30 сентября 2015

The Stanislavsky Electrotheatre's Drillalians hexalogy is an exeptional event in the sphere of new musical and opera theater in Moscow. In just a short time under the leadership of Boris Yukhananov the Electrotheatre has become one of the most fashionable stages in Moscow. Five premieres in the Drillalians cycle, now published in CD and DVD formats, took place in the course of a week. Yukhananov, who directed and wrote the entire libretto, notes in the program: "Alongside earthly reality another civilization exists parallel to it. Its name is Drillalia. The main symbol of this civilization is the Drill. Paths have been laid between Drillalia and Earth. Drillalians have visited Earth since ancient times; they visit her now and will visit in the future." No consistent story connects things here. We primarily encounter episodes that revolve around a mysterious civilization, that is – Drillalia.

Designer Stepan Lukyanov subtly plays with familiar motifs. For example, one of Drillalia's most important cities is Proto-Venice. One might describe it this way: Costumed cantatas with superb work from performers whom designer Anastasia Nefedova reincarnates into unearthly anthropomorphic beings.

The music, an overture and four acts lasting an hour and a half each, is composed by six composers. Part One, "On Board the Gondola Ferry," was written by Dmitri Kourliandski, the music director of the Stanislavsky Electrotheatre. Part Two was penned by Boris Filanovsky; its fresco-like stasis counteracts the active dynamism of the prologue. Alexey Sioumak's third segment is particularly rich in narrative. The fourth part, composed by Sergej Newski and Alexey Sysoev, is filled with sounds that grow increasingly unruly toward the end. The final part, written by Vladimir Rannev, resembles a requiem that slowly calms down as it progresses. Ensemble N'Caged and Questa Musica, together with the Moscow Contemporary Music Ensemble under the direction of Philipp Chizhevskiy, perform all of these extremely complex pieces with a precision that can't help but evoke admiration. I hope this experiment will help break down crusty old manners of performance and will aid the rise of everything that is aesthetically new, profound and non-conformist. This is an important milestone in the context of Moscow opera.