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10 February

Theatre program announced!

Scene from the "Imitation of Life"

The world premiere of the opera by Platonov; "Oedipus Rex" by Rimas Tuminas with the participation of Greek chorus; a new program of the Netherlands Dance Theatre; Shakespeare, staged by Declan Donnellan; interpretation of the biblical story by Gesher Theater from Israel; Hungarian performance about refugees staged by Kornél Mundruczó; Italian dancers, floating in the air to the sound of the baroque music ...

The program features12 performances, more than a half of which will be shown for the first time in Russia. Theatre companies from 9 countries will attend the arts forum: Russia, Argentina, Great Britain, Israel, Hungary, the Netherlands, Poland, Belarus, Italy.

Here you can find the program of the Festival. It can be divided into three sections. "The Main Program" will demonstrate to the festival audience "classic" productions of recognized and time-tested masters of directing and choreography, "Contemporary Art Program" - new trends and discoveries of modern theatre, "Platonov program" - performances that are based on the works of Andrey Platonov.


Opening of the festival



The festival will start with the world premiere of the opera by Gleb Sedelnikov entitled "Birthplace of Electricity" based on a story by Andrey Platonov. The play will be shown in the Voronezh State Opera and Ballet Theatre. The director of the play - Mikhail Bychkov, Conductor - Yuri Anisichkin, Designer - Nikolai Simonov.

The "Birthplace of Electricity" is the first and it seems the world's only opera written on the basis of Andrey Platonov's work (1981). Its author – a composer Gleb Sedelnikov, who is "wrong" in the Platonov’s manner and who is far from the music mainstream – was extremely selective in the themes for his music. But he loved Platonov and even wrote the libretto for the opera. Music and lyrics of the "Birthplace of Electricity" is so unusual to meet familiar notions of opera as an elite, sublime art that nobody has been dared to direct this opera for more than 30 years.

The world premiere will take place in Voronezh – in the homeland of Andrey Platonov. The director of the opera is Mikhail Bychkov, the artistic director of the International Platonov Arts Festival and Voronezh Chamber Theatre. His previous operas were nominated for the national awards "Golden Mask" and "Onegin" in several categories and his performances based on Platonov works ("Fools on the periphery" and "Fourteen Red Huts") which have been sold out in the Chamber Theatre for several years, represented Voronezh at the main Russian theatre project "Golden Mask".

The designer of the "Birthplace of Electricity" is Nikolai Simonov, a regular сo-author of Michail Bychkov, the Honored Artist of Russia, author of the set design for the plays of Moscow Art Theatre named after Chekhov, Oleg Tabakov Theatre and other Moscow theatres. Musical Director - Yuri Anisichkin, the Chief Conductor of the Voronezh Opera and Ballet Theatre.


Main Program



On June 3 and 4 the "Oedipus Rex" – a new performance of The Vakhtangov State Academic Theatre of Russia (director Rimas Tuminas) – will be shown on the stage of the Voronezh Concert Hall. The world premiere was held on the stage of the Ancient Theatre of Epidaurus on July 29, 2016 in Greece. Then the performance was shown in Athens, and its premiere in Moscow was dedicated to the 95th anniversary of the Vakhtangov Theatre.

Rimas Tuminas made Sophocles tragedy close to modern audiences, exciting and full of passion. The actors of the National Theatre of Greece in Athens (Chorus) are involved into the play. Viktor Dobronravov is in the role of Oedipus, in the role of his wife, Jocasta, is Lyudmila Maksakova, the role of Tiresias is performed by Evgeny Knyazev.

On June 4 and 5 in the Opera and Ballet Theatre the Festival spectators will see the Argentinean "Tango-Show". The production consists of two dance performances: the play "Lorca Tango" based on the Spanish poet Garcia Lorca's tragedy "Blood Wedding", which combines tango and flamenco; and "Suite Troilo", which is dedicated to the famous Argentinean musician Aníbal Troilo – the man who became a legend during his lifetime and is believed to be the best bandoneonist of all times.

Both plays were staged by one of the most famous Argentinean dance companies "Tango Metropolis Dance Company". Tango-Show will be presented at Platonov Arts Festival in collaboration with the Chekhov International Theatre Festival and the Chekhov International Theatre Festival Regional Public Fund. The play arrives in Russia with the support of the Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation.

Photo by Johan Persson

The second performance which will be shown at Platonov Arts festival in cooperation with the Chekhov International Theatre Festival will be a new play by Declan Donnellan – "The Winter's Tale" by William Shakespeare. It will be shown on the stage of the Voronezh Concert Hall on June 9 and 10.

The world famous British director staged "The Winter's Tale" at the created by him theatre "Cheek by Jowl" in London in collaboration with his regular co-author – artist Nick Ormerod. European media have already tagged the show as "a true masterpiece". The performance arrives in Russia with the support of the British Council and the Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation.

On June 12 and 13 the Israeli show "King David Report" will be shown for the first time in Russia on the stage of the Voronezh Concert Hall. The performance was staged in Tel-Aviv by the chief director of the Gesher Theatre Yevgeny Arye. Today, the Gesher Theatre is the leading Israeli theatre. It was founded in 1991 by a group of directors and actors from the former USSR, and keeps the traditions of the Russian psychological theatre.

The "King David Report" is a shining example of how a nation rethinks its history. Who was David? A Shepherd or a leader of a gang, a criminal or a musician, or a tyrant progressive monarch? The Israeli press writes that it is "a masterpiece not to be missed" and that "never before a biblical world has been so exciting". The performance will be shown in our country with the support of the Embassy of Israel in Russia.

"The Main Program" of the International Platonov Arts Festival will be closed by the show "Aria", the Italian "dance in the air." The performance will be shown in the Opera and Ballet Theatre on June 13 and 14.


Contemporary Art Program



For the first time in Russia there will be shown the "Imitation of Life", the performance of the Hungarian Proton Theatre on the stage of the Voronezh Concert Hall on June 6 and 7. This is the work by director and innovator Kornél Mundruczó. In the show, he both shows his interest in the political agenda in Europe – the issue of refugees and tolerance, and in the eternal theme of the relationship between a man and fate.

Mr.Mundruczó is equally in demand as for the theatre so for cinema; his works constantly participate in the Cannes Film Festival and in the major European festivals. The "Imitation of Life" is created in collaboration with the Austrian festival Wiener Festwochen and became one of the must-see programs of this authoritative forum in 2016. European critics called the performance a "hyper-realist masterpiece" and wrote that "this is the theatre of material and life’s game that moves one to tears".


On June 8 and 9 the stage of the Opera and Ballet Theater will host the "Evening with NDT 2" - the Russian premiere of a new choreography program of the world-famous Nederlands Dans Theater. NDT is the world's leading ballet company which has been led by Jiri Kylian for a long time. In 2011, the artistic director of the theatre became the English choreographer Paul Lightfoot.

In the evening of one-act ballets there involved a young troupe – NDT 2. The festival audience will watch the performances “Sleight of Hand” directed by Sol León and Paul Lightfoot, “mutual comfort” by Edward Clug, “Solo” by Hans van Manen and “I New Then” by Johan Inger.


On June 8 and 9 a performance "From the Deep... (Artist Vincent Van Gogh)" will be staged at the Voronezh Theatre for Young Spectators. This production of the Kazan Theatre for Young Spectators was nominated for the highest theatrical prize of Russia "Golden Mask" 2017 in four categories, including the best modern dance. The director of the play is Tufan Imamutdinov.

The play is based on the early paintings of Van Gogh and his letters. But if you expect to see the reproductions of paintings by the Dutch artist or visual quotes on the stage, you will be surprised. Van Gogh Letters set to music (composer – Elmir Nizamov) and his paintings – in the plastic language and meditative Butoh dance. Choreographer of the play Anna Garafeeva studied Butoh dance at the famous school of Japanese choreographer Min Tanaka.


Platonov program


"Platonov program" will start with the opera "Birthplace of Electricity" by Gleb Sedelnikov on June 2, the performance of the Voronezh Opera and Ballet Theatre .

On June 4 and 5 the production of the Lensoviet Academic Theatre “Wanderers. Short Novels” will be shown at the Voronezh Academic Drama Theatre A.Koltsov. Director Vera Kamyshnikova combined nine stories of Platonov's railway themes.

Photo by Kasia Chmura

On June 7 and 8 on the stage of the Chamber Theatre there will be held the Russian premiere of the Polish performance "The Russian Contract" based on the novel "The Epifan Locks". The performance is directed by Krzysztof Rekowski on the stage of the Dramatic Theatre of Warsaw.

"The Epifan Locks" is not the easiest work for a production on the stage. As described on the website of the Polish theatre, this performance is "an attempt to understand the mentality of the East, which for centuries terrifies and fascinates Europe".

On June 6 and 7 a puppet show "Fro" from Belarus will be shown in the V.Volhovsky Puppet Theatre for the first time in Russia. It was directed by Ruslan Kudashov at Brest Puppet Theatre.


Closing of the festival



On June 13 and 14 a performance "Aria" from Italy will take place in the Opera and Ballet Theatre for the first time in Russia. This is a joint statement of the three companies: choreographic "No Gravity Dance Company", musical group "Roman Baroque Ensemble" and "Emiliano Pellizari Studio" in charge of decorations, lights and special effects.

The creators of the show managed to embody the beauty on the stage, the hill and the quirkiness of the Baroque period, continuing the tradition of the Italian renaissance "miracle theatre". The dancers challenge the laws of gravity and dance in the air. It has become possible with the help of the combination of choreography and acrobatics with special effects and lighting design.

"Aria" has 13 dance scenes. Musicians play authentic Baroque instruments or close to their copies. The play also involvs two opera singers.