Friday, May 05, 2017

Sorochyntsi Fair

Mussorgsky's Sorochyntsi Fair from the Komische Oper Berlin is brought to us by the Opera Platform.  The librettto is by Mussorgsky on a story by Gogol.  It was unfinished when Mussorgsky died and was finished by Vissarion Shebalin?  I see.  There are several versions, and this is the one chosen by Komische Oper.

Conductor - Henrik Nánási
Director - Barrie Kosky

Cherevik bass: Jens Larsen
Khivrya, Cherevik’s wife mezzo-soprano:  Agnes Zwierko
Parasya, Cherevik’s daughter, Khivrya’s stepdaughter soprano:  Mirka Wagner
Kum, Gritsko's father bass-baritone: Tom Erik Lie
Gritsko, a peasant lad, boy friend tenor:  Alexander Lewis
Afanasiy Ivanovich, a priest’s son, wife's lover tenor: Ivan Turšić
The gypsy bass:   Hans Gröning
Intermezzo (Shebalin edition) Chornobog bass:  Carsten Sabrowski

Gritsko and Parasya meet at the fair.  Papa decides that since he is the son of a friend, they should marry.  Mama thinks this is ridiculous. The parents go home and quarrel.  Mama sings.  Her lover arrives but has to hide when other people arrive.

You thought this was going to be a typical love story, but no.  The devil has lost his red jacket, and eventually the whole story turns to this.  Famously, A Night on Bare Mountain is embedded as a dream sequence, here staged as a pigs banquet.  Surrounding the dream are portions of the Songs and Dances of Death.  (I did them once.)

The daughter, missing since the opening scene, returns to sing.  Then dance.  Everything works out for the best.  The music is gorgeous, and the story is fun.  The quality of work in German theater is excellent.

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