Rimsky-Korsakov : The Golden Cockerel [VOD]

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Rimsky-Korsakov : The Golden Cockerel

The old Tzar Dodon, tired of ruling his country, manipulated by his political advisors – among which the obscure Astrologer – and showing little interest in protecting his kingdom against foreign agression, relies on a magic Golden Cockerel to warn him in case of an attack. But when the Cockerel tells him of his own defeat, the Tzar quickly falls in love with his enemy, the beautiful Tzaritza of Shemakha, who easily convinces him to surrender his empire by making him propose to her…

A cruel and sardonic fairytale, Rimsky-Korsakov’s Golden Cockerel draws from a poem by Alexander Pushkin, and undoubtedly counts among the most subversive works in the history of music. One has to admit that the opera, composed less than ten years before the revolution that was to change Russia forever, doesn’t paint a very favorable picture of the Tzar’s regime ! A very direct attack against autocracy, stupidity and political inertia, it was censored and premiered only in 1909, one year after Rimsky-Korsakov’s death.

This new production from the Théâtre de la Monnaie was imagined by Laurent Pelly. Drawing from the modernity of Rimsky-Korsakov’s musical and dramatic imagination, the ambiguities of its specular structure, and its underlying reflection on language, manipulation and absurdity, the French stage director underlies the heavily symbolical aspects of this fierce and pitiless tale, allthewhile remembering both its historical context and its universal philosophical depth… French conductor Alain Altinoglu works wonders with the Théâtre de la Monnaie Symphony Orchestra, and reaffirms his strong affinities with Russian music, which were already made clear in the Tchaikovsky diptych Iolanta / The Nutcracker at the Paris Opera in 2016.

Distribution

Rimsky-Korsakov : The Golden Cockerel [VOD]

Opera in three acts (1909)

Music : Nikolay Rimsky-Korsakov (1844-1908)

Tzar Dodon : Pavlo Hunka
Tzarevich Guidon : Alexey Dolgov
Tzarevich Afron : Konstantin Shushakov
General Polkan : Alexander Vassiliev
Amelfa : Agnes Zwierko
Astrologer : Alexander Kravets
Tzaritza of Shemakha : Venera Gimadieva
Golden Cockerel : Sheva Tehoval (singer) / Sarah Demarthe (dancer)
Boyars : John Manning & Marcel Schmitz

Orchestre Symphonique et Chœurs de la Monnaie

Conductor : Alain Altinoglu

Stage direction & Costumes : Laurent Pelly

Sets : Barbara De Limburg
Lighting design : Joël Adam
Choreography : Lionel Hoche
Costume design collaborator : Jean-Jacques Delmotte
Chorus master : Martino Faggiani

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