Chaadsky

Alexander Manotskov
CHAADSKY

Opera in 2 acts
Libretto by A. Manotskov
and P. Kaplevich

1 hours 30 minutes
with one intermission

Stage Director: Kirill Serebrennikov
​The Author of the idea: Pavel Kaplevich
Musical Director and Conductor: Felix Korobov
Set Designer: Alexey Tregubov
Director Denis Azarov
Costume Designer: Kirill Serebrennikov
Choreographer: Evgeny Kulagin
Director assistant Konstantin Kamynin
Costume Designer Assistant: Tamara Eshba
Light Designer: Oskars Paulins
Producers:
Pavel Kaplevich & Dilyara Timergazina

 “Chaadsky, a new opera creation by Alexander Manotskov, is based on Griboyedov’s poem “Woe from Wit” and includes some fragments from “Philosophic Letters” by P. Ya. Chaadaev, Saadi’s poetry and “The Diary of a Madman” by N. V. Gogol. Opera’s musical score is masterfully intertwined with two waltzes composed by the poet himself. Its libretto emphasizes the strong link between the main character of Griboyedov’s poem and Petr Chaadaev, his real life prototype, and also makes explicit literary and musical references to Griboyedov’s biography. Opera “Chaadsky” is written in the musical style of the end of the XXth — the beginning of the XXIst century.

SYNOPSIS

All the events in this opera take place in an affluent Moscow household and in the course of one day.

ACT 1

Early morning: Sofia, the daughter of the master of the house, secretly secludes herself with house servant Molchalin, the master of the house Famusov chases after Liza, a maid servant. All four end up bumping into each other, which is rather awkward, but causes no scandal, as everyone has known already what has been going on. In just a bit this quiet world is invaded by Chaadsky, a free-thinking young man, who lived in this house some time ago after losing his parents, friends of Famusov. There are some thoughts that Chaadsky does not say out loud, yet we hear them. Chaadsky was traveling the world for a long time with not a message from him, yet he expects Sofia, the object of his childhood fancy, to be happy to see him again, though she greets him rather coldly. A new visitor arrives at Famusov’s house. It is Skalozub, a young colonel whom Famusov dreams of having for a son-in-law. Chaadsky seizes on any topic to launch into lengthy monologues about progress and politics, mercilessly mocking everyone and everything.

Molchalin falls off a horse and Sofia cannot conceal her alarm for him. Chaadsky suspects that Sofia “has really chosen him” and a dialogue-duel ensues between the two young men. Molchalin, who otherwise feigns modesty while in the presence of his masters and Sofia, pursues Liza, trying to seduce her with gifts. Liza, who has to maneuver among the intricate amorous passions in the household, is herself in love with footman Petrusha.

ACT 2

Evening: Guests gather at Famusov’s house to dance to “piano music”. Young princesses, friends of Sofia, arrive first, they gossip about fashion and engage in all casual conversations of the evening. Zagoretsky, a regular at all social events, comes to the party with the tickets for a new theatrical premiere. Khlyostova, an aunt who raised Chaadsky and Sofia when they were still children, also arrives at the party. To Famusov’s delight, Skalozub comes as well. At the party Chaadsky is embraced by two old friends, in whom he vaguely recognizes caricatures of himself, his inner voices – they are both named Repetilov. They shower him with banal talk similar to his but exaggerated.

Sofia starts a rumor that Chaadsky is mad. The rumor spreads quickly, so Chaadsky’s vitriolic monologues about Russia and its political regime are attributed to his madness. The public appeals to the tsar to declare Chaadsky insane and put him under a doctor’s supervision. Chaadsky delivers a perplexed monologue, he does not understand what to do as the world is falling apart around him. Desperately he seeks an escape from this world. Persian verses on the frailty and transience of life serve as the finale. 

 

 

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