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Sergei Novikov to direct Verdi's Requiem at the Krasnoyarsk Opera and Ballet Theatre

The Hvorostovsky Krasnoyarsk Opera and Ballet Theatre will hold the premiere of a new version of Requiem by Giuseppe Verdi; it’ll be staged by production director Sergei Novikov, director of the Communications Department of the State Atomic Energy Corporation Rosatom and a diploma winner at the 2nd International Nano-Opera Competition for Young Opera Directors.

Sergei graduated from the Lobachevsky Nizhny Novgorod State University (Faculty of Journalism) and the Nizhny Novgorod College of Music. In 2015, he won not only a diploma of the Nano-Opera competition but also a special jury prize  - the opportunity to stage at the Krasnoyarsk Opera and Ballet Theatre. Sergei Novikov introduced Slovtsov-Gala to the Krasnoyarsk audience. It had an unusual stage solution for the concert pieces - the solution aroused great interest among spectators.

The embodiment of Verdi's great work on the stage of the Krasnoyarsk Opera House will also have an unusual approach. According to the director, Requiem can be attributed not only to concerts but to operas because the dramatic composition of Requiem is very theatrical - in combination with powerful musical content, it gives an emotional tension that corresponds to the most tragic historic plots.

The performance will take place on January 27 - the day of the lifting of the siege of Leningrad; music and vocals will be accompanied by the World War Two chronicles footage.

“The story of the besieged Leningrad tragedy in combination with this music wins the spectators’ hearts. Looking at the chronicles footage, it’s hard to hold back tears. Literally, you can see the cleansing effect of this music. To push the modern spectators closer to the semantic content, we decided to try something new and made a vocal translation. This was a serious risk since the global trend nowadays is performing operas in the original language. But the trick here is that there’s no original language: as you know, Latin is phonetically dead, no one speaks that language nowadays, and Latin has its own pronunciation phonetics for various countries. However, thanks to the Russian translation, there is a feeling that Verdi dedicated his masterpiece to Leningrad, even though anyone knows this is chronologically impossible”, explains Sergei Novikov.

According to the director’s words, the production is, to a large extent, addressed to young people because there is a lot of information noise around the main milestones of the Great Patriotic War, attempts to rewrite events; it is difficult for young people to distinguish the truth from unfair interpretations nowadays. The Requiem performance dedicated to the memory of the victims of the siege of Leningrad has already been shown in Moscow, Novosibirsk, and the city itself where the siege took place - St. Petersburg (former Leningrad).

“The audience perceived it everywhere as a strong remedy for the Nazism virus. Therefore, young Krasnoyarsk residents are our most welcomed spectators. You may call it grand rhetoric, but the future of our country depends on how well the youngsters learn the lessons of that terrible war”, said Sergei Novikov.