Cyber Pushkin, a digital opera about the Tsar Sultan
Duration: 1 hour 10 minutes
The premiere took place on 6 January 2020.
Text by Alexander Pushkin
Directed by Vitaly Labutin
Designed by Yulia Sheremetova
Music composed by Vitaly Labutin and Eva Chervonenko
Video designer: Ilya Derzaev
Cast: Fyodor Kokorev, Eva Chervonenko, Leili Shikhaliva
Akin to a contemplative cosmic trip across the seas and oceans in a barrel with generative art, Vitaly Labutin's opera is constructed to integrate sound and symbol in the theatre space, as well as to evoke a stage reality among the audience. Most of the performance takes place in interdependent sound and digital layers, where every change in sound – frequency, voice strength, pauses, notes, synthesizer sequences – entails a change in the images that are offered. The principle of this multi-genre performance combining Pushkin's fairytale with digital opera and a live electronic concert, is the emergence of sounds and visuals before the viewer's very eyes and ears. Music is born here and now from samples and synthesizer, generated in real time by Ilya Derzaev's generative art, accompanied by Eva Chervonenko's vocals, ranging from Slavic folk to gospel.
The fairytale world penetrates reality through the flow of electronic music of different styles, thus being reconsidered and reconfirmed in a digital reality. Before us is a complexly arranged network of images, in the center of which is the woman-Queen, on whose behalf the narration is conducted. She is also a mother, a bride, and a surrounding reality that lacks a real body, but is broadcast through a chill-rave beat and the unique vocals of Eva Chervonenko (Eva Chero). Here she is not only a singer, and co-author of the music, but is the libretto author who paints the canvas of a fairytale in thirteen tracks. Where everything is mutually influenced by everything else, transitions are especially evident – digital art transforming into a fairytale, stage transformation becoming a reality, folklore becoming modern music, the audible transforming into the visible.