In the height of Christmas Fairs and festive fuss, the TheatreHD project in Belarus offers to take a break at a cinema hall and enjoy the best British, Italian, and French performances. December affiche will gladden theatre fans with live broadcasting of “La Traviata” by the Metropolitan Opera, art-lecture premiere, a play for two “RED” and performances with Ian McKellen and Benedict Cumberbatch, which are well-loved by Minsk residents. Theatrical December is impossible to miss!
The first month of winter begins with an opera by Giuseppe Verdi staged by Sonja Frisell. On 1st of December, Aida by the Metropolitan Opera will be screened in the Centralny cinema. A love story which takes place during the war between Egypt and Ethiopia combines in a remarkable manner great pathos and strikingly tender lyricism. Created by the order of an Egyptian Khedive, Aida was dedicated to the opening of the Suez Canal. The main part is performed by brilliant soprano Anna Netrebko. Aleksandrs Antonenko as Radamès and Anita Rachvelishvili as imperial and passionate Amneris will join her on the stage. On Saturday, 2nd of December, the Centralny cinema suggests spending time together with Don Quixote – libretto by Marius Petipa based on the novel of the same name by Miguel de Cervantes. Joyful, scintillating, vigorous Don Quixote is one of the most beloved by the Bolshoy Theatre troupe and audience ballets in the theatre’s repertoire. Atmosphere of a festival which we lack in real life prevails on the stage and in the audience, and famous 32 fouetté crowns this festival with a royal ending.
A new week of TheatreHD will start on Tuesday, 4th of December, with a premiere of RED starring a Golden Globe and Emmy nominee actor Alfred Molina. Molina as a neurotic Rothko shows his titanic talent. Plays like RED in the English-speaking theatre environment are called two-handers, plays for two. There’re indeed two characters: Mark Rothko, a superstar of the American painting; and his young assistant Ken. Play’s intrigue is Rothko’s internal fight with the pop of his another project, a series of great pieces ordered by a posh Manhattan restaurant Four Seasons. In case you miss it, RED is screened for the second time on 5th of December at Falcon Club Cinema Boutique.
King Lear is again on the Minsk screens. On 5th of December at Silver Screen Velcom cinema, the “last big Shakesperian part” of Ian McKellen and a transparent, deprived of extreme sophistication directing by a solid Shakesperian professional Jonathan Munby. And on 9th of December, the audience will have an opportunity to take a look at famous and rare works by Degas, as well as to get to know the history of his search for the ideal in art, to attain which, the artist expermented with new techniques, but learned from older masters. Degas was rarely happy with his works, that’s why while alive he didn’t displey many of his paintings and sculptures. Now they mesmerize with their expressiveness and accuracy in details. The Art Lecture Degas: Passion for Perfection will be screened in the Centralniy cinema.
The Winter's Tale, one of the delightfully “wrong” plays by Shakespeare, will be screened on 12th December at Falcon Club Cinema Boutique. Its first three acts scenes are a complicated drama with exaggerated friendship, unmotivated jealousy, attempts of poisoning, deaths, and the Delphic oracle. The two final acts are a touching pastoral full of late reconciliations, inter-classes marriages, and statues same alive. “Why not celebrate its problems rather than paste over them?” – wrote The Guardian about the play. While expecting Christmas, TheatreHD suggests watching a classics masterpiece and “the most Christmassy” of all the tales, The Nutcracker. The main Christmas story, a compulsory part of winter holidays, wonder and magic, forefeeling and waiting of the celebration, genius and favorite music – this all is the ballet based on Hoffmann’s tale in the staging of the Bolshoy Theatre. The Nutcracker is screened on 23rd of December at the Centralny cinema.
A comedy created by the Vaudeville Theatre will tell about The Importance of Being Earnest. On 11th of December at the Krasnaya Zvezda cinema in Grodno and on 18th of December at the Centralniy cinema – a fresh and poignant glance of the director Michael Fentiman at Oscar Wilde’s work. Fentiman makes Wilde’s characters nowadays heroes. Sometimes brutality and “loudness” of behavior of such Victorian personas may seem a bit exaggerated, and some details of the interiors may seem a bit absurd. But exactly this comic “overshooting” makes this performance freshly delicate. Another Wild theatre staging by the Vaudeville Theatre is An Ideal Husband. It will be screened on 12th of December at Silver Screen Velcom cinema. The plot, along which Algeron and his friend Jack change social masks in search of beneficial matches for marriage, seems incredibly “advanced” even for today’s standards not considering morals. The play stars celebrity actors of the London stage Nathaniel Parker and Frances Barber, led by father and son duet of Edward and Freddie Fox.
A premiere in the winter’s guide! La Traviata is a new theatre staging of the immortal tragedy by Verdi under the music direction of Yannick Nézet-Séguin in the staging by Michael Mayer. The role of destined for death Violetta is played by Diana Damrau, her lover Alfredo is performed by Juan Diego Flórez, and his caring father Giorgio Germont is performed by Quinn Kelsey. According to director’s design, the opera is set between the dreams and the reality, drawing the last year of ill Violetta as a chain of episodes from spring and hope to deadly winter. Yannick Nézet-Séguin willingly picks up on director’s thoughts: he considers tenderness and fragility and at the same time persistent dramatic tension to be the most important part in the sheet music. “La Traviata accumulates the whole Verdi” – considers chief conductor of the Metropolitan Opera. Opera by Giuseppe Verdi will be broadcasted live on 15th of December at the Centralny cinema.
Successful with the Minsk audience, staging Frankenstein: Lee Miller will be screened again in December. On 19th of December Falcon Club Cinema Boutique will screen Danny Boyle’s triumphant return to the stage of the Royal National Theatre. It bears reminding that Frankenstein is a unique chance to watch Benedict Cumberbatch play the creature, and Jonny Lee Miller as its creator. But that’s not all: it is an opportunity to see two leading British actors exchanging parts. Another staging will be screened that day – Lucrèce Borgia based on a play by Victor Hugo. “The play calls for a scale of gesture, feeling and acting that accepts ridicule and exaggeration that does not hold back from embracing the grotesque and the sublime. I desired to make Lucrezia less a dramatic heroine than an allegory of the pariah”, – says the director Denis Podalydès. The play by the Comédie Française theatre is screened on 19th of December at Silver Screen Velcom cinema.
The Lincoln Center with its musical The King and I will close the year of the dog on 25th of December at the Centralniy cinema, and on 26th December at Silver Screen Velcom cinema and Falcon Club Cinema Boutique. Based on real events story of a British schoolteacher at the court of the King of Siam boggled the imagination of the first viewers in 1956 with an exotic opposition of Victorian dresses and principles and magnificent splendor and despotism of the Royal Household of Siam (nowadays Thailand). The musical is not a patchwork of pretty images of exotic Siam, but exploration of the point where the cultures differ, and how people with unlike habits and traditions may learn from each other.