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The Astrakhan Opera and Ballet Theatre’s “The Damnation of Faust”

The Astrakhan Opera and Ballet Theatre tours in Krasnoyarsk in December 2017. On December 13 and 14, the theatre will present its one of the best works, the nominee of the Russian National Theatre Award “Golden Mask” - the dramatic legend of Hector Berlioz “The Damnation of Faust”. On December 16, “Opera Promenade” - a concert of opera soloists, chorus and symphony orchestra - will be held.

The dramatic legend of Berlioz “The Damnation of Faust” was written 170 years ago and many a time was staged on the European opera stages, but in Russia only concert performance has been known so far. And the Astrakhan State Opera and Ballet Theatre is the first in our country to stage this whole work.

“The Damnation of Faust” is a bold experiment in which video content and the latest 3D technologies are extensively used. All this allows spectators to achieve the absolute illusion of three-dimensional space and to enjoy a grandiose visual symphony that gives birth to images incredible in the power of emotional impact.

This staging goes beyond the usual concept of opera - it is a synthesis of opera, oratorio, ballet, symphony. The grandiose music combined with the Faustian theme, which attracts and simultaneously frightens in its infinity, brings about an absolutely incredible effect.

This is the alluring beauty of the universe and its frightening abyss; a man who perceives the world through himself, confronted with contradictory laws of nature and challenging the creation; fantastic reality and plausibility of fiction; unexplained mysteries of love and death; the contiguity of good and evil... 

Berlioz chose the storyline of Faust and Marguerite for his opera. But he felt the tremendous scope of Goethe’s work, and his music gives a much wider range of images than the verbally expressed libretto. The directors of the performance followed the libretto, but they put music first.  This gave them the opportunity to raise it to a high level, sending viewers directly to Goethe's “Faust”.  

“Goethe's greatest book absorbed the vast cultural experience of mankind. By means of the language of music - the most general and at the same time the most open to the human heart form of art, Berlioz gave "Faust" an emotional tone specific in its influence”, says director Konstantin Balakin. - “In our performance we aspire to recreate this emotional impact on the audience, combining the possibilities of modern technologies with the medieval mystery. Like no other masterpiece, “The Damnation of Faust” excites the imagination and triggers a great deal of associations. We had even to limit ourselves, so that the performance did not turn into the history of art, but evoked allusions, arising in the associative and perhaps genetic memory. Berlioz put lots of hints into the opera, leaving room for imagination. While staging, we deliberately avoided unfathomable symbols, leaving room for this genuinely romantic music”.

The tour will close with the Gala-Concert of the Astrakhan Opera’s leading soloists. Among them are the theatre's prima, the multiple nominee of the National Theatre Award "Golden Mask" and the National Opera Award "Onegin" Elena Razgulyaeva, nominees of the National Opera Award "Onegin" Ivan Mikhailov and Vadim Shishkin, winners of Russian and international competitions Ruslan Sigbatulin, Yevgenia Startseva, Irina Belaya, Dmitry Kondratiev, Alexander Malyshko, Vitaliy Revyakin, Rostom Iashvili.

They’ll perform musical masterpieces - from the “Liebestod” by R.Wagner to the romantic “Con te partirò” (“I'm Leaving with You”) by F.Sartori. The heroes of many favourite operas - the tragic Сanio and Cavaradossi, the lyrical Solveig and Lensky, splashing with the joy and wit of Figaro, Almaviva, Rosine and many other characters will appear before the audience. The highlight of the concert will be the striking in the force of emotional impact “O Fortuna” from the cantata “Carmina Burana” by Orff performed by the choir of the theatre, whose high professional level is acknowledged both by musicians and spectators.

The tour will be undertaken with the assistance of the Federal Centre for Support of Tour Activities.