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Alcina (Opera by Georg Friedrich Handel)

Alcina (Opera by Georg Friedrich Handel)

Opera in two acts
Georg Friedrich Handel
Libretto by anonymous author after the libretto by Antonio Marchi Alcina delusa da Ruggiero inspired by Ludovico Ariosto s Orlando furioso
Music Director: Andrea Marcon
Director: Katie Mitchell
Will be premiered on October 18, 2017
Co-production with Festival international d art lyrique d Aix-en-Provence (France)

Synopsis
With no news from her fiance Ruggiero, the valiant Bradamante has decided to search for him in the guise of her own brother Ricciardo, accompanied by Ruggiero"s former tutor Melisso.

ACT I
Bradamante and Melisso land on the enchanted island of the magician Alcina where they are welcomed by Alcina"s sister, Morgana, who immediately falls under the spell of the imposter Ricciardo. Ruggiero appears next with Alcina, bewitched by her charms. The young Oberto then enters: he is in search of his father, who has also fallen under the spell of the magician. Blinded by Alcina"s love, Ruggiero refuses to recognize his fiancee under the clothes of Ricciardo, ignoring Melisso"s warnings. Jealous of the imposter Ricciardo, Oronte, the would-be suitor of Morgana, makes Ruggiero believe that Alcina has fallen for Ricciardo, which triggers the ire of the young man. He then suggests to his mistress that she pushes away this rival by saving for him the same fate as the other men detained here: he asks her to transform him into a beast or a plant! Morgana hastens to warn Ricciardo who, in light of the situation, sees no other choice but to feign love for the young woman.
Melisso manages to bring Ruggiero back to reality. But when Bradamante appears, Ruggiero thinks it is a false apparition created by Alcina, and he rebuffs his fiancee. Just as Alcina is about to transform Ricciardo into a wild beast, she is stopped in mid-action by Morgana then by Ruggiero. Then, Ruggiero pretends to want to go hunting. Alcina authorizes him to leave. She promises Oberto that he will see his father again soon. Oronte then comes to announce the escape of Ruggiero and Ricciardo. Alcina collapses.
Now that he has revealed Ricciardo"s treason, Oronte thinks he can win back Morgana"s love. As for Alcina, betrayed, she invokes infernal powers to take her vengeance, but they no longer respond to her call.

ACT II
Repentant, Morgana draws close to Oronte. Alcina, desperate, tries to keep Ruggiero from escaping, but he proves determined to leave her. Bradamante, Ruggiero, and Melisso agree to reduce Alcina"s palace to rubble and return the magician"s former lovers to their human form. When Bradamante shatters the spells, Alcina and Morgana lose their power, while the animals and plants, including Oberto"s father, take back their human form.

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.

DanceInversion. International contemporary dance festival. The Nutcracker and the Mouse King (Ballett Zurich)

DanceInversion. International contemporary dance festival. The Nutcracker and the Mouse King (Ballett Zurich)

International contemporary dance festival "DanceInversion"

The Nutcracker and the Mouse King
Choreography Christian Spuck
Music Pyotr Tchaikovsky
Conductor Paul Connelly, Yannis Pouspourikas
Stage design Rufus Didwiszus
Costume design Buki Shiff
Lighting design Martin Gebhardt
Chorus master Ernst Raffelsberger
Dramaturgy Michael Kuster, Claus Spahn

Ballett Zurich
Switzerland's largest professional ballet company has been directed by Christian Spuck since the 2012/13 season. Resident at Zurich Opera House, the 36-strong ensemble not only features prominently in the Opera House's programme; its international guest performances are also regularly acclaimed.
Formerly the Ballet of the Zurich City Theatre, the company was shaped by its directors Nicholas Beriozoff, Patricia Neary, Uwe Scholz and Bernd Bienert. Within a few short years, Swiss choreographer Heinz Spoerli, Ballet Director from 1996 to 2012, established the company as one of the leading European ballet ensembles.
Under the direction of German choreographer Christian Spuck, the company continues to cultivate its established traditions and to tread new artistic paths, continuously developing the genre of traditional narrative ballet using innovative choreographic techniques. The dancers also dedicate their energies to contemporary, abstract dance. Internationally renowned choreographers such as William Forsythe, Paul Lightfoot, Sol Leon, Douglas Lee, Martin Schlapfer, Ji?i Kylian, Wayne McGregor, Marco Goecke and Mats Ek work in Zurich, ensuring that the company's repertoire remains stylistically varied. In the Young Choreographers series, members of the ensemble assume personal artistic responsibility.
The Junior Ballet was established in 2001 as an institution aimed at promoting talented young dancers, giving fourteen young dancers from all over the world the opportunity to enjoy a supervised transition from the end of their training to full entry into professional life. During an engagement lasting no more than two years, they train together with the members of Ballett Zurich, dance with them at selected performances from the repertoire, and at a ballet evening arranged especially for them once every season. They thus gather the stage experience necessary for a dance career.
Ballett Zurich's performances are accompanied by a comprehensive supporting programme featuring matinees before ballet premieres; introductions to works before the performances; regular ballet discussions; and a wide variety of special projects for children, young people and schools.

Etudes. The Cage. Forgotten Land (one act ballet)

Etudes. The Cage. Forgotten Land (one act ballet)

Etudes
to music by Carl Czerny
Choreography by Harald Lander
Sceneries, costumes and lighting by Harald Lander
Will be premiered on March 19, 2017.

The Cage
to music by Igor Stravinsky
Choreography by Jerome Robbins
Costume Designer:Ruth Sobotka
Sets by Jean Rosenthal
Lighting Designer: Jennifer Tipton
Will be premiered on March 19, 2017.

Forgotten Land
Ballet in one act
Choreography: Jiri Kylian
Set and Costume Design: John F. Macfarlane
Lighting Design: Kees Tjebbes
Will be premiered on November 2, 2017

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.

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 Fille mal Gardee (Ballet by Peter Ludwig Hertel)

La Fille mal Gardee (Ballet by Peter Ludwig Hertel)

Ballet in two acts.
Musical version and orchestration by John Lanchbery (under arrangement with Oxford University Press)
Choreography: Frederick Ashton
Designer: Osbert Lancaster
Producer: Alexander Marshall Grant
Restager and Repetiteur: Emilio Martins
Music Director: Alexander Kopylov
Premiered on November 6, 2009.
Presented with one interval.
Running time: 2 hours 03 minutes.

SYNOPSIS

Act I
Scene 1

Early morning. Colas, a young peasant, turns up by the home of the rich farmer Marcelina. He is in love with Lise, Marcelina's niece, and wants to see her. But this is not so easy! Even when she hires peasants to help with the harvesting, Marcelina does not allow Lise to go off with them to the fields, but finds her a job to do in the yard. It is therefore not surprising that the first rendez-vous between the two lovers is at the oil-press. But again Marcelina appears on the scene and chases off the unwanted suitor. But here is an eligible bridegroom - Nikez. Though he is simpleminded, his father - Michaud is very well-off, and Marcelina persuades Lise to come and be introduced to her rich guests. The only hurdle in the way of the match is Colas.

Scene 2
Harvest-time. Though busy with the harvesting, Marcelina continues to dream of a match between Lise and Nikez, for all the latter's dumbwitted escapades. But the betrothal ceremony, in the form of a game with ribbons, again ends in favor of Lise and Colas.
...The dancing is brought to an end by a storm. All run off to take shelter from the rain.

Act II
Scene 3

The storm has blown over. Marcelina and Lise return home and sit down at their spinning-wheels. Peasants deliver the hay sheaves they have managed to save from the rain. Marcelina goes off with them, leaving Lise locked up indoors. Lise dreams of her beloved. Suddenly she notices Colas who, unbeknown to her, has hidden himself in the room. An indignant Lise tells him to leave. But, the door is locked and Colas is trapped inside. Lise soon gets over her anger and, as a sign of reconciliation, she and Colas exchange kerchiefs. Hearing a noise at the door, a panic-stricken Lise hides Colas in the larder. Marcelina comes in and, noticing the new kerchief round Lise's neck, locks her into the larder as punishment, never suspecting that Colas is in there too.
...Enter Michaud, already quite at home. He is followed by a notary for the signing of the wedding contract and even by a brass orchestra, hired for the occasion. Making no effort to conceal her joy, Marcelina hands Nikez the key to the larder. The door opens and... out come a bashful Lise and Colas. Michaud is mortally off ended. The wedding contract is torn up. The lovers fall at Marcelina's feet who has no option but to give them her blessing.

Requiem. In the memory of The Alexandrov Ensemble artists, the victims of the plane crash on 25 December 2016

Romeo and Juliet (Ballet by Sergei Prokofiev)

Romeo and Juliet (Ballet by Sergei Prokofiev)

Ballet in three acts
Libretto by Adrian Piotrovsky, Sergei Radlov, Sergei Prokofiev after the tragedy of the same name by William Shakespeare
Choreography: Alexei Ratmansky
Set and Costume Design: Richard Hudson
Lightning Design: Jennifer Tipton
Conductor: Pavel Klinichev
Will be premiered on November 22, 2017
The world premiere of this version of the ballet took place in Toronto.

The Bright Stream (Ballet by Dmitry Shostakovich)

The Bright Stream (Ballet by Dmitry Shostakovich)

Comic ballet in two acts
Libretto by Adrian Piotrovsky and Fyodor Lopukhov
Choreographer: Alexei Ratmansky
Designer: Boris Messerer
Music Director: Pavel Sorokin
Lighting Designer: Alexander Rubtsov
Premiered on April 18, 2003.
Presented with one interval.
Running time: 2 hours 5 minutes.

SYNOPSIS (HISTORICAL TEXT)

Act I
Scene 1

A small wayside halt, in the steppes, on one of the branch lines of the North Caucasian Railway. Early autumn. The local collective farms have completed both their harvesting and autumn sowing.
A brigade of artistes from one of the capital's theatres is due to arrive in the region to take part in the harvest festival, marking the end of the field work. Some members of the nearest collective farm, The Bright Stream, have come to the halt to welcome their guests. They include the collective farm activist, Gavrilych, who, though advanced in years, is full of the joys of life and a general favorite; the school-girl Galya, and some of her friends, with a bunch of flowers for the artistes; Pyotr, an agricultural student and his wife Zina, a local amusements' organizer. The last to arrive are two dacha dwellers: an elderly man and his anxious-to-be-younger-than-she-is wife. Both of the latter, bored to tears, have come to gawk at the visiting artistes. While waiting for the guests to arrive, the dreamy and thoughtful Zina buries her head in a book. Her husband, Pyotr, who is of a cheerful, buoyant disposition, tries to distract her, inducing the others to share in his efforts. Eventually all, except Zina, proceed to the platform. The excited crowd returns, together with the artistes - a ballet dancer, her partner and an accordion-player.
The amusements' organizer, Zina, hails the ballet dancer who stops in her tracks. They recognize each other as old friends, for they once studied togeth er at ballet school. Since then Zina has married Pyotr, the agricultural student, and has gone to work with him on the collective farm where no one has any idea that she used to be a dancer. The two friends, who have remained alone, gaze at each other with curiosity.
The ballerina asks if Zina has forgotten her dancing. But, living in the country, she has not forgotten her dancing skills and intends to prove it. The two friends, compete with each other, trying to see who can remember the most of their former lessons. Gavrilych and Pyotr now appear: they have come to fetch Zina and the ballerina. Zina introduces her husband to the ballerina. Dazzled by the ballerina, Pyotr begins to court her. The latter feels her first pang of jealousy.

Scene 2
The day is on the wane. Encamped among the golden sheaves of wheat, a field workers' brigade from The Bright Stream collective farm joyfully makes plans for tomorrow, which is to be a day of festival. The artistes' brigade arrives. Gavrilych presents them to the field workers' brigade.
The two brigades greet each other. An improvised celebration gets under way. The artistes display the presents they have brought with them for distri bution to the collective farm's best shock workers. There is a gramophone for Gavrilych, a silk dress for the best milkmaid. The prizewinners are lustily congratulated, and the jollity merges into a dance. The first to break into a dance are the grey-haired, bearded ‘inspectors of quality' and their Gavrilych.
The dacha dwellers turn up, late as usual. They are forced to trip a measure and, by way of a joke, they dance an ancient Chaconne. Then comes a number by some young girls, members of an amateur group organized by Zina. But it is the milkmaid who is the center of attention: they want to see her dance in her smart, new dress. The milkmaid dances with the tractor driver. The merriment increases. Gavrilych winds up his new gramophone and asks the guest artistes to dance.
Not wishing to disappoint the collective-farm workers, the artistes agree though they dislike the idea of dancing in their ordinary clothes. They improvise a dance among the wheat sheaves. Their dance gets a mixed reception. The farm workers watch it with pleasure, but the dacha dwellers only have eyes for the artistes themselves (the husband is taken by the classical ballerina, while his wife is attracted by the ballerina's partner). Zina is jealous of her husband. Pyotr, the young agricultural student, is more and more enchanted by the ballerina who seems so brilliant and talented by comparison to his modest, unassuming wife.
The accordionist is asked to join in the dancing with schoolgirl Galya. Now some young field workers from Kuban and the Caucasus burst into a gay, warlike dance which enthralls all present. The merriment reaches its height. Eventually, the assembled company is invited to partake of refreshment. As all make their exit, the old dacha dweller manages to whisper in the visiting ballerina's ear that he would like to see her again, his wife makes a similar proposal to the latter's partner. Meanwhile, Pyotr goes off with the ballerina. Zina is totally distraught, she even starts to cry. The young people, together with Gavrilych, try to calm her down. But now the ballerina returns and assures Zina that she has no intention of flirting with the latter's husband. She suggests that Zina tell the young people that she too used to be a dancer.
Zina agrees and again the two friends dance together. There is general astonishment. The ballerina proposes that a joke be played on Pyotr and the others: she will dress up in her partner's costume and go and meet the anxious-to-be-younger-than-she-is dacha dweller's wife. Her partner, made up as a female dancer, shall go to the rendezvous with the old dacha dweller. While Zina shall go to meet her husband in the ballerina's costume. The plan is approved.

Act II
Scene 3

A warm, southern night. A clearing, surrounded by bushes and trees. The young people have assembled. The dacha dwellers turn up too, late as usual. The accordionist has taken a fancy to Galya, the schoolgirl, who had danced with him so merrily earlier in the day. He whispers to her that he will soon be back and that she should wait for him. Galya is quite taken aback. The old dacha dweller, his wife and Pyotr remind their ‘sweethearts' of their trysts. The young people are now determined to teach them a lesson. They quickly dress up: the ballerina in her partner's clothes, the latter in female dress, Zina in one of her friend's theatrical costumes. To add to the fun, the tractor driver puts on a dogskin. All is ready. Now Galya admits that the accordionist has invited her to a rendezvous too.
This revelation threatens to ruin their carefully laid plans, but the trac tor driver comes to the rescue. He suggests to Galya that she should meet the accordionist as the latter had proposed, but that he, the tractor driver, disguised as a dog, will not allow the accordionist to approach her. His plan is agreed. Galya, attended by Kolka-‘the dog', waits for the accordionist. He appears and is much put out by the uncalled-for presence of the dog which seems very fierce and keeps on attacking him. Finally, the accordionist realizes he is being made a fool of but, taking it in good part, he joins in the main plot.
The elderly dacha dweller turns up, wheeling a bicycle. He wants to make a good impression on the ballerina and has donned sporting gear. He is festooned with a gun, ammunition belt and telescope. The thought of the forthcoming meeting excites him. His wife turns up at the same spot. She is wearing ballet shoes to surprise the male dancer. It is time to put the plan in action. Suddenly, the dacha dweller catches sight of his beautiful ballerina , his Sylphide, in the middle of a clump of trees. It is in fact the ballerina's partner, in female garb, but the old man does not notice this. His wife, who is observing him, objects to his flirting and chases off her husband. But she, in turn, is frightened by the tractor driver who, still in his dogskin, is riding the bicycle. Appearing in her partner's costume, the ballerina mocks the dacha dweller's wife. Finally, they both run off.
Enter Pyotr, the agricultural student. He is waiting for the dancer from the distant capital, but instead, he is met by his own wife, disguised as the dancer. He fails to recognize her. Joking and flirting with him, Zina disappears into the bushes. This lyrical scene gives way to slapstick. The old dacha dweller and male dancer disguised as the ballerina now come running in. ‘Romantic passions' reach an all-time high. The ballerina, dressed in male clothing, comes out from behind the bushes, and makes a scene. She demands satisfaction from the dacha dweller. There follows a comic duel. The first to fire is the disguised bal lerina. She misses. Now the old dacha dweller is handed a pistol. Though he is frightened, he takes aim. Simultaneously, Gavrilych bangs a pail, and the old man thinks he has fired. Immediately the ballerina's partner falls to the ground as though shot. The horrified dacha dweller takes to his heels. No sooner has he disappeared, than the ‘victim' comes to life and dances amid the laughter of the delighted plotters.

Scene 4
The beginning of the morning of the following day. The harvest festival. In the meadow, an improvised stage for the artistes. All the seats are taken. Pyotr, the agricultural student, is waiting on tenterhooks for the show to begin so that he can see the ballerina whom (he thinks) he met last night in the woods.
But to his great astonishment two dancers, dressed exactly alike, appear on stage, their faces hidden by masks. Their dance over, Pyotr, unable to restrain himself, rushes towards them. They raise their veils and the secret is out. Pyotr, who sees one of the ballerinas is his wife, timidly begs her forgiveness. Eventually they are reconciled. Pyotr has learnt his lesson: he now knows that his modest Zina is both a first-class worker and a marvelous ballerina. The fes tival ends with a general dance in which alt young and old take part, togeth er with the guest artistes.

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 Story of Kai and Gerda (Opera by Sergei Banevich)

The Story of Kai and Gerda (Opera by Sergei Banevich)

Romantic opera for children in two acts
Music Director: Anton Grishanin
Stage Director: Dmitry Belyanushkin
Set Designer: Valery Leventhal
Lighting Designer: Damir Ismagilov
Choreographer: Natalia Fiksel
Will be premiered on 28 November 2014
1996 music version

SYNOPSIS

Prologue
A rocky landscape.
The trolls are piecing together the shards of what they call the Mirror of Evil.


Act I
Introduction

The Lamplighter, our guide through this story, tells us that once upon a time an orphaned boy named Kai found a loving home in the good old town of Odense, where the Grandmother took care about him and little Gerda became his friend.

Scene 1.
Odense.

The townsfolk of Odense are looking forward for Spring to drive away winter s chill and snow.
Kai and Gerda are carried away with their exciting game. The Grandmother is calling them home, but they don t hear.
The trolls arrive. They can t bear the merry mood of the townsfolk, and above all they hate Kai s cheerful laughter. The trolls want to spoil the festivity, but the townsfolk drive them away. The trolls plot to revenge.

Scene 2.
Kai and Gerda s house.

Kai is daydreaming over a book. He wishes he could travel to faraway lands, for the old house has grown too small for him.
Gerda sets up the fire in the fireplace and lights the room with candles. Kai swears to her that he will ever be faithful and will never leave her alone.
The Grandmother comes. Kai jokingly tells Gerda the story of the Snow Queen. Gerda laughs, but then notices a shadow outside the window. Someone has been prying on them!
Now Kai understands that he has terrified Gerda, and he starts a game of blind Tom to make it up to her. As they play, they take no notice of a troll approaching.
The troll pricks an icy pointer at Kai s heart. Kai begins mocking Gerda and the Grandmother and sneering at them. Suddenly he sees frostwork turn into writings and hears the voice of the Snow Queen. She wants to take Kai with her, but Gerda refuses to let him go.

Intermezzo
The Lamplighter laments the human hearts in which Winter has settled.
The trolls talk over their trick and look forward to the coming of the Snow Queen.

Scene 3.
Odense town square.

A company of strolling performers entertains the townsfolk. Gerda is doing her best to make Kai smile, but he is disdainful and arrogant and insults the townsfolk and the Lamplighter.
The Snow Queen appears and summons Kai to her icy palace. Kai heeds her calling and follows her into the snow whirl.
Gerda sets out to find her beloved.


Act II

Scene 4.
A forest at dusk.

Gerda is making her way through the thicket.
Suddenly the forest gets into motion: the robbers have found the chill in the hollows of the tree trunks. The robbers are tired and hungry and not at all content with having ventured so far away.
The Old Robber-Woman returns with booty. The robbers give praises to her and to their trade.
Gerda falls into the robbers ambush. She possesses nothing that they can rob her of, so they intend to kill her, but the Old Robber-Woman orders to keep her captive until morning.
The Little Robber-Girl appears, the daughter of the Old Robber-Woman. Gerda s story about Kai touches her heart and fills her with desire to help, but she does not know how.
The Little Robber-Girl s captured Reindeer breaks in their conversation: he saw the Snow Queen taking Kai away and knows where to find him.
The Little Robber-Girl sets Gerda and the Reindeer free.
Gerda rides the Reindeer straight to Lapland.

Intermezzo
The Lamplighter contemplates about the saddest and the most wicked thing in the world, lovelessness.

Scene 5.
The Palace of the Snow Queen.

Captive children, whose hearts are frozen by the Snow Queen, are trying to compose the word Eternity with of pieces of ice.
Kai is among the children, and his efforts to compose the word are of no avail.
The Snow Queen arrives and finds that Kai s heart is beginning to thaw. She freezes him again and leaves, and he carries on with his occupation.

Gerda arrives. She sings the song that she and Kai used to sing together, and Kai s heart gets warm again. The flame of Kai and Gerda s love brings the Snow Queen down.

Epilogue
Kai and Gerda hurry to Odense, where they are met by the townsfolk, the Little Robber-Girl and their dear old Grandmother. Everyone is impatient to welcome in the long-awaited spring.

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
Will be premiered on September 24, 2017

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