New Opera BLACK SQUARE Set for Krannert Center as Part of '10 Days That Shook the World' Symposium
The capstone event of the REEEC symposium 10 days that shook the world is the Lyric Theatre at Illinois' production From Prince Igor to Black Square. The stories of human lives swept away by the storm of political changes seven centuries apart come alive in this unusual production.
From Prince Igor to Black Square pushes the boundaries between classics and avant-garde, juxtaposing classic scenes from the audience' beloved classic Russian operas with the premiere of the first act of the new opera Black Square.
The show will run Wednesday, December 13, 2017 at 7:30pm, Tryon Festival Theatre, Krannert Center for the Performing Arts. The event is free and more details may be found at krannertcenter.com/events/lyric-theatre-illinois-scenes-prince-igor-black-square.
The futuristic plot of the Black Square tells a tragicomic love story of a couple overwhelmed by revolution and caught up in societal metamorphosis. It is inspired by an early 20th century absurd theatre tradition, the aim of which is to deliver complex poetic language through a simple comic book style story. Music is written by the brilliant contemporary Russian composer, Ilya Demutsky, whose name is attached to productions for the famous Moscow's Bolshoi Theatre, San Francisco Ballet, and Joffrey Ballet. At only 34, Ilya is already a winner of the Golden Mask, the highest honor in the Russian theatre, which he received for the ballet Hero of Our Times at Bolshoi, and a recipient of the Composer of the Year award (European Oscar) for the Cannes award-winning film The Student. Ilya will be coming to Urbana right after the opening night of his ballet Nureyev at Bolshoi Theater in Moscow amidst the controversy of its cancellation in July, just two days before the opening, and the arrest of its director, Kirill Serebrennikov, well known for his critique of Putin's regime. The libretto is written by Igor Konyukhov, an artistic director of New Opera NYC, and Olga Maslova, an assistant professor in the Department of Theatre, UIUC. A panel discussion will follow the performance.
IF YOU GO:
FROM PRINCE IGOR TO BLACK SQUARE
Lyric Theatre @ Illinois.
SCENES FROM THE RUSSIAN OPERAS
Prince Igor, War and Peace, Golden Cockerel, Eugene Onegin
Directed by Dawn Harris
Piano Larisa Chasanov, Alexander Munger
act one (abbreviated)
Idea by Igor Konyukhov, Composer Ilya Demutsky, Libretto by Olga Maslova and Igor Konyukhov,
Directed by Olga Maslova, Two piano accompaniment: Julie Gunn, Michael Tilley
Panel discussion: Ilya Demutsky, composer, St Petersburg, Igor Konyukhov, artistic director of New Opera NYC, New York, Olga Maslova, assistant professor, Department of Theatre, UIUC; Lilya Kaganovsky, professor, History and Comparative Literature, UIUC; moderated by Katherine Syer, associate professor, Department of Theatre, UIUC.
This performance is supported by Krannert Center for the Performing Arts, and Russian, East European and Eurasian Center.
The opera will also be workshopped in March 2018 (with orchestra) at the Tryon Festival Theatre.
Ilya Demutsky is a Russian multi-award winning composer, performer, and conductor. His works include compositions for orchestra, chorus, chamber ensemble, piano, voice, as well as electronic and film music. Ilya holds a Master's degree in choral conducting from Saint Petersburg State Conservatory and a Master of Music in Composition from San Francisco Conservatory of Music which he attended on a Fulbright scholarship. Demutsky's music for the full-length ballet A Hero of Our Time, at the legendary Bolshoi Theatre of Moscow, has won him the most coveted Russian theatre award, the Golden Mask, for the Best Composer in Musical Theatre, and the production was named the Best Ballet Production for 2015/2016. In January 2017, San Francisco Ballet opened its new season with the world premiere of his ballet Optimistic Tragedy, and the year will end with the much anticipated opening of the full length ballet Nureyev at Bolshoi in December 2017, composed by Ilya and directed by Kirill Serebrennikov, after the abrupt cancellation in July 2017 just two days before the opening. After the Black Square workshop, Ilya will return to Chicago in 2018 with the full-length ballet Anna Karenina for Joffrey Ballet. Film: The Student directed by Kirill Serebrennikov with the music by Ilya Demutsky won the François Chalais Prize at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival. For his score of this film, Ilya also won the title of "European Composer of 2016" bestowed by the European Film Academy. As a film composer, Demutsky has worked extensively with Emmy-, TEFI- and Nika- award winning film director Sergey Miroshnichenko (Born in the USSR: 21 Up, Rings of the World, the official film of the Sochi 2014 Olympic Games,and others). Ilya Demutsky had also composed music for the opening ceremony of the 2014 Paralympic Games in Sochi. Ilya lives in St Petersburg, Russia.
Olga Maslova is Russian-American artist, based in Chicago. She designed costumes and sets for many prominent directors and choreographers in USA, South America and Europe. Among them are Bill T.Jones and Arnie Zane Company, Dan Sullivan, Christopher Bayes, Daniel Helfgot, Ron Daniels, Gus Solomons jr, Pedro Salazar and many others. New York Times hailed her costumes as "stylish", and Boston Globe as "beautiful." Opera News Magazine called her costumes ''spectacular", Backstage hailed Three Sisters attire "authentic", her creativity has been described from "eye popping" to "madly inventive". Recent production of the opera Florencia en el Amazonas, in Bogota, Colombia, with Olga's costume designs hailed as "exquisite", was chosen to present at the prestigious International Festival Amazonas de Opera at Manaus, Brazil in May 2018. Past highlights include costumes for the world premiere of a play Long Lost by Pulitzer Prize winning author Donald Margulies, directed by Tony Award winner Dan Sullivan,Kabuki- Elizabethan fusion of Iago's Plot directed by the recipient of the Japanese Order of Sacred Treasure venerable Shozo Sato, costumes for on-site production of Verdi's Macbeth performed in the ruins of Panama Viejo, Panama. She designed several productions for the New Opera NYC, including Boris Godunov, Iolanta and Golden Cockerel, the latter was nominated by the famous German magazine OPERNWELT for the best costume design in opera. "We were constantly astonished by the [Olga's] originality which is difficult to describe" - Voce di Mece writes about the production's costumes.
Olga is an assistant professor of costume design at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She received BFA with honors in Directing from the State Academy of Culture, Kharkov, Ukraine, MFA in Dramaturgy with honors from Stony Brook University, and MFA in costume and set design from NYU, Tisch School of the Arts.
Igor Konyukhov, founder of New Opera NYC is a Russian born director and choreographer based in the U.S. Mr. Konyukhov started out as a physicist earning his Master of Science degree from Moscow State University, Russia. He continued his education at the University of Connecticut studying for a PhD in Nuclear Physics. His passion for theater led him to directing and choreography. He moved to NYC where he earned his MFA at NYU's Tisch School of the Arts. In 2012, Mr. Konyukhov debuted as a stage director presenting Baroque opera Armida at the Orensanz Foundation in New York City, Academy of Music Northampton and MMAC in NYC. Mr. Konyukhov also directed the world premiere of the opera Shulamit for the JCC Manhattan. Konyukhov's production of Tchaikovsky's Iolanta was premiered in 2014 at the El Museo del Barrio and was presented in San Francisco in 2016 at the Cowell Theater, Fort Mason Center. In 2015, Konyukhov staged Schumann's Spanische Liebeslieder and Liebeslieder Waltzer by J. Brahms in an innovative production Salon 4. He also staged Boris Godunov in 2016 at the Cowell Theater in San Francisco. His theater credits include two productions of M. Lermontov's Demon at St. Marks Theater, NYC in 2016.
New Opera NYC (NONYC) was founded in 2012 by Igor Konyukhov. Over the years the company with the support of our audience and donors established itself in New York opera scene. Starting as a small initiative presenting chamber size productions, in the past years NONYC has developed immensely presenting a large scale classical opera productions collaborating with internationally renowned singers, conductors and designers with review in New York Times, Opera News Magazine and many other art covering media. New Opera NYC adopts an innovative performance strategy and relies on the unexpected and challenging projects. In the past years we have performed in many venues such as Theater at El Museo Del Barrio, JCC Manhattan, Fort Mason Center for Arts in San Francisco, Sheen Center, Angel Orensanz Foundation, Manhattan Movement and Arts Center and Academy of Music in Northampton. In 2016 NONYC has presented a critically acclaimed production of Tchaikovsky's Iolanta and Mussorgsky's Boris Godunov at the Mason Center in San Francisco.