“I guess the viewer will feel great there”

We are used to the new technologies as an essential part of our daily living and, as a consequence, as a part of theatrical life too. A young production team doesn’t allow even the sign of boredom and yawns in the auditorium of the New Stage, fully equipped with the latest technology, so the performance promises to be truly engaging and up-to-date.

Alexei Frandetti, Director and an Author of the Text:

The theater set for us a task to create some kind of interactive show, in which we involve a young spectator to help him pave the way to the world of music. Therefore, we decided to give up traditional solutions. We will not have ‘a reader’ and ‘an orchestra’. With my constant co-author Timofey Ryabushinsky (set and costumes designer) we came up with a unified approach for the performance. We introduce two main characters –Dad and Daughter. He tells her bedtime stories, which become a key link in two parts of our performance. To Britten’s text from the Guide we add an original text for the Carnival, which I've written myself. So it will be a new mini-play.

For me, as a director, this experience has been unique in many ways, because I've never dealt with that much video content. Our video artists - Yan Kalnbersin and Evgeniy Afonin - have done a huge amount of work; they have used very sophisticated technologies. An original computer program was written, a new server was especially launched. There is a camera controlled by a cameraman. And the action is played out ‘live’. A spectator, who sits in his chair, will be absolutely involved in what is happening on the stage. The children themselves will become our main characters. Or parents who will take them to the performance. This comes down to luck.

Initially, I asked lighting designer Aivar Salikhov and the team of lightning artists to place our viewers not into an ordinary auditorium of the theatre, but immediately into the performance, so that they can enjoy its atmosphere - we would create the atmosphere of an abandoned attic... I guess the viewer will feel great there.


Xenia Eluferieva as Anya. Andrei Valz as Father. Photo by Damir Yusupov.

The Magic World of Cinema

The Guide was created with an educational purpose. The music was commissioned by the British Ministry of Education for a film Instruments of the Orchestra, directed by Muir Mathieson, first shown in 1946. The concert premiere of the Guide was given six weeks earlier the film screening. Preparing the score for the publication, Britten provided it with different titles - The Young Person’s Guide to The Orchestra and Variations and Fugue on a Theme of Henry Purcell. Since then the piece has been living under a double name, which reflects its amazing duality.

Benjamin Britten explains young people (through the original comments of playwright and librettist Montagu Slater, then through the text of Eric Crozier, his new co-author) how works so-called full symphony orchestra, which comprised of nearly a hundred or more instruments on the one stage. It takes one's breath away with all its participants playing together - tutti, gives an idea of the balance of the different instrument groups and has a wide range of instrumental timbres that composers use to make sound more colorful. This can be heard in variations for solo flute-piccolo, harp, xylophone, clapper and other instruments.

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Elizaveta Bugulova as Anya. Photo by Elena Fetisova.

Mardi Gras Carnaval

Although the author regarded his work as ‘a great zoological fantasy’, the zoo has nothing to do with it. During the carnaval celebrations even serious musicians didn’t mind joking and trying on themselves masks of... different animals. The premiere took place on March 9, in 1886, on Shrove Tuesday (Mardi Gras) - the last day of the carnaval before the Great Fast - privately among friends, including the cellist Charles Lebuc (the best-known piece The Swan was devoted to him), the flutist Paul Taffanel, the clarinettist Charles Turban, the bass player Emile de Bailly. The parts of two pianos were performed by Louis Diémer and the composer himself. Two violins and viola supplemented strings to quintet, the percussion instruments - xylophone and glass harmonica - made the whole ensemble shine.

The first public performance of Le carnaval des animaux was given only in 1921: in his will, the composer finally gave his consent to the publication of the entire suite. Since then, Carnaval is triumphant throughout the world and, ironically, it has become one of the most frequently performed works of Saint-Saens.