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Thoughts on upcoming IOC double bill and the significance of tears

We are having a great time working on our double bill: Mozart and Salieri/Kashchey the Immortal!

I'm asking myself, why are these operas still relevant to our times and what makes them relatable?

Why do we still care about Mozart and are fascinated with his life and death? And what does an old Russian fairytale have to offer? (besides great music, singing and staging, of course).

As much as I (and I hope all of us) love Mozart and his art, I think the reason for our interest in him is very much personal.

In the story, Mozart and Salieri are represented not so as much historical personas, but as archetypes. Have we ever met a carefree person who seems to have all the pleasures in life coming effortlessly to them? Have we ever seen someone enjoying easy and perhaps undeserved success? Have we ever seen (and perhaps experienced) a person who works

very hard, and yet can't get the desirable outcome? You bet we all have seen it! And that means that Mozart and Salieri really tells a story about all of us, and not just some composers who died centuries ago.

In a very different way, but also in relation to archetypes that play such an important role in our psyches, characters in old Russian fairytales are also very relatable. Although they are specifically Russian, they can also exist in any land. How many old stories feature a beautiful Princess, a fearless Prince Charming, an evil old Magician, natural sources (Mighty Wind), and also a beautiful dangerous Sorceress? The answer is: many. These stories fascinate us, and in a strange way, help us to understand and deal with challenges in our everyday lives. They also take us to a wonderful timeless Fantasyland!

And what about tears? As you will see, tears in both of these stories lead to one of the character’s transformation/demise.

Salieri, who cries for the first time after hearing Mozart's Requiem, is getting ready to accept an important truth about himself. As for the Sorceress, (Kaschey's daughter Kashcheevna), her unexpected tears lead to her father's death, but also to the liberation of the captive Princess and to her own transformation.

There is so much more to these stories that could fill a book. Come explore with us!


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