“Praktika” Theatre, Moscow
Presented in the frame of Russian Case 2021
Chamber opera as a new look at a classic text by Nikolai Nekrasov
Director: Marina Brusnikina
Composer: Alexei Syumak
This opera-installation by composer Alexei Syumak, director Marina Brusnikina and set designer Ksenia Peretrukhina, takes place on several venues within the theatre.  Each venue represents a different experience (e.g. life or death) and the audience is expected to move from one venue to another. The Russian poet Nikolai Nekrasov wrote “Frost the Red Nose” in 1863 following abolition of serfdom in Russia, and dedicated the poem to Russian peasant women. A woman who freezes to death in the winter forest because of and for the sake of love has become a symbol of perseverance and sacrifice, a priori "Russian" and "feminine" qualities. Alexei Syumak’s music contains folklore motifs, and vocalization is in the style of Russian folklore singing. The scenery is a set of installations located in different parts of the theatre. The installations create different setting of the action - the forest, the homestead or the funerals. Enchanted by winter, frost and beauty, the female characters are frantically ready to die – as they are in Nekrasov’s poem. Alexei Syumak’s complex and sensitive music is sensuously performed by the Praktika Ensemble led by the famous experimental vocalist Olga Vlasova. 

Kristina Matvienko