Tour Performances in Serbia
In mid-November, the troupe of the St. Petersburg Opera will go on tour to Serbia, where the troupe will perform at two leading stages in Belgrade: the National Theater and the Madlenianum Opera & Theatre.
This is not the first visit to the Serbian capital. In 2017, the St. Petersburg Opera presented a twentieth-century Russian opera in Belgrade: “Not Only Love” by Rodion Shchedrin and “Betrothal in a Monastery” by Sergei Prokofiev. In 2019, the tour took place within the framework of the 150th anniversary of the National Theater in Belgrade and the 20th anniversary of the Madlenianum Opera & Theatre. The theatre performed with a French program, "The Pearl Fishers" by Georges Bizet and "Faust" by Charles Gounod.
All performances staged by the artistic director of the theatre, People's Artist of Russia Yuri Alexandrov, were not only warmly received by the Serbian public, but also highly appreciated by authoritative critics. For example, Branko Radovic (journalist and critic), in his review of “The Pearl Fishers”, noted the directorial skill of Yuri Alexandrov, the impeccable play of the theater orchestra under the direction of Maxim Valkov from the point of view of the strictest connoisseurs of classical music, who skillfully emphasized the vocal performance of parts, as well as soloists.
In 2020, on November 13 and 14, the opera "The Rape of Lucretia" by B. Britten will be shown on the stage of the National Theater, and on November 15 and 16 "The Abduction from the Seraglio" by W.-A. Mozart at the Madlenianum Opera & Theatre.
The opera “The Rape of Lucretia” was staged in Russia for the first time by the Yuri Alexandrov on the stage of The St. Petersburg Opera. The piece is performed in English, conveying the poetic beauty of Britten's amazing music. Referring to the ancient plot in the opera “The Rape of Lucretia” (the suicide of the noble Roman woman Lucretia, dishonored by the king's son Tarquinius), Benjamin Britten created the image of his era, being impressed by the horrors of World War II.
Director Yuri Alexandrov acts in a similar way, addressing his contemporaries in his performance. He and She are commentators of long-standing events, personification of male and female choirs in the ancient theater. They are both refugees, thrown out of their homes by the cruelty of the modern world. Their bitter fate echoes what is happening in the depths of the stage and in the mists of time. The sophistication of the stage metaphors combined with the austere beauty of the music makes this performance an exclusive property of the St. Petersburg Opera.
“The Abduction from the Seraglio” is the first national opera written in the tradition of the singspiel, which now remains in the world repertoire the oldest opera in the German language. The genre singspiel which is a fun play with music, was distributed in Germany and Austria in the late XVIII - early XIX centuries. All the action is supported with conversational dialogues, and musical acts reveal the feelings of the characters.
Along with the melodies of the Austrian and German folk songs, there is a buffoon patter is shown, virtuoso roulades are combined with an expressive and truthful recitatives.
Mozart's work on the opera coincided with the composer's marriage to Constance Weber. Mozart's father was against this marriage, but the situation was resolved instantly: Mozart kidnapped Constance. The marriage took place three weeks after the premiere of the opera. It was the happiest period in the life of Mozart, which is reflected in the music. In addition, the main character of the opera has the same name as Wolfgang Amadeus' wife.
“In the challenging labyrinth of the play, the honoured spectator will see not only an exciting funny story about the adventures of young loving each other people in fabulously unpredictable Turkey of the XVIII century. It is lyrical narration of the difficult relationship between Mozart and his wife Constance”, director of the play, People's Artist of Russian Federation Yuri Alexandrov says.