opera by Pyotr Tchaikovsky
Opera in four acts, 1887
Libretto by Ippolit Shpazhinsky
Conductor: Daniele Rustioni
Director and lighting: Andriy Zholdak
Sets: Andriy Zholdak, Daniel Zholdak
Costumes: Simon Machabeli
All photos copyright Stolteth, all photos and video courtesy of the Opéra de Lyon
Prince Nikita Kurlyatev, deputy of Nizhniy-Novgorod: Evez Abdulla
Princess Yevpraskiya Romanovna, his wife: Ksenia Vyaznikova
Prince Yuryi, their son: Migran Agadzhanyan
Mamïrov, an old deacon: Piotr Micinski
Nenila, his sister, lady in waiting of the princess: Mairam Sokolova
Ivan Zhuran, valet of the prince: Oleg Budaratskiy
Nastasya (nicknamed Kuma), inn‑keeper: Elena Guseva
Lukash, son of the merchant: Christophe Poncet de Solages
Payisy, vagabond in the guise of a monk: Vasily Efimov
Orchestra and Chorus of the Opéra de Lyon
Premier will be in the frame of the Festival Life and Destinies
Brief article of Georges Banu from the web of Opera de Lyon
Portrait of an untamed artist
Andriy Zholdak is an exceptional director. Originally from Ukraine, he studied in Moscow with Anatoli Vassiliev, a man of the theatre respected in France, and who is an exceptional teacher. Without wishing to reduce him to the status of a successor, it can still be stated that the master taught him his art, which should be a personal approach, both poetic and free, to the texts being staged.
I owe my discovery of him to Gogol’s novel, Taras Bulba, a tale in which can be found the legend of the Cossacks of Ukraine, and whose adaptation dazzled me in Saint Petersburg, while a crowd of astonished critics called it a scandal. Yes, it was a real scandal, but one that opened wide the doors of the theatre to journeys from disturbing visual solutions, with space sliced up in an original way, using materials that, gradually, turned out to be the constants of Zholdak’s world. In particular milk, a nutriment which, in large quantities, stands out on the stage thanks to its whiteness, as well as the mythology of fertility associated with it.
Zholdak has a broad vision and aims at excess: it is his rebellious identity which, without either reservation or censorship, affirms itself with an incandescence that cannot be seen anywhere else.
With no precautions, Zholdak throws himself, body and soul, into the idea of providing direct, personal, original illustrations of the relationship of the struggle that has already been set up with the work in hand. He does not offer an “interpretation” of it, but rather a series of confessions, dreams or visions about what it inspires in him. He invites us to an affirmed “stage universe”, which can sometimes seem almost autonomous.
On examining this artist’s career, what emerges, discreetly, is his attraction for mythological female figures; he affirms their constant power of seduction and explores them, while keeping their inexpressible explosive side. They are not iconic women, but volcanic women, the source of nameless conflagrations and extreme passions. He has thus built up a genuine group, going from Medea to Electra, from Phaedra to the Princess Turandot, or from Anna Karénine to Madame Bovary... with him, women stand out as the explosive centre of his world.
Zholdak has also put on memorable productions of Shakespeare, in particular Othello. What is more, it remains associated to a unique work of adaptation of classic novels, such as The Idiot, or else modern works that have marked our society, in particular in Russia: Solzhenitsyn’s One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich (2003), Erofeyev’s Life with an Idiot (2007) or, more recently, Stanislas Lem’s Solaris (2017). Here, his involvement in the language of the stage, displayed with an unseen intensity disturbs, and shakes us up; he draws the audience to him passionately, if they can only accept to take part in such a radical experience.
His latest masterpiece was Ibsen’s Rosmersholm (2016), a meditation on the commotion between love and faith!
next days of performances:
19th March at 19:30
22nd March at 19:30
24th March at 16:00
27th March at 19:30
29th March at 19:30
31st March at 16:00
premier 15th March 2019