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Amsterdam: World Premiere of Alexander Raskatov’s Opera “A Dog’s Heart”

A surgeon who experiments a lot with organ transplantations in order to rejuvenate people – an operation in which human organs are transplanted into a dog, thus creating an uncontrollable creature – a second operation so that no more trouble can happen. This is a rough outline of the plot of the opera “A Dog’s Heart.”

The Russian composer Alexander Raskatov has based “A Dog’s Heart” on Mikhail Bulgakov’s story of the same name; it will receive its world premiere on 7 June 2010 in Amsterdam. The choir of the Dutch Opera and the Hilversum Radio Chamber Philharmonic Orchestra directed by Martyn Brabbins will perform the opera, which will be sung in Russian.

Moscow – Winter 1924/25: The surgeon, Professor Filipp Filippovich Preobrashensky, who specialises in rejuvenation operations, and his assistant, Doctor Ivan Arnoldovich Bormental, transplant the pituitary gland and testicles of a recently deceased petty criminal and alcoholic into the stray dog Sharik in an experiment. The dog survives the operation and assumes more and more human traits each day. A little later it becomes clear that he has only inherited the negative character traits of his “donor.” He is aggressive, impolite, has bad manners and a tendency to abuse alcohol. Sharikov, as he now calls himself, accepts a post as Director of the Sub-Department for the Purification of the City of Moscow from Stray Animals at the Municipal Sanitation of the Moscow Communal Economy. He socialises more and more with communists who try to turn him against his “creator” Professor Filipp Filippovich Preobrashensky, who thinks differently politically. But Sharikov becomes more and more uncontrollable, so that the Professor decides to transform him back into the dog Sharik with the help of a new operation.

7 June 2010
De Nederlandse Opera, 8 PM
World premiere: Alexander Raskatov
A Dog’s Heart. Opera in 2 acts (18 scenes) and an epilogue (russian version)
after Mikhail Bulgakov's like-named tale
Radio Kamer Filharmonie Hilversum
Choir of the Nederlandse Opera
Conductor: Martyn Brabbins
Commissioned work by the Nederlandse Opera Amsterdam


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