Jeunesse / Wiener Konzerthaus
The purest fairy tale (Nebyliza w lizach)
Opera in Three Acts after the fairy tale by Alexander Pushkin
Libretto by Vladimir Ivanovich Belsky
In Russian with German surtitles
Duration: approx. 2 ½ hours, one interval
For all from 14 upwards
A grotesque deal involving an astrologer, a powerful king and an oriental woman skilled in love becoming entangled with the unpredictable actions of a golden cockerel can only be “the purest fairy tale”. However, in his final opera the Russian composer Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov (1844-1908) transcended this narrative to create a witty political satire with numerous references to the volatile revolutionary situation in Russia in 1905.
King Dodon is old and weary of battle. He constantly needs to protect himself from his enemies without knowing how. This is why he allows a dubious stargazer to present him with a golden cockerel, which is supposed to crow to warn him of danger. However, instead of being able to enjoy a sense of security, Dodon loses both his sons, falls prey to the charms of the Queen of Shemakha and is ultimately killed by the golden cockerel, who disappears with his beautiful queen leaving the people in anxious uncertainty over what a future without their ruler might look like.
The dynamite, both thematic and musical, with which Rimsky-Korsakov packed his opera prevented it from ever being staged during the composer’s lifetime. Now there is no doubt that Rimsky-Korsakov and his librettist Belsky managed to achieve one of the most ingenious and musically confident operas of the Russian repertoire. A philosophical fairy tale for grown-ups, a grotesque social satire, an erotic comedy – above all ‘Der goldene Hahn’ is entertaining theatre, an unapologetic attack on stupidity, complacency and the vanity of desiring to please, in which there is much to laugh at, even if that laughter can sometimes stick in one’s throat.
This new production will be Dmitry Bertman’s first as a guest for the Deutsche Oper am Rhein. He founded the Helikon Opera in Moscow in 1990, whose unconventional productions in Moscow have since been seen all around the world.
MUSIKALISCHE LEITUNG Axel Kober
INSZENIERUNG Dmitry Bertman
BÜHNE UND KOSTÜME Ene-Liis Semper
CHOREOGRAF Edwald Smirnow
REGIEMITARBEIT Ilya Ilin
CHORLEITUNG Christoph Kurig
DRAMATURGIE Hella Bartnig