowry and marriage to several couples. She is betrothed to Frantz; shall they not be united to-morrow? Ah! but there is time yet, and the young girl looking spitefully at Frantz, tells the Burgomaster that she will tell him a story. It is the story of a straw which reveals all secrets.
Swanilda takes the straw from a bundle, and placing it to her ear, pretends to listen; then she tells Frantz to listen also. Does it not tell him that he does not love Swanilda? Frantz answers that he hears nothing. Swanilda tries it with one of Frantz s friends, who pretends to hear very distinctly what the straw says. Frantz tries to protest, but Swanilda breaking the straw before his eyes, tells him that everything is broken between them. Frantz goes away, while Swanilda dances in the midst of her companions. Glasses are placed on the tables, and they drink the health of the lord of the manor and the Burgomaster.
Coppelius leaves his house and securely fastens the door. He has not gone many steps, before he is surrounded by a crowd of young fellows; some of whom want to take him away with them, while the others want to make him dance. The old man goes off swearing.
Swanilda is bidding adieu to her friends, when one of them sees a key, which Coppelius must have dropped.
The girls suggest to Swanilda to visit the mysterious house. At first Swanilda hesitates, but she wants to meet this rival. "Well, then, let us enter, " she says. The girls enter the house of Coppelius.
Frantz is seen coming up, carrying a ladder. He has determined to see what chance he has with Coppelia. The opportunity is most favorable and Coppelius is far off! But it is not so, for just as Frantz is steadying the ladder against the balcony, he sees Coppelius returning and looking for the lost key. He sees Frantz just about to climb the ladder. Frantz runs away.

Act II
A large room is full of all kinds of instruments and tools. There are several automata on pedestals. There are figures of an old man, dressed in Persian costume, a Negro in threatening attitude, a little Moorish cymbal-player, a Chinaman with a tympanon before him.
The girls cautiously enter Coppelius house. Who are those people standing still in the dark shadows? They are face to face with the strange figures which a moment before had so frightened them. Swanilda draws aside the heavy curtains. There she sees Coppelia seated with her book in her hand. Swanilda salutes the strange girl who remains motionless. She speaks to her, but gets no answer. She touches the young girl s arm and then starts back through fear. Can it be a living creature? She puts her hand to the heart, but it does not beat. This young lady is an automaton, and the handy-work of Coppelius! Swanilda doesn t worry herself any more about her rival, but looks forward to the fun of telling Frantz all about her discovery. The girls run laughing, around the studio. They have nothing to fear now.
One of them in passing by the Tympanon player, touches it by accident. It begins playing a tune. The girls are at first bewildered, but soon begin dancing. They then find the spring, which sets the little Moorish figure in motion.
Suddenly Coppelius returns in a furious rage. He draws together the curtains which conceal Coppelia; stops the automata and runs after the girls. They slip through his hands and disappear down the back stairs. Swanilda is hiding behind the curtains. She is caught! but no; crouching in a corner she remains unseen when Coppelius looks behind the curtain. He examines Coppelia and finds that no harm has been done. He breathes more freely.
But what is that noise? He sees the top of a ladder in the window and then Frantz appears. Coppelius does not show himself. Frantz is going toward the spot where he has seen Coppelia, when two stout hands seize him. Frantz nearly dead with fright, implores Coppelius to forgive him. He tries to escape, but the old man holds him tightly. "What are you up to here?" he asks. Frantz confesses that he is in love. "I am not so bad as people say. Sit down and let us take a drink together and have a chat, " answers Coppelius. He gets an old flagon of wine and two goblets. He takes a sip with Frantz, and then, when Frantz is not looking, he throws away the wine.
Frantz finds that the wine has a peculiar taste. He tosses it down, however, and Coppelius makes him drink more and more. Frantz tries to get near the window where he has seen Coppelia. But his legs give way, he falls heavily on the bench and is asleep.
Coppelius gets a magic book and studies its pages. Then he rolls the pedestal which holds Coppelia, bringing it nearer to sleeping Frantz. Placing his hands over the heart and forehead of the young man, he tries to take away his soul to give life to the young girl. Coppelia rises up, she begins her mechanical motions but then she descends the first step of the pedestal and then the second. She walks! She lives!
Coppelius is almost beside himself with joy. His work has surpassed all that human hand has ever created! She soon begins to dance slowly, and than all at once darts off so quickly that Coppelius can scarcely follow her. She smiles; a color comes to her cheeks and she is full of life!
She sees the vial and places it to her lips. Coppelius is just in time to snatch the flagon from her hands. She perceives the magic book and asks Coppelius what it means. "There are impenetrable secrets, " he answers, and closes the book. She examines the automata. "I have made them all, " Coppelius says. She stops in front of Frantz. "And that one?" she asks. "It is like the rest, " he answers. She sees a dagger and pricks her own finger with the point of it and then amuses herself by thrusting it at the little Moor. Coppelius roars with laughter... but she approaches Frantz... The old man stops her and she turns against him and chases him around the studio. At last he disarms her. He throws a cloak over her shoulders, and it seems to awaken in her a world of new ideas. She dances a Spanish dance. Then she finds a Scotch scarf-pin and taking it in her hands, she dances a jig. She jumps and runs around, throwing everything within her reach to the ground and breaking it! She is decidedly too lively! What shall Coppelius do!
In the midst of all the noise, Frantz wakes up. Coppelius now seizes Coppelia and replacing her by main force on the pedestal, draws the curtains. He then goes up to Frantz and orders him to leave. "Go along!" he cries, "you are good for nothing."
Then he stops and listens. Did he not hear the tune which generally accompanies the movement of the automata? He jumps up and while he is staring at Coppelia, who has started her old movements, Swanilda skips out unobserved from behind the curtain. She sets the other two automata going. "Are these two also moving by themselves?" Coppelius exclaims. All at once he sees Swanilda disappearing with Frantz. He has a vague notion that some game has been played on him and falls heavily in the midst of the automata which keep moving as if to mock at their master s grief and despair.

Act III
A lawn in front of the baronial castle. At the back, the bell, the gift of the lord of the manor, is hung from poles, decorated with garlands and banners. A car covered with allegorical designs and on which are grouped the various actors for the fete, has just stopped in front of the bell.
The priests have pronounced a benediction over the bell. The betrothed couples who are to be given a dowry, and are to be united on this festal day go and bow before the baron. Frantz and Swanilda complete their mutual reconciliation. Frantz has disabused himself of his temporary infatuation and thinks no more of Coppelia. He knows what a joke has been played upon him. Swanilda forgives him and giving him her hand, advances with him before the lord of the manor.
All at once there is a stir among the crowd. Coppelius comes to implore and even to demand justice; they have ridiculed him and have broken everything in his house, his masterpieces made with the greatest labor and patience, have been smashed. Who is going to pay him? Swanilda, who has just received her dowry, quickly offers it to Coppelius. But the lord of the manor stops Swanilda. She may keep her dowry. He throws a purse to him and whilst Coppelius departs with his money, he gives the signal for the festivities to begin.
The Bell-ringer alights first from the car. He summons the Morning Hours. They appear, quickly followed by Aurora. The bell rings! It is the Hour of Prayer. Aurora vanishes, chased by the Hours of Day. These are the working hours, and the young girls and reapers begin their work. The bell rings again! It announces a wedding.
Derived from: Delibes Ballet of Coppelia. Paris Opera Libretto. Under the Direction of Mr. Heinrich Conried. The Original Italian, French or German Libretto with a Correct English Translation. New York : F. Rullman.

Cosi fan tutte,ossia La scuola degli amanti (Opera by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart)

Cosi fan tutte,ossia La scuola degli amanti (Opera by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart)

Opera in two acts
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Libreto by Lorenzo da Ponte
Stage Director: Floris Visser
Designer: Dieuweke van Reij
Lighting Designer: Alex Brok
Premiered on May 24, 2014

Synopsis

Act I
Ferrando is in love with Dorabella and Guglielmo is in love with Fiordiligi, her sister. Don Alfonso outrages the men by stating that the girls will sooner or later be unfaithful to them; he makes a bet with them that he can prove his words within the space of a day, but that Ferrando and Guglielmo must follow his orders completely during that time. Dorabella and Fiordiligi are waiting impatiently and longingly for their lovers. Alfonso, however, arrives instead and imparts the disastrous news that their fiances must leave immediately for the battlefield. The couples swear eternal fidelity and with great difficulty the sisters bid farewell to their lovers. Ferrando and Guglielmo leave for the front.
Dorabella cannot restrain her despair. The servant girl Despina reacts matter-of-factly and advises the sisters to look for new lovers. Alfonso decides to involve Despina partially in his plans. He introduces her to two exotic foreigners whom he says are in love with Fiordiligi and Dorabella: Despina"s job is to help them obtain their desires. The men"s disguise is complete, for Despina does not recognise them. The sisters are horrified that strange men have gained access to their house. Fiordiligi is offended to the core by their shameless courting and proclaims the steadfastness of her and Dorabella"s fidelity.
Alfonso has to trust in Despina"s talents for the success of his next plan. She advises the foreigners to pretend to kill themselves for unrequited love. As a miracle-working doctor Despina then seems to save the lives of the two men with a magnet; their complete recovery, she says, can only be completed by a kiss from the two sisters. The women react with horrified indignation to such a suggestion.

Act II
Despina advises the sisters how to carry out a no-strings-attached flirtation with the two strangers; the two women are now prepared to allow themselves a little amusement with the men. Dorabella chooses the disguised Guglielmo and Fiordiligi the disguised Ferrando.
The men serenade the women, begging forgiveness for their forward behavior and promising to mend their ways. Alfonso and Despina arrange matters so that the new couples come closer together.
Dorabella is only too ready to exchange her locket with Ferrando"s picture for a medallion in the shape of a heart offered by the disguised Guglielmo. Their new relationship is thus confirmed.
The disguised Ferrando has, however, been rejected with disgust by Fiordiligi. Alone, she nevertheless has to admit to herself that she has fallen in love with the newcomer. Filled with remorse, she begs forgiveness for her infidelity to Guglielmo.
Guglielmo finds it extremely difficult to defend his seduction of Ferrando"s fiancee to Ferrando himself.
Dorabella is ready to begin a new life with her new lover.
Fiordiligi is offended by her sister"s behaviour. However, she intends to flee her newly discovered love and decides to go to Guglielmo. She is trying on clothing left behind by Ferrando when the disguised Ferrando himself appears; Fiordiligi can resist him no longer. Don Alfonso explains the lesson that must be learnt from their experiences to the disillusioned men: such is women"s nature. Despina arrives with the message that the sisters are ready to marry the strangers and that the notary is standing by. A double wedding ceremony is improvised and both women have just signed the marriage contracts when Ferrando"s and Guglielmo"s return is announced. The supposed bridegrooms hide in an adjoining room - only to readopt their original characters and to give the sisters the fright of their lives at their supposed return. Don Alfonso shows them the marriage contracts. The boys react furiously, but the sisters beg for forgiveness. Ferrando and Guglielmo would love to believe them, but do not want to experience something like this ever again. Don Alfonso has won his bet: young people cannot arrive at adulthood emotionally unscathed.

Curtain. Naiad and fisherman. Suite (One act Ballets. Ekaterinburg State Academic Opera and Ballet Theatre presents)

Curtain. Naiad and fisherman. Suite (One act Ballets. Ekaterinburg State Academic Opera and Ballet Theatre presents)

Caesar Puni
One-act ballets
Choreography: Alexander Shiryaev
The production and the new choreographic edition: Yuri Burlaka
Scenographer: Andrey Voitenko
Costume Designer: Tatyana Noginova
Conductor: Alex Bogorad
The concept of musical drama: Yuri Burlaka
Revision of original score and new orchestration of separate issues: Alexander Troitsky
Artists: Nadezhda Ivanova, Ekaterina Sapogova, Alexander Merkushev, Igor Bulytsyn, Tomokha Terada, Liri Wakabayashi, Anna Domke

The ballet "Nayad, or Undine" was staged in 1843 by Jules Perrot on the music of Caesar Puni and further throughout the 19th and 20th centuries, various choreographers addressed him several times. They were attracted by the expressive music of Pugni, and the opportunity to work with the choreography, once presented by Perrault, the most famous master of the romantic era. Yes, the whole performance was not preserved, but we have the opportunity to at least approach it thanks to the surviving suite. The idea of ??"Naiads" for more than a century and a half, suite from the ballet - more than a century. This is in the full sense of the word "classical heritage". The question of the value of a romantic ballet for a modern person, in my opinion, is decided by the time itself. If the play has lived a century, a half or two centuries - it alone has proved its value. On the contrary, the question of which of the modern plays can boast of such longevity - will be decided later. With time. Century two.

Yuriy Burlaka

Flames of Paris (Ballet by Boris Asafiev)

Flames of Paris (Ballet by Boris Asafiev)

Ballet in two acts
Book by Alexander Belinsky and Alexei Ratmansky
on the basis of the original libretto by Nikolai Volkov and Vladimir Dmitriev
Choreographer - Alexei Ratmansky
with use of the original choreography by Vasily Vainonen
Music Director - Pavel Sorokin
Scenographers - Ilya Utkin, Evgeny Monakhov
Costume Designer - Yelena Markovskaya
Lighting Designer - Damir Ismagilov
Music dramaturgy conception - Yuri Burlaka
Premiered on July 3, 2008.
Presented with one interval.
Running time: 2 hours 15 minutes.

SYNOPSIS

Act I
Scene 1

A suburb of Marseilles, the town which gave its name to the French National anthem. Through the forest a large group of people are on the move. This is the battalion of the Marseillais who are on their way to Paris. A cannon which they are taking with them indicates their intentions. Among the men of Marseilles is Philippe.
It is by the cannon that Philippe makes the acquaintance of the peasant girl Jeanne. He kisses her on parting. Jeanne s brother, Jerome, longs to join the Marseillais.
In the distance is the castle of the Marquis Costa de Beauregard, the local seigneur. Hunters are returning to the castle, among whom are the Marquis and his daughter, Adeline.
The noble Marquis makes advances to the pretty peasant girl, Jeanne. The latter tries to free herself from his pawing, but only manages to do so with the help of Jerome, who comes to his sister s defense.
Jerome is beaten up by the hunters from the Marquis s suite, and thrown into a prison cellar. Adeline, who has observed the scene, frees Jerome, and in their hearts a mutual feeling for each other is born. The sinister, old woman Jarcasse, who has been employed by the Marquis to keep an eye on his daughter, informs her adored master of the escape. The Marquis slaps his daughter and orders her to get into a carriage, accompanied by Jarcasse. They are going to Paris.
Jerome bids farewell to his parents. It is not safe for him to remain on the Marquis s estate. He and Jeanne go off with a detachment of the Marseillais. Their parents are inconsolable.
Volunteers are enrolling in the detachment. Together with the crowd, the men of Marseilles dance a farandola. The men put on red caps in place of their old headwear. Jerome is given a gun by the leader of the insurgents, Gilbert. Jerome and Philippe harness themselves to the cannon. The detachment moves off to Paris to the strains of the Marseillaise.

Scene 2
The sound of the Marseillaise gives way to an elegant minuet. The royal palace. The Marquis and Adeline have arrived here. The Master of Ceremonies announces the start of the ball.
Rinaldo and Armida, a court ballet, with the Paris stars Mireille de Poitiers and Antoine Mistral:
Sarabande - Armida and her friends. Armida s forces return from a campaign. Prisoners are led in. Among them is Prince Rinaldo.
Amour aims an arrow at the hearts of Armida and Rinaldo. Variation - Amour. Armida frees Rinaldo.
Pas de deux Rinaldo and Armida.
The phantom of Rinaldo s bride appears. Rinaldo abandons Armida and sails off in a boat after the phantom. Armida conjures up a storm. Waves cast Rinaldo onto the seashore, he is surrounded by furies.
Dance - Furies. Rinaldo falls dead at Armida s feet.
King Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette make their entrance. Greetings, oaths of loyalty and toasts to the prosperity of the monarchy follow.
The tipsy Marquis chooses the Actress as his next victim, and starts to court her in the same way as he had Jeanne, the peasant girl. The strains of the Marseillaise are heard from the street. The courtiers and officers panic. Making use of this, Adeline escapes from the palace.

Act II
Scene 3

A square in Paris, into which the men of Marseilles march, among whom are Philippe, Jerome and Jeanne. A shot from their cannon is to give the signal for the start of the assault on the Tuileries.
Suddenly, in the square, Jerome catches sight of Adeline. He rushes over to her. The sinister, old woman Jarcasse spies on their meeting.
In the meantime, in honor of the arrival of the detachment of men from Marseilles, a barrel of wine is rolled out into the square. Dances get underway: the Auvergne dance gives way to the Marseillaise dance, then the temperamental dance of the Basques starts up, in which all the chief characters take part: Jeanne, Philippe, Adeline, Jerome and Gilbert, the captain of the Marseillais.
In the crowd, flushed with wine, petty brawls break out here and there. Stuffed dolls of Louis and Marie Antoinette are torn to pieces. Jeanne with a spear in her hands dances the carmagnole to the singing of the crowd. Philippe, who is drunk, lights the fuse, there is volley of cannon fire, after which the crowd dashes off to storm the Tuileries.
Against a background of shots being fired and the beating of drums, Adeline and Jerome declare their love for each other. They are oblivious to what is going on around them.
The Marseillais break into the palace. They are led by Jeanne, waving a flag. Fighting. The palace is taken.

Scene 4
The crowd fills the square which is decorated with lanterns. Members of the Convention and new government mount the tribune.
The crowd rejoices. The famous artists, Mireille de Poitiers and Antoine Mistral, who before had entertained the king and his courtiers, now perform the Freedom dance for the people. The new dance is little different to the old, only now, the actress holds the Republican flag in her hands. Artist David is sketching the celebration.
By the cannon, from which the first volley had been fired, the President of the Convention unites the hands of Jeanne and Philippe. These are the first young newly weds of the new Republic
The sound of Jeanne and Philippe s betrothal dance gives way to the muffled thuds of the falling knife of the guillotine.
The condemned Marquis is led in. Seeing her father, Adeline rushes over to him, but Jerome, Jeanne and Philippe beg her not to give herself away. In order to revenge the Marquis, Jarcasse betrays Adeline, revealing her true origins. Roused to fury, the crowd demands her death. Beside himself with despair, Jerome tries to save Adeline, but to no avail. She is guillotined. Frightened for their lives, Jeanne and Philippe restrain the struggling Jerome.
The celebration continues. To the strains of Ca ira, the triumphant populace moves downstage towards the audience.

Hero of Our Time (Ballet by Ilya Demutsky)

Hero of Our Time (Ballet by Ilya Demutsky)

Ballet in two acts
Composer: Ilya Demutsky
Choreographer: Yuri Possokhov
Director, Designer and Author of Libretto: Kirill Serebrennikov
Costume Designers: Elena Zaitseva, Kirill Serebrennikov
Music Durector: Anton Grishanin
The world premiere took place on 22 July 2015.
The first and the second parts are performed without intermission.
Running time: 2 hours 15 minutes.

Synopsis

Can it be that wickedness is so attractive?..
Pechorin"s diary

BELA

1.
Prologue
Pechorin alone.
When I saw Bela in my own house; when, for the first time, I held her on my knee and kissed her black locks, I, fool that I was, thought that she was an angel sent to me by sympathetic fate... Again I was mistaken; the love of a savage is little better than that of your lady of quality, the barbaric ignorance and simplicity of the one weary you as much as the coquetry of the other. I am not saying that I do not love her still; I am grateful to her for a few fairly sweet moments; I would give my life for her - only I am bored with her... Whether I am a fool or a villain I know not; but this is certain, I am also most deserving of pity - perhaps more than she...
Bela"s funerals.
Muezzin"s exequial cant and a voice of a Russian wailer are heard.
How tiresome... I went away to order a coffin. Should I have erected a cross? No, a cross would not have done!..
...After all, she was not a Christian.

2.
Celebration.
Mountaneers, Pechorin, Kazbich.

Bela appears.
"What was it she sang - do you remember?"
"It went like this, I fancy: "Handsome, they say, are our young horsemen, and the tunics they wear are garnished with silver; but handsomer still is the young Russian officer, and the lace on his tunic is wrought of gold. Like a poplar amongst them he stands, but in gardens of ours such trees will grow not nor bloom!"
"Well, now, what do you think of her?"
"Charming! What is her name?"
"Her name is Bela."
"Bela."
"It is a bad thing to interfere in other people"s quarrels. Wouldn"t it be better for us to clear off without loss of time?"
"Wait, though, and see how it will end!"
"Oh, as to that, it will be sure enough to end badly; it is always so with these Asiatics. Once let them get drunk on buza, and there"s certain to be bloodshed."
Pechorin abducts Bela.

3.
Bela at Pechorin"s.
She sits in the corner, muffled in her veil, and neither speaks nor looks up - timid as a wild chamois! I have hired the wife of our dukhan-keeper: she will look after Bela and accustom her to the idea that she belongs to me - for she shall belong to no one else!
No one!
Pechorin seduces Bela.
"Listen, my Peri, surely you know that you will have to be mine sooner or later - why, then, do you but torture me? Is it that you are in love with some Chechene? If so, I will let you go home at once. Or is it that I am utterly hateful to you? Or that your faith prohibits you from giving me a little of your love? Believe me, Allah is one and the same for all races; and, if he permits me to love you, why, then, should he prohibit you from requiting me by returning my love? Listen, my dear, good Bela! You see how I love you. I am ready to give up everything to make you cheerful once more. I want you to be happy, and, if you are going to be sad again, I shall die. Tell me, you will be more cheerful?"

Bela is happy.

Pechorin returns. He has lost interest in his abductee.
Bela"s heart is broken.

4.
Mountaneers. Kazbich. Bela"s death.
"I don"t want to die!.. It burns..."
"Where?"
"Here in my breast... Piercing... As a red-hot blade... Water, water!..
"Where is father?! Grisha... I want back to the mountains, back home...
"Grishaaa... Why don"t you love your janechka anymore?.. Is it because I am not a Christian? How terrible, Grisha... how terrible... our souls will not meet in the other world... in Paradise another woman will be your companion..."
"Do you want to be baptized?"
"No... I will die in the faith in which I was born... It is better now... Go to bed, Grisha... Kiss me, Grisha... I beg of you..."
Pechorin and the dead Bela. He is uncertain whether he should bury her as a Christian or as a Muslim.
The mountains of Caucasus are not moved by human pain.

TAMAN

1.
Pechorin arrives at Taman.
Taman is the nastiest little hole of all the seaports of Russia. I was all but starved there, to say nothing of having a narrow escape of being drowned. I arrived late at night by the post-car... The sentry, a Cossack from the Black Sea, hearing the jingle of the bell, cried out, sleepily, in his barbarous voice, "Who goes there?" An under-officer of Cossacks and a headborough came out. I explained that I was an officer bound for the active-service detachment on Government business, and I proceeded to demand official quarters. The headborough conducted us round the town. Whatever hut we drove up to we found to be occupied. The weather was cold; I had not slept for three nights; I was tired out, and I began to lose my temper.
"Take me somewhere or other, you scoundrel!" I cried; "to the devil himself, so long as there"s a place to put up at!"
"There is one other lodging," answered the headborough, scratching his head. "Only you won"t like it, sir. It is uncanny!"

2.
A mysterious house at the sea shore. The wind is blowing.
Pechorin, the Old Woman, the Blind Boy.
"You are the master"s son?"
"No."
"Who are you, then?
"An orphan - a poor boy."
"Has the mistress any children?"
"No, her daughter ran away and crossed the sea with a Tartar."
"Not a single icon to be seen on the wall - a bad sign!"
Undine appears.
Pechorin falls in love with the strange beauty.
Certainly never before had I seen a woman like her. She was by no means beautiful; but, as in other matters, I have my own prepossessions on the subject of beauty. There was a good deal of breeding in her... Breeding in women, as in horses, is a great thing...
Breeding is chiefly to be detected in the gait, in the hands and feet; the nose, in particular, is of the greatest significance. In Russia a straight nose is rarer than a small foot.
Undine disappears.
Alone, Pechorin falls asleep.

3.
Pechorin"s dream. March of uncanny creatures.
I confess that I have a violent prejudice against all blind, one-eyed, deaf, dumb, legless, armless, hunchbacked, and such-like people. I have observed that there is always a certain strange connection between a man"s exterior and his soul; as, if when the body loses a limb, the soul also loses some power of feeling.
Undine reappears. Seagulls cry.
Pechorin and Undine"s love duet.
"Tell me, my beauty, what were you doing on the roof to-day?"
"I was looking to see from what direction the wind was blowing."
"What did you want to know for?"
"Whence the wind blows comes happiness."
"Well? Were you invoking happiness with your song?"
"Where there is singing there is also happiness."
"But what if your song were to bring you sorrow?"
"Well, what then? Where things won"t be better, they will be worse; and from bad to good again is not far."
"And who taught you that song?"
"Nobody taught me; it comes into my head and I sing; whoever is to hear it, he will hear it, and whoever ought not to hear it, he will not understand it."
Undune lures Pechorin at sea.
"To-night, when everyone is asleep, go out to the shore."
"Follow me! Let us get into the boat."
"What is the meaning of this?"
"It means, it means that I love you!.."
"What do you want?.."
Undine tries to drown Pechorin. They struggle.
Pechorin manages to survive.

4.
Pechorin searches for Undine in vain.
Pechorin, the Old Woman, the Blind Boy.
"How come that you have a daughter?"
"I am deaf. I don"t hear you."
"You don"t have a daughter, do you?"
"I am deaf as a post."
"Now, then, you little blind devil. Tell me, where were you roaming with the bundle last night, eh?"
"Where did I go? I did not go anywhere... With the bundle?.. What bundle?"

5.
Seashore at night. Smugglers.
Arrival of Yanko, leader of smugglers and Undine"s lover.
Yanko, Undine, the Blind Boy.
"Yanko, all is lost! He saw us.. He will tell on us...
"Listen, you blind one... She is coming with me. It is impossible for her to remain here. Tell the old woman that it is time for her to die; she has been here a long time, and the line must be drawn somewhere. As for us, she will never see us any more."
"And I?.."
"What use have I for you?"
"Come on, Yanko..."
Undine and Yanko get away.
The Blind Boy and Pechorin remain alone.

Thank Heaven an opportunity of getting away presented itself in the morning, and I left Taman. What became of the old woman and the poor blind boy I know not. And, besides, what are the joys and sorrows of mankind to me - me, a travelling officer, and one, moreover, with an order for post-horses on Government business?

PRINCESS MARY

1.
Prologue - Pechorin"s solo
Yesterday I arrived at Pyatigorsk. I have engaged lodgings at the extreme end of the town, the highest part, at the foot of Mount Mashuk: during a storm the clouds will descend on to the roof of my dwelling. This morning at five o"clock, when I opened my window, the room was filled with the fragrance of the flowers growing in the modest little front-garden. Branches of bloom-laden bird-cherry trees peep in at my window, and now and again the breeze bestrews my writing-table with their white petals... Blithe is life in such a land! A feeling akin to rapture is diffused through all my veins. The air is pure and fresh, like the kiss of a child; the sun is bright, the sky is blue - what more could one possibly wish for? What need, in such a place as this, of passions, desires, regrets?..

2.
Watering-place society.
Medical treatment, exercises, water well.

Grushnitski arrives with the wounded soldiers.
Grushnitski and Pechorin meet.
"You are embittered against the whole human race?"
"And I have cause to be..."
"Oh, really?"

Mary"s arrival.
Pechorin understands that Grushnitski is in love with Mary.

I have never known a waist more voluptuous and supple! Her fresh breath touched my face; at times a lock of hair, becoming separated from its companions in the eddy of the waltz, glided over my burning cheek... She was out of breath, her eyes were dulled, her half-open lips were scarcely able to whisper the indispensable: "Merci, monsieur."

Vera"s appearance.

Has destiny brought us together again in the Caucasus, or has she come hither on purpose, knowing that she would meet me?.. There is not a man in the world over whom the past has acquired such a power as over me...

Pechorin and Vera.
"Vera!"
"I knew that you were here."
"We have not seen each other for a long time."
"A long time, and we have both changed in many ways."
"Consequently you love me no longer?.."
"I am married!.."
"Again? A few years ago, however, that reason also existed, but, nevertheless..."
"Perhaps you love your second husband?.. Or is he very jealous? What then? He is young, handsome and, I suppose, rich - which is the chief thing - and you are afraid?.."
"Tell me, do you find it very amusing to torture me? I ought to hate you. Since we have known each other, you have given me naught but suffering..."
"Perhaps, it is for that very reason that you have loved me; joys are forgotten, but sorrows never..."

Mary helps Grushnitski who has pretended he is wounded in order to attract her attention.
Pechorin mockers Grushnitski, and he becomes furious.

"Did you see? She is an angel, simply an angel!"
"Why?"
"Did you not see, then?"
"No. I saw her picking up your tumbler. If there had been an attendant there he would have done the same thing - and quicker too, in the hope of receiving a tip. It is quite easy, however, to understand that she pitied you; you made such a terrible grimace when you walked on the wounded foot."
"And can it be that seeing her, as you did, at that moment when her soul was shining in her eyes, you were not in the least affected?"
"No."

Pechorin and Mary remain alone with each other.
"I have heard, Princess, that although quite unacquainted with you, I have already had the misfortune to incur your displeasure... that you have considered me insolent. Can that possibly be true?"
"Would you like to confirm me in that opinion now?".
"If I had the audacity to insult you in any way, then allow me to have the still greater audacity to beg your pardon... And, indeed, I should very much like to prove to you that you are mistaken in regard to me..."

Mary falls under Pechorin"s spell.
Grushnitski is jealous.

3.
Gentlemen"s club. Grushnitski complains about Pechorin"s actions. He thinks Pechorin is going to conquer Mary for himself.

A ball commences.
Polonaise. Waltz. Polka.
Pechorin dances with Mary.
"I did not expect this from you."
"What?"
"You are going to dance the mazurka with her? She admitted it..."
"Well, what then? It is not a secret, is it?"
"Of course not... I ought to have expected such a thing from that chit - that flirt... I will have my revenge, though!"
"You should lay the blame on your cloak, or your epaulettes, but why accuse her? What fault is it of hers that she does not like you any longer?.."
"But why give me hopes?"
"Why did you hope? To desire and to strive after something - that I can understand! But who ever hopes?"
"You have won the wager, but not quite."
Quarrel between Grushnitski and Pechorin. Grushnitski challenges Pechorin.

4.
Vera"s letter.
Pechorin and Vera.

Vera (soprano):
I am writing to you in the full assurance that we shall never see each other again. A few years ago on parting with you I thought the same...
it has been Heaven"s will to try me a second time...
...I have not been able to endure the trial, my frail heart has again submitted to the well-known voice...
...you will not despise me for that - will you?
will you?
will you?
...We are parting for ever.
...you may be sure
that I shall never
love another

never

upon you
my soul has exhausted
all its treasure,
its tears
its hopes

...in your nature
there is
something peculiar
there is
something proud and mysterious...
in your voice
there is an invincible power

no one
can so constantly wish to be loved
in no one
is wickedness ever so attractive
no one"s
glance promises so much bliss...
bliss...
bliss...

no one
can better make use of his advantages
and no one
can be
so truly unhappy
so truly unhappy
so truly unhappy
as you...

5.
Pechorin and Grushnitski before the duel.
Each is contemplating his own thoughts.
Seconds appear. The duel is prepared.
Pechorin and Grushnitski swap their pistols.
The duel.
"Grushnitski! There is still time: recant your slander, and I will forgive you everything. You have not succeeded in making a fool of me; my self-esteem is satisfied. Remember - we were once friends..."
"Fire! I despise myself and I hate you. If you do not kill me I will lie in wait for you some night and cut your throat. There is not room on the earth for both of us..."
Fire.
Grushnitski is killed.

Vera appears.
Vera (soprano):
I almost fainted at the thought that you had to fight a duel to-day... it seemed to me that I should go mad...

...I am sure
that you remain alive

it is impossible
that you should die, and I not with you

it is impossible
that you should die, and I not with you

impossible...

|impossible...

impossible...

6.
Pechorin realizes that he has killed his friend.
Pangs of conscience.
Vera (soprano):
I have been sitting at the window
three hours now,
awaiting your return...
But you are alive, you cannot have died!..

Good-bye, good-bye!..
If I could be sure
that you will always remember me -
I no longer say love
- no,
only remember...
only remember...
only remember...
Mary appears.
Pechorin tells her that he doesn"t love her.
"Princess, you know that I have been making fun of you?.. You must despise me. Consequently, you cannot love me..."
"Oh, God!"
Mary is disgraced.

Pechorin, Mary, Vera.
"You do not love Mary, do you? You will not marry her? Listen, you must offer me that sacrifice. I have lost everything in the world for you..."

7.
Epilogue.
Pechorin. Pechorin. Pechorin.
And now... I often ask myself, as my thoughts wander back to the past: why did I not wish to tread that way, thrown open by destiny, where soft joys and ease of soul were awaiting me?.. No, I could never have become habituated to such a fate! I am like a sailor born and bred on the deck of a pirate brig: his soul has grown accustomed to storms and battles; but, once let him be cast upon the shore, and he chafes, he pines away, however invitingly the shady groves allure, however brightly shines the peaceful sun. The livelong day he paces the sandy shore, hearkens to the monotonous murmur of the onrushing waves, and gazes into the misty distance: lo! yonder, upon the pale line dividing the blue deep from the grey clouds, is there not glancing the longed-for sail, at first like the wing of a seagull, but little by little severing itself from the foam of the billows and, with even course, drawing nigh to the desert harbour?..

Iolanta (Symphonic suite Nutcracker is performed as part of production. Opera in two acts)

Iolanta (Symphonic suite Nutcracker is performed as part of production. Opera in two acts)

Pyotr Tchaikovsky
Symphonic Suite, Opera in one act
Libretto by Modest Tchaikovsky after "King Rene s Daughter" by Heinrich Hertz
Music Director: Vladimir Fedoseyev
Stage Director: Sergey Zhenovach
Designer: Alexander Borovsky
Lighting Designer: Damir Ismagilov
Chief Chorus Master: Valery Borisov
In commemoration of Tchaikovsky s 175th anniversary
Will be premiered on October 28, 2015.

Synopsis

Iolanta, the blind daughter of the King of Provence, is telling her nurse, Martha, that she is full of some unknown longing. Iolanta s friends, Brigitte and Laura, try to cheer her up by singing songs and bringing her flowers. Martha also tries to comfort Iolanta by singing her favorite lullaby. This sends Iolanta to sleep.

enter Almeric, King Rene s sword-bearer. He informs the castle porter, Bertrand, that very soon the King will be arriving with a famous Physician who, it is hoped, will cure Iolanta s blindness. The trumpets sound, announcing the arrival of the King. King Rene enters accompanied by the Moorish Physician, Ibn-Hakia. The King explains that Iolanta has been betrothed from infancy to Robert, Duke of Burgundy, and is soon to marry him, but the Duke does not know that his future wife is blind. Indeed, Iolanta herself is totally unaware of her misfortune. Iolanta has been brought up by her father in this remote castle. He surrounded her with loyal retainers and forbade them on pain of death to tell her the truth. Ibn-Hakia says that the only hope for Iolanta is to inform her of her disability and then, so long as she passionately wishes to recover her sight, she will do so. King Rene is full of doubts and fear for his daughter s future.

Robert, Duke of Burgundy, and his friend Count Vaudemont, appear. They are impressed to find a beautiful garden in such a wild, remote spot. They are, however, puzzled to see a notice which threatens with death anyone entering it without permission. Robert is downhearted for he is soon to be united in matrimony with some Iolanta whom he has never met, while his heart already belongs to another.

A girl appears on the terrace. Vaudemont is struck by her beauty. Hearing unfamiliar voices, the girl, who is in fact Iolanta, suggests to the strangers that they rest under the shade of the trees and hurries off to fetch them some wine. Robert does not trust the stranger and decides to leave. Vaudemont enchanted by Iolanta s beauty and stays behind. When Iolanta returns he tells her of the great impression she has made on him and asks her to pick him a red rose in memory of their meeting. Iolanta hands him a rose, but it is a white one. Vaudemont repeats his request and again he is given a white rose. He begins to suspect something is wrong with the girl. To make sure, he picks a bunch of roses and asks Iolanta to tell him how many flowers there are in the bunch. Iolanta explains that to count them she needs to touch each flower. Vaudemont realizes that Iolanta is blind and tells her so. He starts to describe to her the wonders of God s world which she is destined never to see, but Iolanta argues that eyesight is not necessary to appreciate the beauty of the world.

Voices are heard: the King enters, followed by Physician Ibn-Hakia and servants. Rene is horrified when he learns that Vaudemont has told Iolanta of her disability and finally suggests that she should try Ibn-Hakia s course of treatment. Iolanta remains indifferent to the idea which makes the Physician lose all hope. Noticing that Iolanta is very much taken by Vaudemont, King Rene tells Vaudemont that he will be executed unless his daughter recovers her sight. Iolanta then begs the Physician to cure her.

A fanfare of trumpets announces the arrival of the Duke of Burgundy who, with a group of armed knights, is hurrying to the rescue of his friend. Robert is amazed to see King Rene. Vaudemont confesses to Robert that he is in love with Iolanta, the latter s betrothed, and asks him to tell the King that he, Robert, has given his heart to someone else. Rene consents to the marriage of Iolanta and Count Vaudemont. Shouts of joy are heard, and Iolanta, who has recovered her sight, appears at the castle door. Overjoyed, King Rene hurries to embrace his daughter and then leads Vaudemont up to her. everyone gives passionate thanks to God for her recovery.

La Silphide (Ballet by Herman Severin Levenskiold)

La Silphide (Ballet by Herman Severin Levenskiold)

Ballet in two acts
Libretto by Adolphe Nourrit and Philippo Taglioni
Choreography by August Bournonville
Production and New Choreography: Johan Kobborg
Designer: Peter Farmer
Music Director: Pavel Klinichev
Lighting Designer: Damir Ismagilov
This version of the ballet premiered on February 20, 2008.
Presented with one interval.
Running time: 2 hours.

SYNOPSIS

Act I
A Scottish manor-house

It is the morning of James s marriage to Effie and he is asleep in his armchair. A winged figure, a Sylphide, is kneeling by his side. She kisses him on his forehead and he wakes up confused. Entranced by the vision of the Sylph, he attempts to capture her, but she escapes him; as she reaches the fireplace, she vanishes up the chimney. Troubled, he wakes his companions but none of them have seen her. Gurn, James s rival, arrives and learns that James is infatuated with someone other than Effie.
The preparations for the wedding are in full swing. James hardly notices Effie; instead she is wooed by Gurn whom she ignores. James joins in the preparations but gradually realizes that, as Effie dreams more and more of the wedding, his own dreams go far beyond the walls of the manor-house.
An old woman, Madge, has slipped unnoticed into the hall to warm herself by the fire. James, sensing that she is a sinister presence, takes an immediate dislike to her and cannot bear to see her sitting where he last saw the Sylph. He orders her to leave but Effie calms him and persuades him to let Madge tell the fortunes of some of the guests. Madge prophesies that Effie will marry Gurn, and James, furious at this, threatens Madge, who curses him. Effie runs off to dress for the wedding leaving James alone and in turmoil.
The Sylph once again shows herself to James, declares her love for him and tells him that they belong together, Gurn enters and, believing that he may have caught James talking to another woman, attempts to reveal the situation to Effie but fails
As the wedding festivities begin, the Sylph reappears and, unable to resist her enticements, James follows her into the forest. Effie is left broken-hearted.

Act II
A glade in the forest

Deep in the forest, shrouded in mist, Madge is planning her revenge. She makes a veil, irresistible to all in a magic cauldron. As the fog lifts, James enters with the Sylph, who shows him her realm. She brings him berries and water but evades his embrace. To lift his spirits she calls on her sisters and the forest fills with sylphs, who dance for James. Try as he might, he is unable to catch the Sylph in his arms
Effie and James s companions reach the glade looking for him. Gurn finds James s hat, but Madge convinces him to say nothing. He proposes to Effie and, encouraged by Madge, she accepts. Everyone leaves to prepare for the wedding of Effie and Gurn.
Meanwhile, James is desperately looking for the Sylph, and Madge convinces him that the veil she has made will enable him to catch her. The Sylph appears and, seeing the veil is totally captivated by it. She allows James to place it around her shoulders and as he does so, he kisses her. His embrace is fatal and the Sylph s wings fall to the ground. In despair James sees what should have been his own wedding party in the distance. As Madge forces him to see what he has lost, he realizes that in trying to possess the unobtainable he has lost everything.

Russian Ballet Schools Festival. Gala Concert. Homage to Marius Petipa

The Idiot (Opera by Mieczysaw Weinberg)

The Idiot (Opera by Mieczysaw Weinberg)

Mieczystaw Weinberg
Opera in two acts
Libretto by Alexander Medvedev based on the novel of the same name by Fyodor Dostoevsky
Music Director: Michat Klauza
Stage Director: Evgeny Arie
Set Designer: Semyon Pastukh
Costume Designer: Galina Solovyova
Lighting Designer: Damir Ismagilov
Chief Chorus Master: Valery Borisov
Premiered on February 12, 2017.

Synopsis

Act One
Scene One

Prince Lev Nikolaevich Myshkin returns to St. Petersburg after years of treatment in Switzerland. On the train he meets Parfyon Rogozhin and Lebedev. Rogozhin has just inherited a fortune of two million from his father who died a sudden death. Not long before that Rogozhin had to flee from father's wrath after having spent ten thousand on a gift to Nastassya Filippovna whom he fell in love with at first sight.
Meanwhile Nastassya Filippovna is anxiously waiting for her fate to be sealed on that very night.

Scene Two
General Yepanchin and Totsky talk over the future of Nastassya Filippovna, Totsky's mistress. They want to marry her off to Ganya Ivolgin, which will allow Totsky to marry Yepanchin's daughter Aglaya. Ganya is getting a generous compensation for marrying a fallen woman: Totsky will give her a large dowry.
Prince Myshkin comes to meet his only relatives in St. Petersburg, the Yepanchins. The General does not welcome a guest with no money and no plans for the future. Ganya comes in to show the portrait of Nastassya Filippovna that she gave to him. The Prince is astonished.
General Yepanchin leaves his guest with his wife and three daughters: Aglaya, Alexandra and Adelaida.
Rogozhin is desperate to thwart Nastassya Filippovna's wedding and commands the moneylenders to get him a hundred thousand roubles by night.
The Yepanchins are fascinated by Myshkin's stories about his life in Switzerland. Ganya asks the Prince to pass a note to Aglaya. In his note he promises to break his betrothal for just one word from her.
In response Aglaya asks the Prince to tell Ganya that she does not condescend to bargain and to give him back his note. Ganya is outraged.

Scene Three
The Prince in lodging at the Ivolgins. He soliloquizes affectionately: «I don't believe, I won't believe that evil is fine for a man!» The family is gathered in the living room. Ganya's sister Varya is aghast that her brother is going to marry a dissolute woman whom he does not even love. Nastassya Filippovna arrives and is startled to find that the man she initially takes for a footman is Prince Myshkin. A drunken gang led by Rogozhin invades the place. Rogozhin tries to buy off Ganya, then Nastassya Filippovna herself in order to prevent the wedding. The bargain is interrupted by a scandalous scene: Ganya attempts to strike the repulsed Varya but is stopped by the Prince.

Scene Four
Yepanchin, Lebedev, Totsky and Ganya are Nastassya Filippovna's guests. The Prince arrives unexpectedly, uninvited. The hostess leaves it up to him to decide whether she should marry Ganya or not, and the Prince tells her she should refuse. «So be it» concludes Nastassya Filippovna. It is clear to her that Ganya was driven by greed alone. Rogozhin arrives. He has brought the hundred thousand roubles. The Prince proposes Nastassya Filippovna his hand in marriage saying that her life is not ruined, that she is not guilty but is the one who suffered. Nastassya Filippovna cannot accept his hand, she thinks she will ruin the prince. Taking Rogozhin's money, she throws it into the fire and commands Ganya to take it out. He faints. Rogozhin and Nastassya Filippovna ride away together.

Scene Five
The Prince arrives at Rogozhin's place. Rogozhin is certain that though Nastassya Filippovna lives with him she loves the Prince alone. Myshkin assures him that he is no rival and feels nothing but pity for her. They exchange crosses to become sworn brothers.
Rogozhin attacks the Prince, but the Prince falls insensible, and the murdered retreats.

Act II
Scene Six

The Princes recovers from his seizure in lebedev's summer house in Pavlovsk. The Yepanchins come to visit him. Aglaya sings a ballad about the Poor Knight, but the assumption that she might marry Myshkin makes her furious. Yepanchina laments the fate of a mother of grown-up daughters.

Scene Seven
Aglaya arranges a rendezvous with the Prince in the park. She wants to run away from home and asks him for assistance. But she is tormented by the thought of the Prince having lived with Nastassya Filippovna. This strange woman is harassing Aglaya with letters, persuading her to marry the Prince. Confused, Aglaya runs away. Nastassya Filippovna appears. She has decided to marry Rogozhin and her only wish is to know if Myshkin is happy.

Scene eight
The Yepanchins are perplexed by the news of the Prince being Aglaya's suitor. When asked directly about his intention to ask for her hand, the Price says he asks for it. Lebedev informs the Prince that Aglaya has arranged a meeting with Nastassya Filippovna.

Scene Nine
The Prince and Aglaya are at Nastassya Filippovna's. The rivals throw the Prince into a dilemma, and, unable to set pity aside, he chooses Nastassya Filippovna. But their wedding never takes place: she runs away with Rogozhin on her way to church.

Scene Ten
Coming to Rogozhin's place the Prince learns that Nastassya Filippovna is dead by Rogozhin's hand.

The Passenger (Opera in two acts. Ekaterinburg State Academic Opera and Ballet Theatre presents)

The Passenger (Opera in two acts. Ekaterinburg State Academic Opera and Ballet Theatre presents)

Mieczyslaw Weinberg
Opera in two acts
Ekaterinburg State Academic Opera and Ballet Theatre presents
Adults only
Libretto by Alexander Medvedev based on the novella by Zofia Posmysz
Music Director: Oliver von Dohnnyi
Director, Set and Lighting Designer: Thaddeus Strassberger
Costume Designer: Vita Tzykun
Chorus Master: Angelica Grozina
Will be premiered on September 15, 2016.

SYNOPSIS

Act 1

The early 1960s. An ocean liner.
Liese and her husband Walter, a German diplomat, are aboard a cruise liner headed to Brazil. On deck she suddenly sees a woman resembling Marta whom she believed to have died. Liese is so much disturbed by surging memories that she confesses to her husband that she was an SS overseer at Auschwitz. Walter fears a diplomatic scandal. Liese asks the ship"s steward to find out who the woman is and where she comes from.

1944. Auschwitz
Marta is among the prisoners. Liese enlists her to help manage the other prisoners. A Kapo finds a note in Polish and Marta is ordered to translate it. Marta recognizes it as a message between members of the resistance but misreads it as a love note to her fianc? Tadeusz.

Act 2

Tadeusz is a violin player and an Auschwitz prisoner. He is ordered to choose a violin to play the Kommandant"s favorite waltz at a concert. Tadeusz meets Marta and they recognize each other. Liese notices that but allows them to talk privately in violation of the regulations. Tadeusz makes jewelry for SS officers. In one of the medallions Liese sees Madonna with the face of Marta. She tries to entice Tadeusz to let her set up a meeting between him and Marta, but Tadeusz refuses, not wishing to be indebted to Liese.
Marta is having her 20th birthday. Liese summons her and informs that Tadeusz refused to meet her. Marta is certain Tadeusz had a good reason.

The wardens read out a list of female prisoners sentenced to death. Although Marta?s number hasn"t been called she wants to join the doomed. But Liese stops her: Marta must hear Tadeusz"s concert.

The transatlantic liner.
Liese and Walter decide to forget about the past. They go out to dance. The passenger asks to perform the Kommandant"s favorite waltz. Liese is scared.

Auschwitz
Officers and prisoners gather for the concert. Tadeusz is supposed to play Kommandant"s favorite waltz but instead he plays Bach"s Chaconne. The music breaks off abruptly when officers smash Tadeusz"s violin, drag him off the stage and out to his death.

Epilogue

The transatlantic liner.
Marta is alone. She thinks about Tadeusz. Remembering the past she hopes that none of the victims will ever be forgotten.

The Snow Queen (Ballet in two acts. Ekaterinburg State Academic Opera and Ballet Theatre presents)

The Snow Queen (Ballet in two acts. Ekaterinburg State Academic Opera and Ballet Theatre presents)

Artem Vasiliev
Ballet in 2 acts
Libretto: Vyacheslav Samodurov on the tale of Hans Christian Andersen
Conductor: Pavel Klinichev
Choreography: Vyacheslav Samodurov
Set Designer: Eric Belousov
Costume designer: Irena Belousova
Lighting Designer: Nina Indrikson
Arranged by Alexander Troitsky
Assistant choreographer-director: Clara Dovzhik
Artists: Mikey Nisiguti, Alexey Seliverstov, Elena Sharipova, Andrey Veshkurtsev, Nadezhda Shamshurina, Yana Merinovich, Gleb Sageev, Fidan Daminev, Karina Rafal son, Anastasia Bagaeva, Daria Abakumova, Viktor Mekhanoshin, Maria Astanina, Maxim Klekovin, Evgeny Balobanov, Arseniy Lazarev
Vocalise: Olga Semenishcheva
Artists of ballet and mimans theater

For me, this work is an opportunity to return to childhood and relive the vivid emotions experienced by visiting the theater with my parents. I hope that our show will present to both young and adult viewers the Tale, Happiness, Joy and Goodness, for the sake of which people come to the theater.

Pavel Klinichev

The Stone Guest (Opera by Alexander Dargomyzhsky)

The Stone Guest (Opera by Alexander Dargomyzhsky)

Opera in three acts
Alexander Dargomyzhsky
Libretto by the composer after Alexander Pushkin"s play of the same name
Music Director: Anton Grishanin
Stage Director: Dmitry Belyanushkin
Set Designer: Victor Shilkrot
Costume Designer: Irena Belousova
Lighting Designer: Evgeny Vinogradov
Premiered on 11 March 2016
Presented with one interval

Synopsis

Act I

Scene One
Don Juan, banished from Madrid for killing the Commander de Solva, has secretly returned. Accompanied by his servant Leporello, he hides near a monastery outside Madrid. Remembering his past affairs, he plans to get in the city to continue his adventures. The Monk tells him that Dona Anna, the widow of the Commander, visits the cemetery every day. Don Juan sees Dona Anna and feels an urge to get to know her.

Scene Two
Laura is having a party; many of the guests are people she never met before. She entertains them with singing. One of the songs is based on a poem by Don Juan, Laura"s former lover. The quick-tempered Don Carlos gets enraged, which almost ruins the conspiring guests" plan. Laura resumes her singing, but it it clear to her that the guests did not come to hear her songs. Laura makes everyone but Don Carlos leave. Him she seduces and thus learns that there is a conspiracy against Don Juan. Presently Don Juan appears.
Don Carlos insists that the inevitable duel should take place on the spot. Don Juan kills Don Carlos. Laura shows Don Juan a list of conspirators. Their privacy is violated by the conspirators"s assault, but Don Juan manages to escape.

Act II

Don Juan hides in the monastery disguised as a hermit. Dona Anna comes there every day to visit her husband"s grave. Don Juan introduces himself to her as Don Diego. Dona Anna agrees to receive him at her place the next day. Leporello tries to warn his master by hinting that the Commander"s death was not forgiven and that the trap is set. Don Juan challenges his fate: he invites the Commander, an embodiment of the tyranny and total control, to join him on his next day"s rendezvous. Leporello begs forgiveness for his betrayal, because it is clear for him now that Don Juan knows it was he who brought the conspirators to Laura"s.

Act III

A room at Dona Anna"s. She spent a night with Don Juan, but now he has to leave her. Unable to conceal the truth any longer, he confesses that he killed her husband and that he loves her with all his heart. Dona Anna cannot hate him; instead she realizes that she loves him in return. Don Juan aspires for a new rendezvous, but the men of "the stone guest" have already tracked him down. not surrendering, Don Juan extends his hand to them as a token of love and freedom. They kill him.

The Taming of the Shrew (Ballet by Jean-Christophe Maillot)

The Taming of the Shrew (Ballet by Jean-Christophe Maillot)

Ballet in two acts.
to music by Dmitri Shostakovich.
Libretto by Jean Rouaud based on the play by William Shakespeare.
Choreographer: Jean-Christophe Maillot.
Assistant to Choreographer: Bernice Coppieters.
Set Designer: Ernest Pignon-Ernest.
Costume Designer: Augusten Maillot.
Assistant to Costume Designer: Jean-Michel Laine.
Lighting Designer: Dominique Drillot.
Music Director: Igor Dronov.
Premiered on July 4, 2014.

Dramatis Jean Rouaud:

ARGUMENT
Rather than a macho handbook, The Taming of the Shrew can be construed as an encounter between two forces of nature, who recognise one another at last. If they are abrupt, obnoxious, it stems from their solitude; they are fundamentally different from the society they live in, albatrosses among sparrows, and their excesses signal that they have yet to find a man (or a woman) who can measure up to them. Their love is out of the ordinary: while Petruchio could appear to be interested only in Baptista"s fortune, once the ink is dry on their marriage certificate, he doesn"t let go of Katharina. If he is interested, it"s by this woman; the real dowry, the actual gold mine, it"s her. He still needs to put her through a series of challenges to make sure that he wasn"t mistaken, that they are right for each other - measure for measure, so to speak. He was right. So was she. If she gives in to her husband"s demands, it"s not because she has found her master, but because she has met her match. Her submissiveness is an act. It hardly matters whether or not the sun is the moon, because the two of them have their own, extra-ordinary light. Petruchio isn"t fooled by by his wife"s new attitude. For the outside world, however, the prevalent social norms are safe. Everyone can breathe a sigh of relief: even the most reluctant among them have complied. In truth, Katharina and Petruchio play their parts in perfect harmony, and their singular tune sets them apart in what is a game of artifice.

THE CHARACTERS

Baptista is a rich gentleman who has two daughters: Katharina and Bianca. All would be well if the traditions of the time didn"t force him to marry his elder daughter first, when all the suitors queueing up at his door are interested solely in the agreeable Bianca. His daughters" happiness doesn"t matter much to him: what he really wants is to have sons-in-law. Based on Katharina"s behaviour, however, he despairs of it ever happening.
Katharina has a comfortable dowry which ought to attract potential husbands, but she is also endowed with an attitude that frightens them off. No one knows what her violence hides, but she despises her sister"s bland suitors. Nothing seems to be good enough for her. Is hers an acute case of misanthropy or a singularly demanding character? Unbridled, Katharina lives on the edge.
Bianca, Baptista"s younger daughter, is hostage to Katharina"s behaviour. As long as her sister keeps rejecting potential husbands, her many suitors will stay out of reach. The situation is cruel, because Bianca is as attractive as her sister is obnoxious. Hers are qualities that define the ideal woman in the society she lives in: fortune, grace, beauty and docility. Her sister will have none of it, however.
Gremio is an older gentleman, and could easily be one of the libidinous elders who spy on Susanna while she is bathing in the Book of Daniel. For him, the violent Katharina could never be Susanna, because she would have driven the voyeurs away ruthlessly. His Susanna is the chaste Bianca. Gremio"s appearance is off-putting, yet it doesn"t seem to hold him back as he attempts to woo her; he is living proof that money can distort one"s self-perception.
Hortensio, another one of Bianca"s suitors, is a dandy mainly concerned with himself and the rituals of high society. His interest is Bianca is mostly superficial, but he is the one who brings in his rude, boorish friend Petruchio, who may be able to solve the problem at hand.
Lucentio is a rich, idle youth. Well-bred and very charming, he could even fool people into believing he is well-read. He and Bianca come from the same world, they are the same age, and share the same yearning in love. As Juliette Greco once sang: "Let"s marry them, let"s marry them, I think they are very much alike".[1] Nobody would object to it - aside from Katharina.
Petruchio: There comes the monster - the one Hortensio believes to be able to accept, if not seduce, the monstrous Katharina as his wife. Hortensio thinks Petruchio will have low expectations; he is mistaken, and evidently doesn"t understand the man he calls his friend. Nobody comes close to this seemingly vulgar, shameless man, however, because he is the only one who will "see" Katharina. And he sees her as his equal, as unconcerned with etiquette and norms as himself. Monsters may be alone in their clairvoyance, after all.
Grumio, Petruccio"s servant, is cowardly and servile. That"s what"s expected of him. He may also be an accomplice to his master"s tricks and schemes.
The Widow is hardly disconsolate, and has no intention of remaining a widow. She sets her conditions, however: her second husband needs to belong to her world and to be rich. She can put up with the rest. She soon sets her sights on Hortensio.
The Housekeeper has been running the household for so long that she ought to be able to lay claim to Baptista, but he cares solely about his daughters. Since the house will soon be empty and her services no longer needed, she is wearily willing to accept Gremio"s advances. She may not love him, but it means she will be able to live comfortably and marry into the upper class, whose superiority is based on arrogance and money.

SYNOPSIS

Part I
In the spacious house of the wealthy Baptista, the servants are mocking the masters in their absence: they mimic Baptista, the father, who is struggling to marry his elder daughter - Katharina, a fury - and denying the suitors of the younger one - Bianca, a goody two-shoes - who are required to wait. Baptista returns unexpectedly, putting an abrupt end to the servants" comedy.
We meet his two daughters. The younger one, Bianca, who is the object of everyone"s attention, is as gracious as her sister Katharina is difficult and ill-tempered: nothing and no one seems to find grace in her eyes, except perhaps her father. She is the Shrew.
Attracted by Bianca"s beauty, the suitors show up at Baptista"s house. There are three of them: the libidinous Gremio, the conceited Hortensio and the charming Lucentio. They parade in front of Bianca and attempt to get her attention. Quite logically, Bianca prefers the charming Lucentio. Carried away by her budding feelings, she dances as if in a dream. Her father is intent on doing things according to custom. Daughters are to be married in the right order, starting with the eldest, and he won"t approve a proposal for Bianca as long as Katharina isn"t wed. Accordingly, he brings his elder daughter in and introduces her to the suitors in the hope that one of them will be interested in her, but Katharina is hardly encouraging. She does everything she can to repel them, and clearly prefers to stay alone with her father instead of giving in to the comedy of marriage.
Hence a pressing question for the suitors: how can they get rid of her? Hortensio suddenly remembers that he has a friend who is unlikely to be too demanding as long as the wedding brings a nice dowry, and who could help clear them by marrying Katharina. His name is Petruchio; he is as boorish as Katharina is ill-tempered, and the prospect of additional income should be enough for Katharina to appeal to him.
Their saviour arrives at last. Where is his fianc?e? She who seems to breathe fire? Right, he will make the best of it. Challenged to seduce Katharina, he pretends to woo her and takes every rebuff as encouragement to continue. The two monsters launch into a duel where Petruchio pretends to be impervious to Katharina"s attitude, while she actively tries to make herself even less attractive. At one point, however, when he kisses her, she slips into a daydream - perhaps love can be sweet after all? Lost in her thoughts, Katharina briefly lets herself go - and immediately denounces it as a meaningless moment of weakness. It"s too late, however: she has shown her sensitive side, and there is a glimmer of hope in her. Perhaps for that reason, she accepts the proposal of that strangely considerate boor, Petruchio.
Her decision opens the way for the suitors, who are finally allowed to woo the beautiful Bianca.
The first to go is Gremio. He brings a magnificent necklace as a gift for Bianca, but she isn"t interested; not even the finest jewellery could allure her where Gremio is concerned. The Housekeeper, who might soon be out of a position, is watching the scene. She sees an opportunity with Gremio and seizes it: since he doesn"t stand a chance with Bianca, she won"t let him escape.
Next up is Hortensio. He doesn"t need to bring a gift: his person is present enough. He is the gift. Bianca remains impervious to his self-assurance - he is fundamentally self-sufficient - In view of Bianca"s reticence and her lack of susceptibility to his complacency - and this time a widow, a friend of the family yearning to be back in the game, sets her sights on Hortensio.
Lucentio is last. From an affluent family, he is a worthy suitor in the eyes of Baptista, and all boyish charm in Bianca"s. As a token of his love, he presents her with a collection of poems. If all goes well, theirs will be the next wedding.
All is not well for Katharina, however, as she waits for the arrival of her fianc?, torn between rage, melancholy and despair. The wedding celebrations have started. Baptista attempts to help his elder daughter cope with her groom"s defection while the rest of the party is having fun. Grumio makes an appearance at last, and launches into an act that bodes well for his master"s offhandedness. It becomes clear that his master has more urgent matters to attend to than his wedding; he will come when he feels like it, and has drunk to his heart"s content.
When he appears at last, instead of going straight to his bride, he makes her wait yet again, and is clearly in no hurry to get married. Since that"s what he"s there for, he finally deigns to address his future wife. As everyone waits to see what gift he has brought for Katharina, he snatches the necklace meant for Bianca and puts it around Katharina"s neck. The humiliation is too cruel for the Shrew, who slaps Petruchio.
The assembly freezes in astonishment. The foolish, rebellious bride has spoiled the festivities. The vexed groom raises his hand to her, and seems on the verge on beating her. The party is over. Men like him, willing to take on such a virago, are few and far between.
Petruchio considers slapping her back and leaving on the spot, but changes his mind. This woman, he thinks to himself, this woman and her temper could have been made like me, for me. But she will need to learn a few things - first, that no one treats me like this. He drags her like a rag doll and leaves with her as the guests look on, aghast, and wonder if they haven"t pushed it a little far. It"s looking bad for the Shrew. Still, it"s over and done with. Let"s dance.

Part II
A strange honeymoon begins that takes the newlyweds to Petruchio"s house through a menacing forest. a trip that will take the newly-wed couple, through an uncanny forest, to Petruchio"s home. The exhausted Katharina can barely stand up and begs for mercy; she struggles, yearns to stop and rest, but her husband is adamant that he will leave her in the middle of nowhere if she doesn"t keep up. Katharina, who knows only the comfort of her father"s home, is so scared tha she stands up, but soon implores him again. Her husband doesn"t yield. At that point the little group (inevitably, the couple is accompanied by Grumio, who has just disappeared) is attacked by bandits, who brutalise Katharina and steal her necklace. Petruchio remains impervious to his wife"s cries for help. He seems to believe she can fend off for herself, or that it"s as good an opportunity as another to test her. He finally intervenes and scares off the attackers, among whom we see Grumio, who takes off his mask. A servant scheming is hardly surprising, but could his master be an accomplice? Did he stage the attack to put Katharina further on edge? Nothing confirms it yet.
They finally make it to Petruchio"s abode, which is far less opulent than Baptista"s. Katharina, alone, exhausted, fully aware of what life holds for her now, gives in to despair, and ultimately faints. Petruchio, who was watching her, rushes to her side and carries her tenderly to the bed; marvelling at her courage, her austere beauty, he lets his affection and desire show as she sleeps. When she regains consciousness, he promptly goes to sit on a bench and starts to act curiously. His house may not be very comfortable or its master very rich, but why is he warming himself at an imaginary fire? Intrigued, Katherina gets up and comes closer; when she sees that there is no fireplace, she wonders if her husband is mad. Then she understands that it is a game. Alright, there is a fireplace. She blows on the embers to rekindle the flames. The she offers imaginary tea to her husband. As the game continues, they discover each other. Their public masks come off. The war ends. Bewilderment of love.
In the morning, as the sun invades their bedroom, the lovers wake up peacefully, for the first time in their lives. They barely have time to enjoy the moment: Grumio brings a letter, an invitation to go back to Baptista"s house for Bianca and Lucentio"s wedding. The opportunity for Petruchio to show everyone the new Katharina.
Before they leave, Grumio returns the stolen necklace to his mistress. Petruchio acts surprised and lectures his servant. Is it just an act? Katharine grows suspicious and loses her temper again. Petruchio pretends to be offended, which leads to another confrontation - and reconciliation.
At Baptista"s, preparations are underway for the wedding of Bianca and Lucentio. Hortensio and the Widow, Gremio and the Housekeeper take the opportunity to make their relationships public. Everyone remembers the exit of the Shrew with her husband, and awaits them with curiosity.
Hence their surprise when Petruchio and Katharina show up elegantly dressed, affable, Petruchio almost friendly, Katharina seemingly submissive. The party rejoices and concludes they are an excellent influence on each other. They look every inch the well-heeled couple, and as a result, are invited to the tea ceremony.
Things soon go wrong, however. Whereas Bianca, the Widow and the Housekeeper show themselves to be meek, obedient wifes, Katharina stands up, snatches the teapot from her sister"s hands and shows her that she has no reason to behave so submissively with her husband, pouring the tea on Lucentio"s knees. Katharina then lectures the Widow, who seems to enjoy the lesson and suggests Gremio serve her. Petruchio, evidently pleased, watches his wife sow discord among the couples and teach the other women the art of rebellion. Once they have wreaked havoc in the house, the lovers depart, juggling squabbles and demonstrations of affection, leaving the guests appalled, and the women melancholy.

The Young Person s Guide to the Orchestra. Le carnaval des animaux

The Young Person s Guide to the Orchestra. Le carnaval des animaux

Camille Saint-Saens. Benjamin Britten
Music Director: Anton Grishanin
Director: Alexei Frandetti
Premiered on September 24, 2017

Yana s Nine Brothers (Sofia Opera and Ballet (Bulgaria) presents)

Yana s Nine Brothers (Sofia Opera and Ballet (Bulgaria) presents)

Lyubomir Pipkov
Opera in four acts
Sofia Opera and Ballet (Bulgaria) presents
Music Director: Grigor Palikarov
Stage Director: Plamen Kartaloff
Set Designer: Numen/ForUse (Sven Jonke, Christoph Katzler und Nikola Radeljkovic) and Ivana Jonke
Costume Designer: Tsvetanka Petkova-Stoynova
Choreographer: Riolina Topalova
Chorus Master: Violeta Dimitrova
Lighting Designer: Andrej Hajdinjak
Will be premiered on March 22, 2018 at the Sofia Opera and Ballet (Bulgaria)

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