On the 17th of December 2011 at 10-00 and 13-00 on the Big Stage of Saratov Kiselev Youth Theater an opening-night of the performance “The Snow Maiden (Snegurochka)” written by A.N. Ostrovsky will take place.

«…Everything that is precious in the world,
lives in the simple word. The word:
is Love»
A.N. Ostrovsky «The Snow Maiden (Snegurochka)»

On the threshold of the New Year holidays Saratov Academic Kiselev Youth Theater presents the premiere production of the fairy tale by A.N. Ostrovsky . The opening night will take place on 17th of December at 10-00 and 13-00. Director – RF People’s actors A.Ya. Soloviev, production-designer – Yu.M. Namestnikov, director’s assistant – E. Krasnova, musical arrangement of the performance – E. Krasnova, V.Samokhina, N. Golubeva, musician – A. Zhivaikin, music recorded, video and special effects – A. Lapshin. Music by N.A. Rimsky-Korsakov and P.I. Tchaikovsky and Russian folklore choral music is used in the performance. Ceremonial songs and round dance songs recorded by the students of the Chair of Folklore singing and ethnomusicology Saratov State Conservatory named after L.V. Sobinov.

The stage and literature history of the play «The Snow Maiden (Snegurochka)», a poetical fairy-tale by Alexander Nikolaevich Ostrovsky is an unusual one. The playwright first heard the folklore fairy-tale that became the source of his future play in his childhood. Lyrical story of the tragic and bright fate of Snegurochka deeply touched Ostrovsky but it took nothing more or less than fifty years to write it down in the form of a play. The fairy-tale play was written in 1873 in two weeks at the request of Malyi Theater. At that moment Malyi Theater’s troupe moved into the Bolshoy theater’s building and they needed a performance where three troupes – opera, ballet and drama - could participate simultaneously. Music for this unusual performance was written by P.I. Tchaikovsky, also just in few weeks, the composer was impressed by the play and worked together with the playwright. K.S. Stanislavsky said about Ostrovsky’s «Snegurochka»: «“Snegurochka” is a fairy-tale, a dream, a national legend, written and told by Ostrovsky in wonderful resonant verses. One could even think that this playwright, so called “realist” and everyday’s life artist, have never written anything but marvelous poems and have never been interested in anything but pure lyrics and romantics».

But the heavy and massive production, a fairy-show, didn’t last for long in the repertoire and was cancelled. The same fate awaited many other productions of the fairy-tale «Snegurochka» in the drama theater, including K.S. Stanislavsky’s production in Moscow Art Theater in 1900. The fate of the opera by N.A. Rimsky-Korsakov created in 1880 was completely different. With the playwright’s approval the composer made his changes in the text for his libretto and «Snegurochka» became one of the most popular N.A. Rimsky-Korsakov’s operas.

The action of the play takes place in the magical land of the Berendeyans. Yarilo, the God of the Sun, threatens to melt down Snegurochka, the daughter of Spring Beauty and Grandfather Frost (Ded Moroz), as soon as she feels the fire of love in her heart. In hope of hiding their daughter among the Berendeyans, parents send Snegurochka to live with Bobyl-Bakula and his wife, who had no children of their own. Snegurochka is drawn to the games and joyfulness of young people, especially she liked beautiful young Lel… Against the background of bright picture of folk life and culture a love drama among Snegurochka, Lel, rich Mizgir and his fiancée Kupava is played out. Characters of this story are not like the classical fairy-tale characters, their feelings and stories enthrall us so much that we completely forget about them being fictional heroes and empathize with the love collision of the play.

In Saratov Academic Kiselev Youth Theater Ostrovsky’s «Snegurochka» is staged by RF People’s actor, director A.Ya. Soloviev and production designer Yu.M.Namestnikov. Saratov spectators are familiar with this production team. As a director A.Ya. Soloviev staged in the theater more than 20 performances. He worked with Ostrovsky’s plays before, in the current theater repertoire there are two performances of Ostrovsky’s plays staged by this director – «The Transparent Apples» and «The Belated Love». Yu.M.Namestnikov is a Saratov Slonov Drama Theater chief designer, every year he works on the theater’s premiere performances as a production designer. This isn’t the first time Yury Namestnikov works in Saratov Academic Kiselev Youth Theater — he was in the production creative team of «The Humpbacked Horse» performance.

A.Ya. Soloviev, the director of the performance, understands «Snegurochka» as a story of love and sacrifices made for it. Keeping the folk song’s spirit and sources of this fairy-tale, Saratov Kiselev Youth Theater performance appeals directly to people’s hearts, telling the story of human feelings drama.

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