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New Production of Alfred Schnittke’s First Opera at the Stadttheater Gießen

The world premiere of Alfred Schnittke’s first opera “Life with an Idiot” based on a subject by Victor Yerofeyev on 13 April 1992 at the Dutch Opera Amsterdam was an event that attracted worldwide attention. The cellist and conductor Mstislav Rostropovich directed the premiere, and the Russian theatrical director producer Boris Pokrowski was responsible for the production. The opera tells the story, transformed into a horrible nightmare, of a Russian author who is forced to house a madman as punishment for his lack of compassion. The situation of living together spins completely out of control when the madman called Vova (behind whom is hidden an unspoken satire of Lenin) reacts with violence and murder. At the end of the work, the author remains devastated and sobered. He himself has gone made.

The Stadttheater Gießen (Gießen Municipal Theatre) has now announced a new production of this magnificent music theatrical work, which stands at the beginning of Schnittke’s operatic oeuvre, for 13 May 2017 (premiere). The operatic project will be introduced already on 7 May 2017 in the foyer of the Municipal Theatre (11 AM).

The content of the opera:
Lack of compassion – a Russian author is brought to trial for this crime. His punishment: he must house a madman. Thus begins his life with an idiot named Vova, an impulsive redhead who soon brings confusion and anarchy into the ostensibly cosy household of the author and his wife. There begins a spiral of passion, uninhibited sexuality and mutual destruction.

Following performances of “Life with an Idiot” will be given on 21 and 27 May, 8 and 23 June as well on 1 July 2017 (each at 7:30 PM) at the Grand House of the Stadttheater Gießen.

13 May 2017
Stadttheater, Grand House, 7:30 PM
Premiere: Alfred Schnittke
“Life with an Idiot”. Opera in two acts
Soloists: Gabriel Urrutia (I), Annika Gerhards (Wife),
Bernd Könnes (Vova) and others
Georg Rootering (stage direction)
Matthias Kauffmann (dramaturgy)
Choir of the Stadttheater Gießen
Philharmonic Orchestra Gießen
Jan Hoffmann (choir direction)
Michael Hofstetter (conductor)


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