The new opera “Black Square” will get a hotly anticipated world premiere at the Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow on November 27, 2018 after three years in development.
With music by Ilya Demutsky and libretto by Olga Maslova and Igor Konyukhov, the opera is a two-act futuristic tragicomedy that “mixes intellectual traditions of Russian avant-garde and fast pacing style of an action thriller.” The work is reportedly inspired by the 1913 opera “Victory over the Sun.”
“In ‘Black Square’ we explore the phenomenon of voluntary public submission in a modern political context. The communal worship of The Beautiful One is instigated not by the oppressive force of the state, or a totalitarian ruler,” Maslova said in a press release. “Instead, it is the result of a skillful enslaving of collective social opinion which might prompt reflection on Donald Trump’s followers’ active disregard of issues significant to humankind in favor of small tokens of personal comfort? The defense of one’s personal freedom, a core democratic value, often lies at the center of many American plays.
“Yet the absence of empathy, and numbness to social causes may also be regarded as suppressed individual freedom, except that here it is a product of individual choice, not direct oppression.”
Demutsky, who will also serve as musical director for the production, is a prominent Russian composer whose work has appeared on the stage of the Bolshoi theater. He also wrote the ballet “Optimistic Tragedy” for the San Francisco Ballet. His music has also appeared in videos at the Winter Olympics and the film “The Student.” He is also a winner of the Golden Mask for his ballet “Hero of Our Times.”
Part of the proceeds from the performance will be donated to the Charity Foundation Podari Zhizn.