Duration: 1 hour 30 minutes
The premiere took place on 17 October 2019.
Octavia. Trepanation, an opera directed by Boris Yukhananov and composed by Dmitri Kourliandski, marked the first time that the Holland Festival had mounted a co-production with a Russian theatre. The premiere took place as part of the main program of the 70th anniversary running of the Holland Festival in June 2017 on the stage of Muziekgebouw, Europe’s largest platform for the performance of contemporary music. Octavia. Trepanation is a musical reflection on the theme of violence and tyranny. The libretto is based on a 1924 essay by Leon Trotsky about Lenin and fragments of a play attributed to Seneca about the Roman emperor Nero.
A special version of the opera has been created for the Russian premiere, which will be held at the Stanislavsky Electrotheatre in October 2019. It is a unique example of an interdisciplinary project existing at the intersection of contemporary music, installation and theatre.
“I can safely say that mounting the world premiere of Octavia. Trepanation was one of the greatest adventures the Holland Festival embarked upon in recent years – in collaboration with Stanislavsky Electrotheatre. Thanks to the visionary work of director Boris Yukhananov, the brilliant score by Dmitri Kourliandski, a fabulous ensemble of performers (including an immense choir of terracotta soldiers sourced locally) and super dedicated teams at both partner institutions, it became an unforgettable theatrical, musical and philosophical enquiry into the mechanisms of tyranny. At the same time, Octavia beautifully demonstrates that there are no limits to the artistic imagination, and that festivals and theaters are here to turn those dreams into realities.“ Jochem Valkenburg, programming director music & music theatre, Holland Festival
Army of Terracotta warriors
Sabrin Ben Ali