Photo by Olimpia Orlova

The Magic Mountain

Director: Konstantin Bogomolov
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After the novel by Thomas Mann
Translated by V. Stanevich and V. Kurella
Designed by Larisa Lomakina
Original music by Valery Vasyukov
Lighting design by Ivan Vinogradov

Thomas Mann's novel, published in 1924, and a harbinger of the coming war, begins with the arrival of Hans Kastorp in an alpine sanatorium where his cousin resides. Castorp hears an Austrian cough horribly and is settled in the room where a young American woman just died. People say that in the winter the corpses are lowered down on bobsleds, and everyone insists that time here flows quite differently from down below.

This production by Konstantin Bogomolov (his first at the Stanislavsky Electrotheatre) begins with a 50-minute performance by actress Yelena Morozova, who, coughing, gradually "infects" the whole house. The actress and director conduct ten poetic and cynical dialogues that are not connected by plot, although each in its own way speaks about death as an instrument of God.

This early segment establishes a fundamental domain of honesty for the performers who create this production of Magic Mountain as a territory that lies beyond compromise. We ascend with them to a high-altitude region where the sun does not so much give joy as provoke decay, although beautiful words shine like ice.

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