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A New Take on Classical Opera "Sadko" at the Bolshoi Theater
March 3, 2020 16:40


Rimsky-Korsakov's famous opera based on Russian epics is back on the Historical Stage of the Bolshoi Theater.
Epic opera “Sadko” composed by Rimsky-Korsakov is a vivid paragon of the Russian musical epic and genuine folk style. 
It captivates with its unusual plot and attracts with fabulous and fantastic images, as well as with the musical seascape so favored by the composer. In addition, the entire colorful action unfolds against a background of folk themes.
Nikolay Rimsky-Korsakov was inspired by epics and folk songs, and borrowed many dialogues from them for the stage. The time of action was usually attributed to the 11th-12th centuries, when the old pagan beliefs were still strong as the Christianity had just settled in Novgorod.

Classical Sadko
For the first time, the Bolshoi Theater resorted to Sadko in 1906, while the composer was still alive, nine years after its world premiere in the Savva Mamontov Private Opera. In the first half century, they made four stage productions of the opera Sadko, the last of which went on for 35 years. Despite the grandeur of the plan and the complexity of its implementation, the opera was performed at the Bolshoi Theater more than five hundred times.
It was taken by the Bolshoi Theater to its first and would-be legendary tour in La Scala (1964) and was considered to be no less programmatic than the famous Russian operas Boris Godunov, Prince Igor, The Queen of Spades or War and Peace. The first performances starred  Nadezhda Zabela-Vrubel and Feodor Chaliapin.

Modern Version of Sadko
One of the most iconic works of Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov has now been staged by innovator Dmitry Chernyakov. The stage director has already created several productions with the Bolshoy Theater troupe, but has mostly worked abroad in the recent years. In his interpretation of classical Sadko opera, Dmitry Chernyakov offers a new vision of the plot and talks about modern people, their ambitions and fears. In the design of the performance, the classical scenery created by famous Russian artists (Vasnetsov, Korovin, Bilibin, Roerich and others) for the first productions of the opera Sadko is used.

Sadko, the main character of the opera, feels like “playing around” and takes up a psychological quest in order to break free from his inner blocks. To this end, he visits a certain Wish Fulfillment Park, where the whole industry works to ensure that he feels himself the brave epic hero-singer, famous Sadko. Moving from one pavilion to another, he gets so carried away that does not want to return to reality. When everyone in the finale rejoices and praises (opera major, not tragic), the unhappy client nearly bangs his head on the stage.

When: May 6, 8, and 10, 2020.
Where: Bolshoi Theater at the address 1, Teatralnaya Square, next to metro stations Okhotny Ryad and Teatralnaya, Moscow.




Author: Vera Ivanova

Tags: Operas in Moscow Russian Opera Bolshoi Theatre   

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