The third and final production at the Théâtre de l’Archevêché this summer is The Golden Cockerel, the last opera score by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, which premiered in Moscow in 1909. Stage director Barrie Kosky takes this three-act opera, based on the eponymous fairy tale in verse by Alexander Pushkin, and turns it into a haunting, fantastical production, in a parade-like fantasy that entertains to the point of despair.
The Golden Cockerel, a rich and colourful composition based on Russian tales and legends, is suffused with orientalism and Slavic sounds. The score, which embodies the incredible orchestral genius of the composer—with its resplendent and invigorating choruses, intoxicating melodies, and exotic harmonies—is brought to life by a fascinating cast, under the baton of the flamboyant Italian conductor Daniele Rustioni at the head of the Chorus and Orchestra of the Opéra de Lyon.
To this modern score, which heralds the early successes of Igor Stravinsky, Barrie Kosky brings a fresh new vision, stripped of all folklore and removed from any historical time setting. The prodigious Australian stage director imagines The Golden Cockerel as a work worthy of the theatre of the absurd—i.e. a grotesque and nightmarish modern tale nourished by the imagination of Alfred Kubin, with apocalyptic landscapes; colourful and disturbing creatures; erotic, animalistic forms; and over-the-top, amusing and monstruous sets.
> NOT TO BE MISSED! 3 unique performances on 22, 24 and 25 July at 10pm at the Théâtre de l'Archevêché