In the cross year of music of Great Britain and Russia, with the support of the Department of Culture and Education of the British Embassy in Moscow, Novaya Opera presents the first performance in the capital of Benjamin Britten's opera “Desecration of Lucretia” (1946). The theater continues the “English line” of its repertoire: the diptych DIDO (its second part - a masterpiece of the Baroque, Dido and Aeneas) by G. Purcell and the Turn of the Screw by Britten went on the stage of the New Opera.
"Reproach Lucretia" - a landmark work in the works of the composer. He composed an amazing chamber opera - 8 singers are involved in it and only 13 instruments in the orchestra! And, although he had to turn to the chamber opera rather for financial reasons, Britten greatly appreciated this genre: “It [chamber opera] provides an opportunity to focus on human psychology. But it was precisely this that became the central theme of modern advanced art. ” Ronald Duncan's libretto is based on the eponymous drama Andre Oba and William Shakespeare's poem Lucretia.
Before us is a peculiar parable, the deepest and at the same time refined study of human psychology. Lucretia, the wife of the Roman general, Lucius Collatin, is a model of virtue and true love. Sextus Tarquinius - the son of King Tarquinius the Proud - tries to seduce her and, failing to succeed, rapes her. “The ancient Roman history of Lucretia is an important motive of European culture (one of the variations is the picture of Lucas Cranach the Elder, 1529). Britten enlarges the topic by introducing two Storytellers following the pattern of ancient “passions” - a tribute to the Christian tradition. By intervening in the course of the drama, they emotionally comment on the action, speak in the voice of the author, in the fate and even in the inner voice of the characters, asserting the dominant morality on the basis of later Christian values ”(Mikhail Muginstein).
Exploring the depths of the subconscious, Britten emphasizes the exaltation of man: rejecting violence, Lucretius, like the ancient Oedipus, executes himself - this is the courage of true morality. So in the history of one woman reflects the entire spiritual path of humanity.
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