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The Moscow Theatre Season
Marina Lukanina
Photos by Elene Lapina

The Force of Destiny by Giuseppe Verdi

The Stanislavsky and Nemirovich- Danchenko Music Theatre opens its 92nd season with Giuseppe Verdi’s opera, The Force of Destiny, on October 8th. This is the only Verdi opera to have had its worldwide premiere in Russia— at St. Petersburg’s Bolshoi Chamber Theatre in 1862. One reason for this was that the opera was actually commissioned by the Russian court. Verdi had to travel to Russia twice to stage it here.

The opera is based on the Spanish story by Angel de Saaveda called Don Alvaro, or the Force of Destiny. Later Verdi revised his composition, adding and removing several scenes, and created a second version of the opera. The revised version opened in 1869 at La Scala Theatre in Milan. This version is now considered to be the classic, and has been staged at the Stanislavsky Theatre.

It took the production team of Felix Korobov, the Conductor Georgy Isaakyan and Sergey Barkhin, the set designer, three full months to bring this opera to life. The result is a well-staged production with excellent scenes for the choir and leading singers. Most of the singers have received awards at international competitions, or are honoured artists. The “force” of their voices and the depth of their acting talent make this opera one of the most significant performances of the current season in Moscow.

The opera’s plot is rather tragic. It raises the eternal debate about people wasting their life for unnecessary, trivial things. Being possessed by evil and revenge, they are often unable to find harmony and happiness in their lives. The action begins in Seville, with the accidental murder of Marquis of Calatrava, who has been against his daughter Leonora’s love for Don Alvaro, a nobleman from South America. Leonora and Alvaro have to separate and run

The Stanislavsky and Nemirovich-Danchenko Music Theatre
November 11th, 24th at 7pm
17 Bolshaya Dmitrovka str. 

away from Seville as Leonora’s brother, Carlos, promises to kill both of them to take vengeance for his father’s death. The action covers a time span of about fifteen years, and takes places in several countries.

The opera is sung in Italian with Russian subtitles shown above the stage.

Farewell to You, You, You…

The Moscow Young Generation Theatre opened its current season with Farewell to You, You, You… on October 2nd. The play is based on a story by the Belgian playwright, Fernand Crommelynck, called Hot and Cold, or Mr. Dom’s Idea. Henrietta Yanovskaya is directing this play for the first time on the professional stage.

The international reputation of Fernand Crommelynck was established in 1922 when the well-known Russian theatre director, Vsevolod Meyerhold, staged his most important and subsequently most popular play, The Magnanimous Cuckold, in Moscow.

The main character of the play, Leona, is an independent, self-confident woman. She feels in control of her own life as well as the feelings and emotions of other people. She is married to an elderly, respectable man who bores her. After he dies, she learns of a mystery that turns her world upside down and makes her doubt her own resilience.

In this skillfully-directed play, each aspect of the performance—the light and set design, actors’ mise-en-scènes, the tone and strength of the voices—seamlessly contributes to the overall ideas of loneliness and despair, loyalty and uncertainty. Farce with tragic overtones and drama depicting human folly are typical for Crommelynck’s plays. This is no exception.

If you are looking for light-hearted entertainment for a family outing on a Saturday

The Moscow Young Generation Theatre
November 6th, 13th, 28th
Mamonovsky per. 10  

night, this is probably not the best performance to choose. However, if you are willing to experience a complex drama that will make you think, and which has a distinct directing style, well-staged dialogue and superb acting, then you should definitely consider this new play at the Moscow Young Generation Theatre.

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