Sunday, 29 November 2009

Tried out the opera for the first time, where, at the Novaya Opera anyway, tickets are extraordinarily cheap at 200 roubles (about 4 pounds/7 dollars/4.50 euros). Went to see the Magic Flute. Don't know much about opera, so not sure how much the weirdness was inherent in Mozart's original - the story is pretty all over the place and meant to have a bit of a pantomine quality -and how much was a particularly Russian interpretation. Suffice to say that the sorcerer character was Stalin (Bad guy? Good guy?) and his surrounding chorus henchmen wore trilbys, black suits and hammers.  The heroine, meanwhile, had a red cardboard sickle velcroed to her hair for much of it, and there were many very literal moments (a large 'magic flute' - with wings - hanging centre stage) and  quite a lot of random events. Why oh why did the henchmen throw red stuffed animals at the hero at one stage, or did the wicked queen suddenly 'grow' an extra-large leg? And pity the two baritones who were wrapped up in silver foil, together with their cardboard box plinths, as 'Stalin' statues - so could only hobble very slowly and oddly across the stage and had to do a kind of sideways flop in order to be carried off. All in all, given that the singing was very good, a great if slightly surprising night out.

1 comment:

  1. Isn't the operas grand here, I've been to the old Bolshoi theater a couple of times and the Palace of Soviets, I really enjoy them, two of my students are with the Bolshoi, one a ballet dancer and another is part of the chorus, so I'm able to get tickets every now and then, but going to the theaters here is really nice.