28th November 2015 NOVAT presented a new type of performance – opera with commentary, it was Mussorgsky’s “Boris Godunov”.
Stage Director Dmitry Belov, Musical Director and Conductor Dmitri Jurowski, Stage Designer Gleb Filshtinsky and Costume Designer Anastasiya Shentalinskaya set an objective to present opera as a genre comprehensible and interesting even for a spectator unacquainted with opera. The authors dared to make an experiment, to combine opera and a historic investigation. Dmitry Belov told there were no similar performances ever before or he is unaware of them.
Mussorgsky himself called “Boris Godunov” opera a folk musical drama, difficult to understand being unaware of historical circumstance of that period. The authors used modern media technology to get young audience acquainted with the historical background of Boris Godunov’s reign and show in full color the drama of musical narrative. Historical facts, background information was show on the big screen so a spectator could lead his own investigation, to figure his own view on history.
Two years exactly after that innovative performance, 28th November 2017 the theatre is inviting the Novosibirsk audience to work out a view on the events of the Russian history which took place four hundred years ago.
Dmitry Belov, director of the performance stressed that his goal was to get the audience interested not only with an opera based on historic events, but the actual history of our motherland by exposing the facts in an interesting and objective way. This approach is totally supported by the musical director of the performance, conductor Dmitri Jurowski: “I like this idea since it’s not only about learning the opera, but also learning history through opera. Regarding how people nowadays are rightfully discussing the fall in education level, “Boris Godunov” is not just an effective project, it’s unique in a certain way.”
Creators of the freshly opened historic media park “Russia – My history” set the same goals – to expose the history in modern language, present it as an interesting narrative. NOVAT’s experimental production and the big new cultural educational patriotic project have a lot in common – both use modern technologies, expose the historic events in a comprehensible and compelling way. One section of the display presents the reign of Boris Godunov. NOVAT performance exposes this period even more thorough – characters of Mussorgsky’s grand opera come to life making the audience empathize, live through those long past events with them.
“Boris Godunov” became the first opera performance of the educational project “Open NOVAT”. The performance is designed particularly in a way described by this educational project which goal is to raise a new generation of theatre-goers, open the world of musical theatre to new young spectators.
“Boris Godunov was my first opera experience. Before going to the theatre I was afraid I would get bored – tells a member of the audience – at first I was confused by the form of the performance: it seemed like it would be hard to watch the opera and read the commentary at the same time. But after a couple of minutes the music and the action captivated attention while the commentary was helping better understand the plot: characters, their grounds, their emotions”.