EVENTS. Anatolijus Šenderovas' Premieres in Germany

Desdemona, a ballet by Anatolijus Šenderovas, had its first performance on May 22, 2005, at the Vilnius Festival, and has already become a valuable addition to the repertoire of the Lithuanian Opera and Ballet Theatre, next to the well-established Anna Karenina by Rodion Shchedrin, The Rite of Spring by Igor Stravinsky and the Acid City by Mindaugas Urbaitis. A new ballet was created in collaboration with the choreographer Kirill Simonov, music director and conductor Robertas Šervenikas, and features a charismatic prima ballerina, Eglė Špokaitė.

On February 27 of this year, Desdemona was met with great success on the stage of Riga Daile Theatre. Desdemona will be on the programme marking the 10th anniversary of the Vilnius Festival in June together with other productions commissioned by this festival: opera The Bear by Bronius Kutavičius and ballet Acid City by Mindaugas Urbaitis. In September this year, Desdemona will be brought to the Polish National Opera in Warsaw, and is to become one of the highlights of the Lithuanian Days of Culture in Poland.

Desdemona made a superb and memorable start of the Vilnius Festival. The cast of the performance has achieved a unity, rare in the productions of recent vintage. [...] Kirill Simonov deserves all the compliments for mastering a complex score and transforming it, through suggestive choreography, into a vivid story.
7 meno dienos

On the one hand, the music of the ballet relates to Prokofiev's Romeo and Juliet; the genre seems to take its root in this piece. Also, for me, Desdemona, as interpreted by Špokaitė, has features of both Juliet and Carmen. On the other hand, vivid themes, recognisable motifs, detailed nuances of instrumentation and the relation of music to image bring the score of Desdemona close to film music. I'd say even, one is prompted of Ennio Morricone's stylistics.
Literatūra ir menas

The choreographer applies dream logic to the performance, and structures it from kaleidoscopic episodes that are not necessarily linked, thematically or conceptually. A well-known approach in the productions of contemporary ballet is engaged with success in Desdemona to create an appealing two-part choreographic event that encompasses also details from Shakespeare's Othello.
Muzikos barai

photo: Dmitry Matveyev

For Anatolijus Šenderovas this year has been no less intense than the previous one. In May, Mirage, his new concerto for guitar and string orchestra will be premiered in Münster, Germany, with a subsequent premiere in Vilnius. The piece was inspired by a short poem Under the Skies of the Lord by the Lithuanian émigré poet Bernardas Brazdžionis - "a reflection of human desire to reach the unattainable, to see the invisible, and to hear the inaudible," as the composer desribes it. The theme of beauty, its illusionary nature and conflict with reality is a recurrent theme of Šenderovas' work, often imparting a dramatic angle to his music.

Another new composition by Šenderovas, a Quintet for cello and string quartet, is due to premiere this year, featuring David Geringas and Vilnius String Quartet, in late July in Kronberg, and on August 3 at the Schleswig-Holstein Festival. In mid-August it will be featured by the Lake District Festival in the UK, this time performed by David Geringas and the Chilingirian Quartet.

© Beata Baublinskienė & Daiva Parulskienė

Lithuanian Music Link No. 12