World premiere of Boris Yukhananov's Octavia. Trepanation

15 June 2017

Octavia.Trepanation website

The world premiere of Boris Yukhananov's production of Octavia. Trepanation took place June 15 within the framework of the main program of the Holland Festival. This is a major event in the life of the Stanislavsky Electrotheatre, which we proudly share with you. A world tour of the play is scheduled, the final destination of which will be the premiere Russian performances at the Stanislavsky Electrotheater. Boris Yukhananov and Dmitri Kourliandski’s opera, Octavia. Trepanation marks the first co-production of the Holland Festival, one of the largest theater festivals in the world, with a Russian theater. Premiere performances were performed at the Muziekgebouw in Amsterdam.

The festival was the initiator and commissioner of the project, which is dedicated to the centenary of the 1917 revolution, and is based on two texts: Lev Trotsky's essay about Lenin, and fragments of a play attributed to Seneca about the Roman emperor Nero.

Such elements as a giant head of Lenin standing on stage; the inside of its skull being “decorated” by videos during the "trepanation" operation; a terracotta army of headless soldiers and Nero’s chariot turned into a bath in which Seneca commits suicide are all objects of interest on a par with the soloists. The opera’s music, written by Dmitri Kourliandski, uses fragments of socialist hymns and speeches of Lenin stretched out over time. Stepan Lukyanov created the set design. The costumes were created by the chief designer of the Stanislavsky Electrotheatre, Golden Mask award-winner Anastasia Nefyodova.

“In the case of Octavia , we are not talking about exporting a finished product, but about working together on a new show from scratch. This says a great deal about the fundamentally different level of confidence in its creators, and about each season’s growing interest in the West in contemporary Russian theater,” writes critic Dmitry Renansky in Vedomosti newspaper.

In addition to Octavia. Trepanation the Holland Festival program features performances by numerous world-class directors, including Peter Sellars, Robert Lepage, Ivo van Hove, Dimitris Papaioannou, Alain Platel and Alexei Ratmansky.

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