The young composer Kristaps Pētersons and librettist Sergejs Timofejevs' avant-garde opera/lecture „Mikhail and Mikhail Play Chess” had its premiere at the Latvian National Opera on the 12th of March. Director Viesturs Meikšāns chose to create the opera as a multimedia lecture. The number of cast members is 32 (fourteen chamber ensemble musicians, eight singers, eight dancers and two conductors) - the precise number of pieces in a chess game.
At the centre of the opera is the unusual phenomenon behind the popularity of chess during the Cold War. The opera's musical dramaturgy is precisely based on the decisive 1960 Moscow World Championship match, in which Latvia's legendary chess player Mikhail Tal dethroned the seemingly-invincible Mikhail Botvinnik.