2023 Author: Leah Sherlock | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-08-25 09:26
There are few people in Russia who have not seen or at least never heard of "Carmen" performed by Maya Plisetskaya. The premiere of this opera in 1967 shocked the audience and critics alike. Minister of Culture E. Furtseva was angry: the sexuality of the main character and the subtext of the performance were obvious. But the show was held up. In 2010 at the Mariinsky Theater "Carmen" received a new birth. This is not a copy of a performance with the participation of a Soviet prima ballerina, but rather a modern vision of the theme of personal freedom.
One act ballet staged by Cuban choreographer Alberto Alonso based on a novel by Prosper Mérimée. Maya Plisetskaya dreamed of staging this story for a long time, but none of the choreographers undertook it. When the Cuban Alonso arrived in the Soviet Union, the prima approached him with a proposal to create a ballet. Ideahe liked it, and he began to implement it. Of course, without the highest permission, he would not have been allowed to do this, but he was from the Island of Freedom, and that meant a lot.
The ballet was based on scenes from the opera of the same name. However, there were problems with the music. D. Shostakovich did not dare to compete with Georges Bizet, A. Khachaturian did not see anything interesting for himself in the plot. Plisetskaya was advised to turn to her husband, the composer Shchedrin. All conceivable deadlines had already passed, the performance was in jeopardy…
R. Shchedrin, on the advice of Alonso, combined the music from the opera "Carmen" and the suite "Arlesian", the author of which was Bizet. The arrangement was brilliantly successful, its distinctive feature was string and percussion instruments with the introduction of elements of bell ringing. The orchestra got acquainted with the score at the same time as the soloists, since the first rehearsals were held to the accompaniment of the piano.
The Carmen Suite premiered on April 20, 1967 at the Bolshoi Theatre. Furtseva left the building without waiting for the performance to end. Her greatest desire was to close the production and forget about her.
With common efforts and persuasion, we managed to defend the ballet, however, on the condition that some especially provocative scenes would be removed. Since then, the performance has been shown in the USSR 132 times, and on the stages of the world - more than two hundred.
After 43 years, on April 19, the premiere of "Carmen" took place at the Mariinsky Theater in St. Petersburg, attended by Maya Plisetskaya and RodionShchedrin. Their participation in the rehearsal process was invaluable as the idea of the production was conveyed.
The part of Carmen at the Mariinsky Theater was prepared by several ballerinas: Ulyana Lopatkina, Ekaterina Kondaurova, Irma Nioradze. Ballet soloists Danila Korsuntsev and Ilya Kuznetsov got used to the role of Jose. The performer of the torrero part is Evgeny Ivanchenko. The teacher Viktor Barykin, invited from the Bolshoi Theater, supervised the rehearsals. He was one of the performers of Jose's part.
Maya Plisetskaya, defending the right to the existence of the performance, said to E. Furtseva: "Carmen" will live as long as I live. "Today, the Carmen Suite is one of the most popular productions at the Mariinsky Theater.
In 2015, two of the greatest performers of the main role - prima ballerina Maya Plisetskaya and opera singer Elena Obraztsova - died. Their performance as the gypsy Carmen is recognized worldwide as exemplary.
The premiere of the opera in Paris in 1875 was a failure. And only true connoisseurs of music, such as P. I. Tchaikovsky, predicted a bright future for this work.
The first performance in Russia took place in 1878 in St. Petersburg. The opera Carmen was staged at the Mariinsky Theater in 1885. And today there are few people, even far from classical music, who would be unfamiliar with the arias of Jose, Carmen or the bullfighter.
In 2016, the audience saw and heard an updated version of the work by J. Bizet. In this editionthe choreography, on which Ilya Ustintsev worked, and the artistic design (Alexey Stepanyuk) were changed. The musical part remained intact.
In the main roles Anna Kiknadze, Alexander Kasyanov and Evgeny Akimov are masters of opera performance.
It can be said that the "Carmen" of the Mariinsky Theater only benefited from the changes made. Therefore, three and a half hours of opera fly by unnoticed.
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