I had the honour of being the first to conduct Le nozze di Figaro in Ekaterinburg. I love this Mozart's opera very much. Mozart is absolutely clear to everyone and that is evidence of his genius. His music is as much simple as it is inexhaustible. It seems I know each note in the opera and yet to my amazement I find something new in it every day. Mozart composed as if he had heard God himself.
Having a record of about sixty productions, I have never staged Le nozze di Figaro before. I have been moving to it long years and when I finally touched it I realized there is nothing more complicated than this opera by Mozart. The Ekaterinburg Opera and Ballet Theatre carried out behind-the-scenes work of unprecedented scale. The best score materials and the best word-for-word translation were made – and there is nothing like available either at the Bolshoi or at the Mariinsky Theatres. The actors have done a great job indeed! That only Mozart’s opera has as many words as would suffice a dozen by Verdi. And the recitatives are neither be forgotten nor skipped because they push the action on. And the words should not be just pronounced but tinged with intonations. During the performances to follow the actors will be gradually gaining those intonations and adding colours of their own. Before the first night there was a moment when I could tell them: forget all my instructions and improvise! Because the actors have already fallen into the trap of my concept and now are ‘bathing’ in the material.
We didn’t turn the apartments of Mozart’s Count into an office. Nor did we move the action to fascist Germany. No modern allusions. We concerned ourselves with Mozart and with his accurate reading. This is, so to say, the zest of the production. The only thing we wanted was to read the opera emotionally because it is very lively and always modern. Quite often Mozart’s productions are insipid and dusty but our Mozart, on the contrary, is juicy, bright and colourful! I do hope that everyone will read hisher own not only in the music of Le nozze di Figaro but in its architectural and colour story as well.