A. Dargomyzhsky


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June, 28th 2021 at 7PM
Large Stage of Madlenianum

A. Dargomyzhsky


The performance of the People’s Artist of Russia Yuri Alexandrov

At the beginning of artistic his career, the future author of the famous Rusalka was dreaming about creating great romantic opera. He was especially attracted by the plots of the works of Victor Hugo. The colossal success of The Hunchback of Notre-Dame brought to life numerous dramatizations, paintings and illustrations. The characters of the novel switched to the opera and ballet scene, differently thought out and presented. However, not each directing and staging has been equally successful. Dargomyzhsky proved himself in Esmeralda as a talented dramatist. The powerful musical and theatrical work abounds in strongly featured characters and tense stage performance. The talented young composer has created an exceptional work, which has preserved the picturesque plot atmosphere and the coloury medieval Paris life so far.  

In our performance, we fully preserve the historicism of the work of Dargomyzhsky. We have not deprived the production of fascinating and harsh poetry of the medieval world, bit since being eternal, the problems of the main characters are familiar and understandable to people of the twenty-first century as well. This is also a bright love that has united two people from different social classes (a young officer Phoebus and a young gypsy girl Esmeralda), and a destructive passion burning from the inside turning Frollo into a demon... a lot has changed over the centuries, but both then and now, extraordinary feelings and passions appear in ruthless society which condemns any sincerity, making thus the way to tragedy. In my opinion, the finale of the play is exactly the one life itself creates. The beautiful cathedral disappears and everything else is burnt with it: wonderful people, their hopes, loves, passions and sufferings - says Yuri Alexandrov.  

Music critic Aleksandar Matusevic says about the play:

The two -level decoration is rich with the Cathedral of Notre Dame instruction motifs - there are chimeras and other gothic frightening characters. Thus, through the visualization, the locus of the entire drama seems to be woven into the very core of the play and becomes its systemic principle and inseparable part. The directors preserve the historical context of the work, not striving for actualization, which is completely justified: the forgotten opera should first be brought closer to the audience and the audience should be acquainted with it as to understand the original meaning of the work. Picturesque and luxurious costumes with dark gothic decorations in the background look effective and fit perfectly with the expressive musical beauty of the score. Alexandrov has masterfully created the fantastic historical play, making it clear that traditional reading can also be attractive and interesting if presented talentedly and vividly, and the connection with contemporariness is attributable - a grand fire in the cathedral in the finale, in which both the criminals and the righteous die, looks like April television news revival about the biggest cultural catastrophe of our time…



Music: Alexander Dargomyzhsky
Libretto: Alexander Dargomyzhsky (based on Victor Hugo's The Hunchback of Notre-Dame)
Principal Director: Yuri Alexandrov 
Directors: Natalia Chernikova, Darya Modzalevskaya
Chorus Master: Igor Pototskiy
Principal Chorus Master: Olga Mityokina
Choreographer: Vasil Panayotov
Set and Costume Design: Vyacheslav Okunev
Lightning Design: Azat Yulbarisov
Choreographer: Nadezhda Kalinina  
Director- Conductor: Maxim Valkov
Video-Art: Georgy Savelyev

Photos from the press conference in Belgrade >>>

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