The Opera "Not Love Alone" on the Stage of Mariinsky Theatre
The stage of the Mariinsky Concert Hall presented the premiere of Rodion Shchedrin's opera "Not Love Alone" on March 24, 2016. This first opera of the composer was written 1961 and dedicated to Maya Plisetskaya. 1972 Rodion Shchedrin made a new orchestration of the opera for 11 instruments for the opening of the Moscow Chamber Music Theatre named after B. Pokrovsky. 2014 the citizens of St. Petersburg could already attend the new staging of this opera in the theatre "St. Petersburg Operá" in the staging of Jury Alexandrov. This staging won the St.Petersburg prize "The Golden Sophite".
Mariinsky Theatre presents the opera for the first time. The performance was conducted by Valery Gergiev and the cast featured soloists from the Academy of Young Opera Singers under the direction of Larisa Gergieva!
Rodion Shchedrin told us about the making process of this opera: "The plot of the opera was taken from a tale of a modern Russian writer Sergey Antonov "Aunt Lusha". The story tells us about the life of an ordinary Russian village short after the end of World War II. The men died in the lines and the inhabitants of the village were reduced to the women and spring chickens - youngsters. As I was young I saw lots of such villages. The protagonist of the opera is an elder woman Varvara (we changed her name with the librettist Vasily Katayan), falls in love with such a youngster. Yearning for love, desire of sex and unspent motherliness, secret meetings and romance triangle (the boy has a young fiancée), a violent dispute and sad catastrophe - down hearted dot-dot-dot. The village goes back to its ordinary course. The text of one witty ditty is like a summary to my opera: "Mother, oh Mother, where shall I go with my love? Shall I scuttle it in the field or dig under the earth?...
The premiere of my opera "Not Love Alone" took place in Moscow on December 25, 1961 in Bolshoi Theatre. The opera proved too controversial to the cultural authorities: Freudian slips in contrast to monumental parades of other soviet operas, easy wordings were too much for the time. The further four performances were changed to "Traviata" by Verdi. Two months later the opera was presented to the audience several times again and then disappeared in the dusty cellars." - Rodion Shchedrin.
The opera "Not Love Alone" will be shown to Petersburg audience again on March 30, 2016 on the stage of the Mariinsky Concert Hall.