ЗОЛОТАЯ МАСКА - ФЕСТИВАЛЬ И ПРЕМИЯ
Dostoevsky`s “Demons”

THE BOOK OF SERAPHIM

Stanislavsky Electrotheatre, Moscow
Presented in the frame of Russian Case 2020
opera
based on William Blake`s poem “The Book of Thel” and Fyodor

Director and composer: Alexander Belousov
Set designer: Asya Muhina
Alexander Belousov’s opera merges together two works.
One of them is William Blake’s first prophetic poem “The Book of Thel” (1789) about the daughter of Seraphim, who, in search of the cause of her longing, turns to Lilly of the Valley, then to the Cloud and the Worm, and finally falls into the bosom of the Earth, where she discovers the source of human suffering ;
Another is the chapter “At Tikhon’s” from Dostoevsky’s novel “Demons”, where the main character, Nikolai Stavrogin, talks with Bishop Tikhon, presenting him with written evidence of his past sins.
In both cases, it is about desire. While Blake (a century before Freud) just discovers desire as a source of a person’s movement through fate, then Dostoevsky has Stavrogin - “<...> is always his own master whenever he wishes”
The opera, musically done in a minimalistic manner and similar to one big mantra, begins with a prologue in the lobby, continues in the hall and concludes again in the lobby. So a journey through the texts of William Blake and Dostoevsky takes on a real spatial dimension.

Kristina Matvienko



Belousov’s opera, staged at the Electrotheatre, is called “The Book of Seraphim”. The texts sound in Russian and English in simultaneous translations and merge splendidly. Everything came together here: the author’s art of the director and composer as the creator of Gesamtkunstverk, the skill of the singers of the vocal ensemble N'Caged, with whom drama actresses perform, videos, dance, music and light.

Vedomosti Dayly



According to Belousov, his performance will tell about the passion for knowledge: “Knowledge is one of the leading motives of the humankind in modern times. After the bourgeois revolutions and the worldview revolution (the Cartesian revolution) there is no longer just a person, but a subject. From this moment, the passion for progress, on the one hand, and, on the other hand, for knowledge, become the leading motives for a person to move through life. And this performance for me is about knowledge and about the passion for knowledge. With Dostoevsky, the hero goes straight to him, and with Blake the same knowledge is shrouded in mystical and romantic imagery. ”

From an interview with Alexander Belousov



The opera merges two works: the first prophetic poem by William Blake “The Book of Tel” about the daughter of Seraphim, who, in search of the cause of her longing, turns to the Lilly of the valleys, then to the Cloud and the Worm and, finally, falls into the bosom of the Earth, where she finds the source of human suffering; and the chapter “At Tikhon’s” from Dostoevsky’s novel “Demons”, where the main character, Nikolai Stavrogin, has a conversation with Bishop Tikhon, presenting him with the written evidence of his past sins.

Teatr.ru



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