Category: Музыкальный театр


Abstract: Along with the musical leitmotifs, Sergei Prokofiev’s opera The Love for Three Oranges has important literary leitmotifs. This can be explained by the following. Prokofiev was working on music and libretto practically simultaneously (as he himself put it, “you write a phrase, and there comes a musical idea”). Musical and literary leitmotifs have a very sophisticated interaction and an equal contribution to the dramaturgy. The main literary leitmotif is laughter in all possible forms: the word “laughter”, its derivatives and synonyms in different parts of speech along with the sounds of laughter (“ha-ha”, etc.). The laughter in Prokofiev’s opera has a sacramental meaning. Soviet folklorist V. Propp wrote a study called On the Comic and Laughter, where he points out that laughter in folklore means an entry into life, whereas its absence or taboo represents death. From this point of view, the Prince in The Love for Three Oranges is not only sick—he is actually dead, so the only cure to bring him back to life is laughter. In the second half of the opera the leitmotif of laughter is replaced with the leitmotif of three oranges. That is because the fairytale consists of two independent pieces, and the Prince’s laughter serves as an impetus to launch the main plot of looking for the oranges. Two pieces of the opera form a whole by its key intrigue: a constant confrontation of “the helpers” and “the villains” who, according to their functions (specified by Propp), interfere with the Prince’s fate. Скачать статью


Abstract: The beginnings of opera history are usually associated with Euridice by Ottavio Rinuccini and Jacopo Peri as the first staged and preserved example of the genre. Not many people know that Euridice was by no means the main event during the wedding celebrations in honour of Maria de’ Medici and King Henry IV of France in 1600, to which the opera was timed. The audience was much more drawn to the opera Il rapimento di Cefalo (The Abduction of Cephalus) by Giulio Caccini, a direct rival of Peri. As the music has not completely survived, we know about Il rapimento di Cefalo mainly from the reviews of contemporaries. Historical materials allow us to recreate the genesis of the opera, which is inseparable from the history of opera as a genre. The reported study focuses on personal ambitions, court intrigues, and the rivalry between the Florentines and Emilio de Cavalieri. It also explores similar other factors without which the genre of opera would have taken a different historical path. Besides, the article describes the political and cultural landscape at the court of Ferdinando de’ Medici. The history of Caccini’s opera is analyzed against the general backdrop of Florentine musical art of the last quarter of the 16th century. Download the article


Abstract: The article examines Antonio Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons concerts from the perspective of baroque culture. We believe that baroque culture reflects the key general cultural trends characteristic of this era, in particular, such issues as time and the synthesis of arts. These trends manifest themselves in The Four Seasons. The topic of changing seasons is generally very interesting in terms of its choreographic production. The article discusses two choreographic productions based on the music from Antonio Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons: the ballet by Roland Petit (captured on video in 1984) and the screen ballet by James Kudelka (2003). Petit’s concept evolves around the idea of ​​eternal repetition. He focuses on the general and the objective, which is in line with the artistic principles of neoclassicism. This becomes manifest in the objectivity of statements and the preference for crowd scenes. The representation of concerts is suite-based with no continuous development between them. Petit’s concept tends towards the epic genus. The ballet is not devoid of certain symmetry due to the repetition of two parts of the concert Spring after the end of Winter. Thus, Petit’s production views time as cyclical, while the correlation between music and choreography indicates a parallelism of texts rather than their synthesis. The ballet by J. Kudelka is the drama of an individual human life. Here, the artistic time resembles a vector, it is irreversible, which is typical of drama. This is achieved by the acceleration of movement towards the end of the production with the pantomime gradually replacing the dance. The title The Four Seasons allows two possible interpretations and in Kudelka’s case the allegorical one comes to the fore. His concept is the life course of a person from birth to death. The ballet does not reveal a parallelism between music and dance, on the opposite, it is a synthesis of texts, an intertext. Download the article


Abstract: The article is the first attempt to provide a comprehensive exploration of the creation of Prokofiev’s epic opera War and Peace. In particular, the article focuses on the preconditions of the concept, compositional stages, structural principles of writing a huge piece of music, approaches to its dramaturgic interpretation as well as the recreation of stage life of the opera and the analysis of its perception by critics. Chronologically, the history of the creation covers almost 12 years (1941–1953), which is a record period in Prokofiev’s biography. In total, War and Peace underwent five editions. The article analyses the conditions which made the production of this timely work so much anticipated by Russian public impossible in Russia. War and Peace was a unique operatic composition created by a world-famous composer, however, it did not mean the opera would easily reach its audience. Leo Tolstoy is one of Russia’s patriotic classics, which means that any interpreter of his work is supposed to follow the ideological triad of “nationalism, optimism, and realism”. In addition, the plot centered around the Patriotic War of 1812 at the height of the Patriotic War of the 1940s had to be even more patriotic in its nature. In view of the above, Prokofiev was forced to transform the composition for a lyric chamber theater into a grandiose national and historical epic. It is hardly possible to say whether his attempt was a success, since he deliberately did not canonize any of the resulting redactions for future performances. Two world premieres of War and Peace took place in Prague on June 25, 1948 (first stage redaction) and in Florence on May 26, 1953 (second stage redaction, a one-evening version). Five of the nine Prokofiev’s opera premieres were held abroad. Against the disappointing statistics, these five performances stand out as a symbol of freedom of musical creativity and a memorial to the defeated aspirations of a genius. Download the article

The Phantom of the Opera: Mozart’s Zaide on Stage

Abstract: Taking as a starting point Nicholas Cook’s idea of studying music in its “multiple cultural context, embracing production, performance, reception, and all the other activities by virtue of which music is constructed as a significant cultural practice” (Cook, 2008), the article explores the 19th-century multifaceted European history of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s fragmentary Singspiel Zaide, K344 (336b). Left unfinished (and even untitled) by the composer himself, this work has since become the ‘phantom of the opera’, doomed to fade into oblivion after the death of its creator. However, the phantom became a reality: in 1838, the German printer Johann André (in cooperation with Carl Gollmick) completed the incomplete score and published it, thus starting a massive campaign aimed at popularising his version. By doing so, he successfully integrated the newly born opera Zaide into the European musical life, turning it from the unknown fragment into one of the most oft-performed compositions ever written by Mozart. Drawing upon extensive data amassed from 1) handwritten copies and printed editions, and 2) concert programmes, journal announcements, critical essays, reviews, and commentaries, the present paper traces the European production, performance, and reception history of Mozart’s ‘phantom opera’ Zaide from 1838 up to the early 20th century. Looking beneath this factual surface, its ultimate aim consists in shedding more light on the reasons behind the successful integration of this fragment into the 19th-century musical life and its contextualisation within particular regional and national practices. Download the article  

«Стальной скок» С. С. Прокофьева в Париже и Лондоне (1927 год)

Аннотация: Творческое взаимодействие С. П. Дягилева и С. С. Прокофьева по сей день остаётся одним из самых интересных вопросов современного музыкознания. Среди произведений, написанных для дягилевской антрепризы, выделяется одно с замысловатым и несколько неуклюжим названием – «Стальной скок» («Le Pas d’Acier»). Созданный в течение 1925–1927 годов балет имел ошеломительный успех как у парижской, так и у лондонской публики, и держался в репертуаре вплоть до смерти Дягилева. Целью данной работы является выявление общих тенденций в сформировавшемся после премьеры балета в прессе мнении о балете «Стальной скок». Объектом исследования являются критические оценки произведения Прокофьева, сформировавшиеся во франкоязычной, англоязычной прессе и прессе русского зарубежья. Предмет исследования – опубликованные тексты французских, русских, английских авторов, которые изучаются в современных произведению историческом и культурном контекстах. Из всего многообразия критических откликов нами во внимание взяты 24 франкоязычных публикации; 9 публикаций авторов русского зарубежья (включая интервью Дягилева); 47 англоязычных публикаций (включая ещё одно интервью Дягилева). Три главные художественные составляющие спектакля (художественное оформление Г. Б. Якулова, хореография Л. Ф. Мясина и музыка Прокофьева) вызывали самые различные ассоциации у французских, английских критиков и представителей русского зарубежья. Отдельное внимание уделено поиску «большевистского» следа во всех составляющих скандальной постановки. Впервые в научной литературе анализируется вся многообразная палитра мнений относительно «Стального скока», отмечаются характерные черты рассматриваемой прессы, и прослеживается сценический путь балета в течение XX, XXI и XXII сезонов Русского балета. Делается предположение о том, что парадоксальный успех балета в Великобритании был связан не только с политическим контекстом времени (премьера балета совпала с англо-советским кризисом («Военной тревогой») 1927 года), но и с эстетическими предпочтениями английской публики, в частности, вниманием к конструктивизму как единому стилевому направлению в разных видах искусства. Abstract: The creative dialogue between Sergei Diaghilev and Sergei Prokofiev is one of the key issues on the agenda of modern musicology. Among the productions developed for Diaghilev’s ballet company, one work with a whimsical and somewhat clumsy name—The Steel Step (Le Pas d’Acier)—definitely stands out. The ballet took two years, from 1925 to 1927, to compose. It had a stunning success in Paris and London, where it remained in the repertoire up until Diaghilev’s death in 1929. The article aims to identify general tendencies in the opinions about The Steel Step voiced in print media after its premiere. The focus of the study is the critique of Prokofiev’s work in British and French press as well as in print media of Russian emigration. The analysis of data obtained from publications by French, Russian, and English authors was made with a due regard to the historical and cultural contexts relevant for the 1927 premieres of the ballet in Paris and London. Out of the plethora of critical reviews we chose 24 French articles, 9 articles by the authors of Russian emigration (including one interview with Diaghilev) and 47 English articles (including one more interview with Diaghilev). The three basic artistic components of the production (design by George Jakoulov, choreography by Leonide Massine and music by Sergei Prokofiev) shaped very different associations in French, English and Russian critical reviews. A special focus was given to the possible Bolshevistic footprint in all the components of the controversial performance. The study is the...


Аннотация: В статье рассматриваются политические аллюзии оперы Д.-Ф.-Э. Обера и Э. Скриба «Густав III, или Бал-маскарад», поставленной в Париже, в Королевской академии музыки 27 февраля 1833 года. Историческое прошлое Швеции в ней было интерпретировано таким образом, что публика увидела множество скрытых или лежащих на поверхности, но отнюдь не однозначных ссылок на  французскую историю последних лет: от революции 1789 года до Июльской революции и покушений на жизнь короля Луи-Филиппа в 1832 году. Abstract: The paper considers political allusions in the opera by D.-F.-E. Auber and E. Scribe «Gustave III, ou Le bal masqué», which was staged at L’Académie Royale de Musique in Paris on February 27, 1833. In this work the historical past of Sweden was interpreted in such a way that contemporaries saw many more or less obvious references to the French history of recent years: from the revolution of 1789 to the July Revolution and the most recent attempts on the life of king Louis Philippe in 1832. Скачать статью


Аннотация: Опера «Альцина» написана Генделем на уже использованное ранее в оперном театре либретто оперы «Остров Альцины» Риккардо Броски, которое основано на безусловно знакомом публике литературном произведении — поэме Лодовико Ариосто «Неистовый Роланд». Однако многие обстоятельства в либретто Генделя изменены, в результате чего принципиально изменяется композиция оперы. В статье показано, с помощью каких лексических средств обрисованы персонажи, какие именно свойства их личности оказываются в центре внимания либреттиста; проанализировано соотношение сольных высказываний и драматургической необходимости развивать действие через взаимоотношения, а также встраивание отвлеченных метафор в единую драматургическую концепцию. Анализируя либретто «Альцины», можно выявить ключевые проблемы, которые оказываются в фокусе внимания постановщиков, предлагающих свой взгляд на эту оперу на мировых сценах в последние годы. Abstract: Handel took for his Alcina a libretto from the Riccardo Broschi’s opera, L’Isola di Alcina, based on the well-known novel by Ariosto, Orlando furioso. Handel, though, made lot of changes for his own opera, so the dramatic structure had also been changed. Author of the recent article researches what are the lexical and compositional ways to portray the characters as well as a balance between affected arias and arias d’azione. Examining the libretto of Alcina one can see the main problems in this opera staging and find some different ways to resolve them. Скачать статью


Аннотация: В статье говорится о вокальных тембрах, которые Равель использует в своих спектаклях «Испанский час» и «Дитя и волшебство». Это тенор-триал и баритон-мартен. Приводится краткая информация об Антуане Триале и Жане Мартене, чьи голоса впоследствии становятся нарицательными. А также упоминаются первые исполнители равелевских спектаклей – Жане Перье, Морисе Казневе, Эдмоне Варнери и Анри Фабере. Кроме того, рассматривается история этих голосов и репертуар, связанный с ними. Приводится список некоторых французских музыкальных комедий и оперетт второй половины 19 века с упоминанием первых исполнителей. Существуя, в основном, в рамках комического жанра, триал и мартен также могут быть найдены и во французских лирических операх. Исполнители часто оказываются весьма мобильными и универсальными в плане репертуара, а также гибкими и пластичными в плане вокального мастерства. Этими голосами часто обладают актеры комедий и водевилей. Abstract: The paper describes vocal timbres – tenor-trial and baritone-martin – used in Maurice Ravel’s L’Heure espagnole and L’Enfant et les Sortilèges. It provides brief information about Antoine Trial and Jean-Blaise Martin whose surnames became French terms for similar voices and gives an overview of the first performers in Ravel’s productions: Jean Périer, Maurice Cazeneuve, Edmond Warnéry, and Henri Fabert. The paper also focuses on the history of trial and marten and the repertory based on them. It lists a range of French musical comedies and operettas of the second half of the 19th century and their first performers. Typical mostly for comic genres, tenor-trial and baritone-martin can be also found in French lyric operas. Performers often prove to be flexible and versatile in their repertory and no less flexible and plastic in their vocal skills. Such tembers are common for comic actors and vaudeville performers. Скачать статью


Аннотация: В представленной статье намечена история формирования русской оперной пародии от газетных фельетонов и домашних спектаклей к сценической репертуарной форме. Последняя сложилась и обрела свою художественно-критическую направленность в условиях кабаретного движения, развернувшегося в России в предреволюционное десятилетие. Именно на подмостках кабаре пародия стала своего рода инструментом, «расчищающим» дорогу оперной реформе. Центральной площадкой для подобных экспериментов стало петербургское кабаре «Кривое зеркало», руководители и труппа которой развернули в 1909 году так называемую антиоперную кампанию. Поэтому особое внимание уделено пародийному репертуару этого театра, в первую очередь ранее нигде не описанным оперным пародиям «Жестокий барон» В.Г. Эренберга по пьесе В.Г. Гиацинтова, «Дон Лимонадо де Газец» В.П. Буренина с музыкой Л. Гебена и «Действо о протестованном векселе и исполнительном по оному листе» В. Азова и В.Г. Эренберга. Настоящая статья вводит в научный обиход сведения об оперных пародиях не только ведущих театров малых форм, но и о малоизвестных сочинениях из репертуара «Летучей мыши», Литейного, Интимного, Мамоновского театров миниатюр. Abstract: The subject of this article is the history of Russian Opera parody. It grew from newspaper feuilletons and home performances to the theatrical performance. This form developed in the cabaret movement in the pre-revolutionary decade. The cabaret parody has become a tool that gave the way to Opera reform. The main place for such experiments was the St. Petersburg cabaret «Distorting Mirror» («Krivoe zerkalo»). Its participants launched the so-called anti-Opera campaign in 1909. Particular attention is paid to the parody repertoire of this theater, including the Opera parodies «Cruel Baron» By V.G. Ehrenberg based on the play by V.G. Giatsintov, «Don Limonado de Gazets» by V.P. Burenin with the music of L. Geben and «Action on the protest bill» by V. Azov and V.G. Ehrenberg. The article presents information about Opera parodies of the leading theaters of small forms, and about little-known compositions from the repertoire of the «The Bat», Intimate and Mamonovsky theaters of miniatures. Скачать статью