April Recommended Theatre
“Two angles, four people”
The Tabakov’s Theatre
This performance is based on a play by Victor Shenderovich, the maverik journalist who used to host a famous NTV programme during more democratic times. He is also a former student of Oleg Tabakov, the head of the theater bearing Tabakov’s name.
The plot is as follows: a fallen angel who is bound to become a human being has one last assignment to carry out—to prepare the necessary documents for a soon-to-die businessman who has no desire to die.
The performance is very dynamic, raising a wide variety of questions. The action dramatically changes from laughter to tears. Mikhail Khomyakov and Aleksey Grishin play the leading roles are superb in acting out a series of emotional experiences and mood changes.
The final moral of the story is that it is impossible for the angel to be transformed into a human being
but it is possible to “wake up” the human being even in the worst example of humanity. Only occasionally do people think about what they would do if today was the last day of their lives, and this play puts you into that mode.
April 20, 30
1A Chaplygina Str.
If you want a good laugh yet with some serious thinking, go for this show. You won’t be disappointed.
The Mayakovsky Theatre
Dostoyevsky has never been among my favourite writers, even though I have always acknowledged his genius. I mainly went to see this production out of curiosity as I could not quite picture such a monumental novel being staged in a theatre.
Dostoyevsky did not write any plays, yet his novels have always been popular among directors. This time Vladimir Malyagin, the drama playwright, wrote his own version of this novel adapted for the theatre. According to several acclaimed critics he has been a lot more successful in that than his numerous predecessors.
The theatre defined the genre of this performance as the “passion symphony”. Indeed passion was the one thing that the Dostoyevsky’s heroes never lacked. For over three hours we witness a dialogue between faith and disbelief, virtue and sin, crime and punishment, a mixture of emotions common to mankind. Even if you are not a big fan of Dostoevsky you tend to be swept away by this performance and appreciate both the plot and the acting.
The theatre’s artistic director, Sergei Artshibashev, is also the director of this performance.
The cast consists of well-known actors, such as Alexander Lazarev, Mikhail Philipov, Svetlana Nemolyaeva, Igor Kostolevsky—a real “hard core” of the theatre.
April 24 The Mayakovsky Theater
19 Bolshaya Nikitskaya
Phone: 495 690-4658
It was great to see that there was no “modernization” of the text; the entire performance is staged in the classical way with the necessary psychological deepth.
“Boris Godunov” – Preview of the coming Opening Night
The Vishnevskaya Opera Centre
The Vishnevskaya Centre is known for the high quality of its performances and advanced training of its singers. This is one of the few places where you can actually understand what they are singing and follow the plot. All the singers go through a course of speech training among other classes. That is why even as students, the Centre’s singers are in-demand by various opera theatres and festivals. One of the latest examples is the latest production of the opera, “Boris Godunov”.
“Boris Godunov”, presented by the Royal Opera Vallonia (city of Liege, Belgium) and the Vishnevskaya Opera Centre, became one of the major highlights of the opera festival in Santander in Spain last summer. The core singers of this production were from the Vishnevskaya Centre along with other Moscow and St.Petersburg theatres. Several performances were also held in Liege, Belgium.
“The performance ended being a success. And so I decided to stage it at my Centre,” comments Galina Vishnevskaya. “Modest Mussorgsky is my favourite composer. It is incredible how such a genius could have been born at that time. This opera allows young singers to immerse themselves in this genius’s work; they most likely will not have such a chance in any other theatre over the next few years. Each act requires real emotions and advanced singing technics and should be prepared in the classroom before the singer fine tunes it with the director. We have a great group of people working on this production: Ivan Popovsky, the director, who already staged several productions at my Centre, and Valery Levental, a brilliant scene-designer who I worked with at the Bolshoi.
“You asked me why foreigners should come to our performance. I will tell you that ‘Boris Godunov’ is the most famous opera ever since Feodor Chalyapin’s time when Sergey Dyagilev organized his famous annual Russian performances, known as the Russian Seasons Abroad, in France. I welcome everyone to see our latest production of this immortal opera.”
Galina Vishnevskaya Opera Center
25/1 Ostozhenka Street,
Phone: 495 637-7703,