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Festival of Premieres at the New Opera theatre
01 April 2015 - 17 April 2015

SCHEDULE 01 April 2015 - 17 April 2015

The festival will present well known performances in a new edition.
 

The festival will present well known performances in a new edition.

Richard Wagner "TRISTAN UND ISOLDE" Music drama in three acts

Tristan und Isolde is one of Wagner’s most poignant operas, the peak of the romantic art, the ideal of beauty and expression in music.
The production was staged by opera director Nicola Raab and designer George Souglides. For the chief conductor Jan Latham-Koenig Tristan und Isolde became his second Wagnerian project at the Novaya Opera after his production of Lohengrin, which was highly acclaimed by the public and critics alike.
In her version Nicola Raab used the sketches made by the famous designer Alfred Roller in 1903 for the legendary production of the opera at the Vienna State Opera staged and conducted by Gustav Mahler.
The podium is taken by Novaya Opera Chief Conductor Jan Latham-Koenig, a connoisseur and brilliant interpreter of Wagnerian music.

Festival of Premieres at the New Opera theatre
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Gounod "Romeo and Juliet" tragic opera in three parts

One of Gounod’s best operas Roméo et Juliette (1867) has become one of the most successful adaptations of the Shakespeare tragedy. The opera focuses on “drama through lyricism” (Mikhail Muginstein): the feud of the families becomes a background for the love story. The drama is based on the monologues and four brilliants duets of the main characters which reveal the story of their relations. It was Gounod’s Roméo et Juliette, following his Faust, that established a new genre in the late 19th-century opera, called drame lyrique.
In Russia this opera has been rarely staged. One of the milestones was the production of the Bolshoi Theatre in 1941 and its revival in 1945, both times starring the best Russian Romeo, Sergey Lemeshev.
The Novaya Opera’s present production, the first in 40 years, has been directed by French director and designer Arnaud Bernard. He is known to the Russian audience for his productions in the Mikhailovsky Theatre (Halevy’s La Juive in 2010 and Puccini’s La bohème in 2011, nominated for the Golden Mask Russian Theatrical Award). The Music Director is the Novaya Opera’s guest conductor Fabio Mastrangelo. On January 17, 2014 he conducted the concert performance of Gounod’s Roméo et Juliette as part of the Epiphany Festival at Novaya Opera.
 
Arnaud Bernard, director and designer of the production:
" Romeo et Juliette is an opera that I know well and love a lot. For years it has been one of the compositions most congenial to me. It is very powerful dramatically. Gounod’s libretto compares favourably with Bellini’s I Capuleti e i Montecchi which is based on the same plot. Gounod is very faithful to Shakespeare’s text; his adaptation of the play is very precise. The libretto and Gounod’ music have the cruelty that you can feel in the Shakespeare play. I aim my production to restore and reveal this cruelty.
 
In all my productions I try to establish connection with the music to make the show look natural and spontaneous. I am first of all a musician and secondly a director. And I think what I do is equally related to both music and theatre. Everything comes from music.
 
The Novaya Opera’s production is my third staging of Roméo et Juliette. Its peculiarity lies in its aesthetics. I want to make the audience understand Roméo and Juliette’s incredible love, which is impossible amidst hatred and cruelty. In 1999, my Chicago production had so many details in the sets that the spectators became lost. My second production was more laconic and focused on the actors. I intend to do the same here but with more vibrant and poetic sets.”
 
Fabio Mastrangelo, conductor of the production:
“All music has its difficulties. There is technically difficult music (Rossini for example). Or there are very complicated singers’ parts (for example, tenor roles like Herman or Othello) which require a wide vocal range and dynamic balance. The difficulties in Gounod’s opera are completely different. I believe that the singers performing Roméo and Juliette have to be almost virtually in love with each other. Otherwise the story will not be credible. Another difficulty is that in the story Juliet is only 14. And the feelings of a teenager are hundred times more intense than those of an adult. That is why the soloist singing this part has to combine her vocal skills with a special psychological approach to the role to portray the tender age. And the task of the director and me is to help our singers. I will do my best to help them communicate this beautiful story to the audience.”

Festival of Premieres at the New Opera theatre
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Martynov "L`ecole des femmes (School for Wives)" Comic Opera

As envisioned by Yuri Lyubimov, it is a multi-layered story. The main character is Moliere himself who plays different roles. The director has supplemented the classical text of Moliere’s The School for Wives with excerpts from The Bourgeois Gentleman and works by Kozma Prutkov.
 
Vladimir Martynov: “If we want to define the genre, it will be an opera buffa, but with a somewhat tragic outcome. However I tried to compose “Molierian” music – light, joyous and graceful”.
 
Boris Messerer: “In the sets we wanted to reflect both the Moliere theatre and the elegant Louis XIV epoch. Forestage doors and chandeliers in empty space help create a stylized theatre and palace atmosphere. The central place in the set is given to an openwork metal construction consisting of staircases and doors, airy and lightsome. The backdrop will be decorated with a huge portrait of Louis XIV shown in the centre of a sun circle with radiating beams”.


Festival of Premieres at the New Opera theatre
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Opera «DIDO»: "Prologue" to the opera "Dido and Aeneas" by M. Nyman "Dion and Aeneas" Purcell

The DIDO production is a diptych comprising Michel Nyman’s DIDO. The Prologue and a Baroque music masterpiece, Henry Purcell’s opera Dido and Aeneas.
Michael Nyman (born in 1944) – composer, musicologist, artist, conductor, photographer, documentary film-maker, founder of his own Campiello Band (now the Michael Nyman Band), Commander of the Order of the British Empire, nominee and prize winner of the British, American and Australian film academies, winner of the International Catalan Film Festival, the Golden Globe Award and many others – is a cult figure in the contemporary arts. A classic of Minimalism, he gained worldwide fame in the late 1970s – the early 1980s thanks to his collaboration with the film director Peter Greenaway. His most notable scores for Peter Greenaway’s films include The Draughtsman's Contract (1982), Drowning by Numbers (1988), The Cook, the Thief, His Wife & Her Lover (1989), Prospero’s Books (1991). He has written scores for over 50 films, with Michael Winterbottom’s, Neil Jordan’s and Jane Campion’s films among them.
In Nyman’s works academic and functional music intertwine, creating a single stylistic field. He is famous for composing symphony, chamber and concert music, as well as ballets and operas. Michael Nyman is the author of the famous book “Experimental Music: Cage and Beyond” (1974); he invented the term “minimalism” denoting one of the most important styles of the late 20th-century music.
The idea of the opera DIDO. The Prologue has been created by Natalia Anastasieva-Lainer, a Russian stage director, founder and artistic director of the Little World Theatre (Malenky Mirovoi Teatr).
“In May 2003, the Little World Theatre made a production of Nyman’s opera The Man Who Mistook His Wife For A Hat. Having seen the opening performances, the composer called the Moscow interpretation one of the most successful and wished to continue our collaboration. One of the suggested ideas was to create an opera after Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas. This is how the opera DIDO. The Prologue appeared. Famous Russian poetess Vera Pavlova wrote a libretto in Russian and translator Steven Seymour made an equirhythmic translation into English.
The staging of the DIDO. The Prologue uses unique facts pertaining to the premiere of Henry Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas that took place in the Chelsea Boarding School for Gentlewomen in April 1689. The opera was acted by the schoolgirls. The part of Aeneas was performed by the famous English singer Henry Bowman. According to some musicologists, the “Orpheus Britannicus” Henry Purcell participated in the production as cembalist.
We offer the modern public our version of the events that happened over three hundred years ago. The musical and dramatic action is a new story: the myth related by Virgil is projected onto a little boarding school in Chelsea, which becomes a new Carthage. The authors of the opera act as Gods and the opera roles are almost mystically distributed between the participants”
(Natalia Anastasieva-Lainer).


Festival of Premieres at the New Opera theatre
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Mozart "THE MARRIAGE OF FIGARO" tragicomedy in four acts

The plot of one of the most famous comic operas is widely known. The Novaya Opera’s production aims to seek new meanings in the familiar story. “To surpass the boundaries of situation comedy, to see a parable in a joke, to discover unseen sides of Mozart’s music, preserving at the same time the psychological bonds of the characters” – this is how stage director Aleksey Veiro defines the main point of the production.
The idea of “theatre in theatre” will be underlined by an empty stage where the story starts and where it returns. One crazy day ends and is immediately followed by another one and no one knows what it will bring…
The production team is international and includes the Novaya Opera’s stage director Aleksey Veiro and German set designer Ulrike Jochum, costume designer Jan Meier, lighting designers Hannes Sesemann and Hans Fründt as well as producer Peter Schwarz.
 
Director Aleksey Veiro
The main theme of the production is “I and the other”, human bonds through love. We have defined the genre of the piece as tragicomedy. It means there is laughter, but it is laughter on the edge of an abyss, born from a feeling of tragedy, of life’s finiteness. The visual attributes of the production emphasize the transformation of a pure, white, perfect surface into reality which has its own shape and is crowded with people and events.
 
Music Director Jan Latham-Koenig
Despite the best efforts of musicologists and the authentic music specialists, we do not actually know how authentic instruments sounded in the 18th century. That is why people are very protective and defensive about their very strong opinions. I think they all miss the point – the most important thing is the essence of the opera and it should be successfully communicated to the audience by the conductor, singers and orchestra.

Festival of Premieres at the New Opera theatre
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SCHEDULE 01 April 2015 - 17 April 2015



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