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Performances

01 Apr 2005

Rosenthal's Children at the Bolshoi

New operas by Russian and Soviet composers once played a prominent part in the repertoire of Moscow’s Bolshoi Theater. But nearly 26 years have passed since the theater last produced an operatic world premiere. On Wednesday, the long drought finally ended with the staging of “Rosenthal’s Children,” a work fresh from the pens of St. Petersburg composer Leonid Desyatnikov and writer Vladimir Sorokin.


Scene from Rosenthal's Children (Photo: Bolshoi Theater)

Big scandal at the Bolshoi

By Raymond Stults [St. Petersburg Times, 25 Mar 05]

New operas by Russian and Soviet composers once played a prominent part in the repertoire of Moscow's Bolshoi Theater. But nearly 26 years have passed since the theater last produced an operatic world premiere. On Wednesday, the long drought finally ended with the staging of "Rosenthal's Children," a work fresh from the pens of St. Petersburg composer Leonid Desyatnikov and writer Vladimir Sorokin.

Even before its unveiling, "Rosenthal's Children" managed to provoke a widely publicized scandal. Three years ago, Sorokin's allegedly pornographic writing became the subject of a protest by Moving Together, a pro-Kremlin youth organization. Then, two weeks ago, State Duma Deputy Sergei Neverov took it upon himself to denounce "Rosenthal's Children." Although he admitted that he had not then read the opera's libretto - or any of Sorokin's works, for that matter - Neverov called upon the authorities to ban Sorokin's "dirty poetry" from the hallowed precincts of the Bolshoi. Moving Together backed him up this week, holding yet more protests against the opera.

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Bolshoi shows what fuss is about

By Sophia Kishkovsky [International Herald Tribune, 25 Mar 05]

MOSCOW The opera "Children of Rosental" premiered at the Bolshoi Theater on Wednesday night in a hall packed with Moscow's political and cultural elite and a protest outside organized by a youth group that supports President Vladimir Putin and reviles Vladimir Sorokin, a writer and the opera's librettist.

Sorokin told state television's Channel One on the eve of the premiere that the opera, his first libretto, is "about the loneliness of a genius in the crowd, about the impossibility of reliving a life in art."

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Loyal Children

By Raymond Stults [Moscow Times, 1 Apr 05]

Coming away from a dress rehearsal of "The Children of Rosenthal" three days before its premiere last week, my principal reaction was one of dismay at the staging by director Eimuntas Nekrosius, which smothered what seemed like a rather nicely constructed musical drama under a blanket of irrelevant and distracting stage business.

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Not Just Another Cloned Classic

By John Freedman [Moscow Times, 1 Apr 05]

How ironic that the Bolshoi Theater's "The Children of Rosenthal" is on the tongues of so many in the world this week for all the wrong reasons.

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