The festival of Boris Pokrovsky will be a living reminder about the Opera itself

"Adventures of the playboy" by I. Stravinsky at Opera Pokrovsky

On 07 Jan 2017 is opened a festival dedicated to the former Director and founder of the Moscow Chamber musical theatre B. Pokrovsky. It will last until 01 Feb 2017 and will remind the audience about the productions of the Boris, which remains the benchmark to this day, and of his moral and artistic precepts, which are still important today for the troupe and for colleagues and for the audience.

On 07 and 08 January already sounded Opera “Rostov action” by St. Demetrius of Rostov. The author is a prominent Orthodox figure of the eighteenth century, who made many efforts for the spiritual unity of Russia and Ukraine. “Comedy on Christmas” was first raised in 1702 and reconstructed by Boris Pokrovsky in 1982.

On 11 and 12 January it is possible to hear the Opera of the eighteenth century, “Julius Caesar and Cleopatra” by G. F. Handel (“Julius Caesar in Egypt”). This Opera was written and staged(Handel staged his operas and operas of other composers himself in “the Royal Academy of music” in England) by an acknowledged master of Baroque Opera Seria in the first period of his work, before he turned to oratorios on biblical topics. The theatre Pokrovsky is the only one in Russia where you can see a production of this Opera.

On January 14 and 15, the theater will show to the children one of the most famous its performances Prokofiev’s symphonic fairy tale “Peter and the wolf” directed by Pokrovsky.

On 18 January viewers will be able to see “the Nose” by Shostakovich in edition 1974, that Boris Pokrovsky has revived the show after a long period of neglect. The Opera was composed by the story of N. Gogol under the influence of the theater of Meyerhold.

On 20, 21 and 22 January, viewers will enjoy “the Magic flute”, on 25 and 26 January – the Opera “don Juan, or the libertine Punished” wrote by the illustrious genius of the Viennese classical school W. A. Mozart.

On 28 and 29 January will feature “Adventures of the playboy” by innovator Igor Stravinsky, in whose honor Maestro Valery Gergiyev invited to call the 2017 year. The festival will be concluded on 01 February 2017 by one-act Opera by Puccini: “Tabarro” and “Gianni Schicchi” (from the Triptych, 1918).

“E-Vesti” asked Mikhail Kyslyarov, chief Director of the Chamber music theater, to tell our readers details about the festival and to share experiences about Boris Pokrovsky.

E-Vesti: This is not your first, but a traditional festival in memory of Boris Pokrovsky. What’s the difference between this and previous festival?

Mikhail Kyslyarov: We already held the eighth festival showing the best performances of Boris Pokrovsky. He has staged many operas, but we made the selection, and from year to year, the festival contains such productions as “the Rostov action”, “Nose”, “don Giovanni”, “Adventures of the playboy”, “the Magic flute”, and others. We present his iconic works.

Fundamentally the festival is nearly unchanged from a year ago. But this is our offering to the Master, retrospective of performances intercession necessary not only for the audience but also for ourselves, to look again at his attitude to the Opera, where the main thing is a musical drama. Maybe stylistically, these performances are in some degree belong to a different era, but they are so brilliantly done that it is still necessary for all of us. The theatre moves forward, releases a new statement in which occur the search for a new language. And still the benchmark for us is the intercession, his view on Opera directing.

EV: The people involved in the performances of the festival are the young soloists or for You it doesn’t matter?

Mikhail Kyslyarov: Over the past seven years, the troupe is very updated, today there are many young artists that never worked with Boris Pokrovsky and never even saw him. But they are introduced into his productions, which is giving them the opportunity to go the school at theatre Pokrovsky. We try to carefully preserve his performances, but, nevertheless, in connection with the emergence of new artists they undergo some changes. We try not to turn the festival into a Museum, it needs to be alive. Every artist, whether he likes it or not, brings a new breath, its own personality, which is important for our theatre. The actor is not a puppet, but a living embodiment of images, so the performances vary but the staging, the costumes and sets remain the same.

The festival opened with two performances of “Rostov action”, and more than half of the performers in it were from among the young who have not worked with light. Production is from 1982, can you imagine how old she is?! Of course, over time has varied generations of artists; this is important because the theatre is a lot of the young.

EV: Please tell me, such a person as Boris Pokrovsky, which still inspires theatre and passes the spirit, how it is kept in Your personal memories? What is the secret of the strength and charm of this person?

Mikhail Kyslyarov: Boris had enormous creative energy he invested in his performances. I think that’s why they’re alive. The spirit of intercession is, first of all, his energy, his thoughts on the issues raised in his plays.

You ask, what is the image he left? He remembered young. Not in the sense of the number of years: he was still young in 80 and in 90 years too. I said that the theater must have a lot of the young people, but it’s not a question of passport data. It is a question of energy, mischief, because theater is a game which required creative enthusiasm, even in the embodiment of serious topics. For me Pokrovsky always was the youngest in the theater, despite the fact by age there were many people much younger.

EV: In “Helikon-Opera” on January 22, will host a photo exhibition dedicated to 105-th anniversary since the birth of B. Pokrovsky. Why there, are there his disciples? Will there be something new?

Mikhail Kyslyarov: Many consider themselves his disciples, though in the literal sense he has not studied them. As far as I know, Dmitry Bertman believes the intercession of his teacher, despite the fact that his teacher at the Institute was George Ansimov.

Bertman was friend with Pokrovsky and his wife, Irina Maslennikova, he always invited them to the premieres. Boris always was glad to open a new Opera houses, including the emergence of “Helikon-Opera”, because for him it meant that the Opera does not die, it lives. He often came in “Helikon-Opera” and was there a welcome guest. After the restoration of the building, “Helikon-Opera” launched room of Pokrovsky. Now they open an exhibition dedicated to 105-th birthday of Boris. We also gave our photos, from our funds. I am very glad that the theatre will be an exhibition, this name must not forget.

I don’t know if there is something new; Boris is very much said and published, there are his books. We have several years of spectacle “Dialogues with Pokrovsky”, telling snippets of his performances and books.

The exhibition opens on 22 January and on 23 January it is the birthday of Boris Pokrovsky. By the way, on January 18 we play “the Nose,” and on January 18 it is the birthday of the theater. This year our theatre turns 45.