Poor Liza

About performance

Leonid Desyatnikov wrote his chamber opera “Poor Liza”, based on the classic sentimental tale by Nikolai Karamzin, when he was still a student at the conservatoire in the 1970-s. The opera ran in repertoire for several years on the stage of Boris Pokrovsky's Chamber Music Theatre. It recently was performed again at the festival dedicated to celebrating Desyatnikov's jubilee.

Now, the choreographer and director Alla Sigalova has resolved to return “Poor Liza” to the stage and, in so doing, the chamber opera for two voices (soprano and tenor) has been transformed into a choreographic duet. Playing the parts are Andrei Merkuryev, a soloist of the Bolshoi Theatre, and actress Chulpan Khamatova.

In Sigalova's version the action takes place in a contemporary movie theatre. Two people — a he and a she — have come to a midnight showing and they are the last ones left in the house. Strange and unexpected things begin to happen when Desyatnikov's music begins to play — reality is distorted, images begin to come to life on screen and, before we know it, we have lost track of where film gives way to theatre, and where music arises out of dance…

In this creative, boldly experimental “Poor Liza”, Karamzin's sentimentality and Desyatnikov's delicate neo-romanticism come together with Sigalova's brash, contemporary choreography and the unbridled energy of the famous, young performers.

Winner of Golden Mask National Theatre Award (2010) in the nominations modern dance (best production) and best male part in ballet (Andrei Merkuriev).

Duration 1 h 30 min (without intermission)