"Pygmalion" of Cherubini in the spirit of the movie "The Great Gatsby" – the new premiere of Helikon-opera

On the 15th of March the Helikon-Opera theater will present in the Pokrovsky hall a rarity – the opera "Pygmalion" of Luigi Cherubini on the libretto Stefano Vestris. An antique love story between the sculptor Pygmalion and his creation, Galatea's statue, will be played by the soloists of "Helikon" in the spirit of the Art Deco.

Pygmalion is the legendary Cyprian King  and the skillful sculptor who has fallen in love with the sculpture of the nymph-Galatea. Having listened to Pygmalion's entreaties, Aphrodite has inhaled life in the statue which became Pygmalion's wife and subsequently she gave birth to Paphos (according to the legend in her honor a city has been called in Cyprus).

The plot about Pygmalion was very popular in the 18th century.  Michel de la Barre's ballet "Triumph of arts" (1700), Louis-Nicolas Clérambault's cantata "Pygmalion" (1713), the ballet of Jean-Philippe Rameau (1748) with the same name – it's not a full list of compositions. The same story in the 1770 was chosen by Jean-Jacques Rousseau for the melodrama "Pygmalion". In the 1790 the composer GiambattistaCimador has adapted Russo's melodrama in to the opera. Antonio SimoneSografi was the librettist and  StefanoVestris used his text.

The representative of a genre "the opera of rescue", one of the founders of the Parisian conservatory, the author of operas "Medea", "Lodoiska" and "Water carrier", popular in the 19th century, was an italian Luigi Cherubini (1760–1842) veins also worked in Paris since 1788. Several years prior to the composition of "Pygmalion", being at the meridian  of his glory, Cherubini was depressed, has forgotten about music and spent time, making herbariums. The opera "Pygmalion" written by request of Napoléon I Bonaparte has returned the composer to life. Work was created for two favourites of the emperor: the famous singer eunuch GirolamoCrescentini, the performer of a title part, and a contralto GiuseppinaGrassini whom intended the role of Venus.

The first night of "Pygmalion" has taken place on the 30th of November, 1809, in the Tuileries theater headed by Cherubini since 1789. Napoleon was pleased with the performance and further constantly charged to the composer the official orders: in the 1810 Cherubini has written music to the ceremony of the wedding of Napoleon and Marie Louise, Duchess of Parma, and in the 1811 – the composition in the occasion of the birth of their son.

After Cherubini's death "Pygmalion", as well as the majority of compositions of the composer, has fallen into oblivion. Only in the 1955th year the opera has been written down on radio of Milan (conductor EnnioGierelli). In Russia "Pygmalion" was never staged. Concert performance of the opera was in the 2011 within the open-air stage project.

In the Pokrovsky hall the theater "Helikon-Opera" will submit the semi-concert version of "Pygmalion". The performance will be imbued with the atmosphere of the movie "The Great Gatsby". Creators of "Pygmalion" will suggest the viewer to celebrate birthday of Galatea and to reflect on vicissitudes of life and the searches of love.

Stage Director – Irina Plotnikova
Music Director – Sergey Chechetko
Light Designer – Denis Eniukov
Choreographer – Ksenia Lisanskaya

Pigmalion – Dmitry Khromov
Galatea – Anna Grechishkina 
Statue – Ksenia Lisanskaya
Venus  – Inna Zvenyatskaya 
Eros – Dmitry Ovchinnikov 
Orpheus – Sergey Chechetko

The premiere is going to take place at Pokrovsky Hall of Helikon-opera in Bolshaya Nikitskaya 19/16 on March 15.

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