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Season Program


2010 02.04~ 02.07
Opera Theater, Seoul Arts Center
Running time
Standard price


Act one

The great composer is about to leave this life… His powers falling, he sees images which have tormented him all his life: he is possessed by the Karabos Fairy, persecuted by his mad Wife; the exhausting dialogue with Self is continued.

There is no peace for the restless Soul!

People who are close to him, Friends, Relations try and make these last minutes of his life more bearable. But noth­ing will stop the flow of visions from the Past...

The Young Composer is lonely in the cold shroud of Petersburg rain. Baroness von Meck's kindness and concern only give him brief moments of respite. The life of the cre­ative individual who lives in a world of dreams is full of tor­ment. And the return to reality brings with it acquaintance with Antonina Milyukova. The latter is flattered by Tchaikovsky's attentions. The consequences of this brief Moment of infatuation bring the composer close to ner­vous breakdown.

To deceive oneself is impossible. To attempt to do so is tantamount to an act of violence.

Black Thought-Birds torment Him, causing havoc in his inner life. His salvation lies in the Creative process, in his pieces of music or White Swans, they inspire Tchaikovsky's Soul with hopes of peace and harmony. But to abandon the real world, to betray the very essence of his being, is beyond the powers even of a musical Genius.

Milyukova once again intrudes ruthlessly into the world of his music. But more frightening still is the Person who is always with Him. His Fate, his second "Self, a many-sided character who cruelly lays bare his inner torments. This is Rothbart, Drosselmeier. The good and evil, tormented and happy part of the Composer's Soul...

In a vortex of passion, the Black Birds drive away the White Swans. A rat-like face appears in the familiar female faces. Everything is trampled on: harmony, illusion. The composer defends his most favorite Creation The Prince.

Tchaikovsky is not frightened by raging black passions. His pain lies elsewhere: Beauty is arrogant and ungrateful. And His naked Soul is easily defiled. The Prince, created by the Composer's Reason and Passion, has his own life, travels his own road. The Composer is left with his pain, with his mer­ciless dialogue with self. And he cannot give in, he cannot drag his Music with him.

He is on the verge of Insanity. But von Meck's letters save him, they return him to his Work, He is needed and under­stood, his talent arouses admiration. Beautiful moments of recognition!

But how short-lived and ephemeral are the moments of harmony with oneself, with those who surround one. Milyukova's claims become increasingly persistent, it is more and more difficult to turn one's back on inner temp­tation, on the yearning for what is forbidden, looked down upon. The attempt to behave like everyone else, to lead a normal life, is torture, from which Death offers Deliverance.

But he lacks the will power to take this Step-Salvation. Either the supportive hand of von Meek or his as yet unwrit­ten works of music lead him away from the coils of death, dri­ving him (perhaps) to a worse fate. His body is enveloped and tied round by the bridal veil which depersonalizes his soul.

Will he ever compose Music again?


Act two

His Music returns to him…

A waltz of discovery: acquaintance, infatuation, passion. Circling couples. Each one with its own life, performance detail list

Credits/casting list
Choreographer Boris Eifman
casting & author
casting detail
artistic director
choreography Boris Eifman
music Pyotr Tchaikovsky
dress Vyacheslav Okunev
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