Premiere of “Lysistrata”

Premiere of “Lysistrata”
Kaspars Garda, Rīga 2014
The performances of chamber opera “Lysistrata” will take place at Latvian Railway history museum this week on Friday, February 14, and on Saturday, February 15. “I am happy about closure of the four years long marathon of preparatory work and that the audience will have the opportunity to appreciate this staging,” Antra Dreģe, project manager and author of this idea, said during press conference together with the creative group of the staging.

“The project at whose implementation I started working four years ago let us learn a lot about each other. I am very grateful to our Swiss partners from Basel and the foundation “Riga 2014” for having faith in this idea. The subject of “woman and war” elaborated in this chamber opera is not that comfortable and it does not appear entertaining or very attractive to people. However, everything is going really well and on Friday the audience will have the opportunity to appreciate both parts of the project, i.e., the comedy and the dramatic opera from authors Inese Zandere and Jēkabs Nīmanis. In my opinion, the balance between the comedy and drama will provide the extensive and philosophical explanation for the subject,” Antra Dreģe revealed.

Diāna Čivle, Head of the foundation “Riga 2014”, recognized that this is one of the projects of the program important due to their international creative character of process: “I think this is one of the most productive and needed parts also in such an extensive project as European Capital of Culture.”

Diāna Čivle reminds that this project has evolved in the same time as creation of “Riga 2014” program, and therefore the question which of the six thematic lines suits the project best had to be solved. “I thought it was clear that this chamber opera belonged to the thematic line “Freedom Street”, still, I had to convince Gints Grūbe, curator of the line. Now the entire world discusses and mentions World War I, which is why the way we speak about what happens around war instead the war itself seemed important to me. Life went on during the war: people lived, loved and worked. This is the reason why I am very interested in how the collaboration of both composers Jēkabs Nīmanis and Kaspar Ewald and the directors will bring out this idea of Aristophanes. I think this will be one of the most intriguing and creative events of our program.”

Zane Kreicberga, director of the so-called comedy part of the performance is brief in her words - yes, it will be funny! “It was a challenge for me too, since it is the first time when I am working with such an extensive chamber opera, which is also a comedy. Directors rumour that directing a comedy is much harder than a drama, but this time I want to say that due to the wonderful music of Kaspar Ewald already encompassing the entire dramaturgy I feel that formation and making up of the performance was quite easy,” Zane Kreicberga sums up the accomplished work.

The show has two international stars, singers Jeannine Hirzel and Robert Koller, to perform the leading roles in the show. “The role of Lysistrata is complicated, I have to be strong and weak in the same time while achieving the result with my weakness and power,” Jeannine says and reveals she has read a lot about Latvia before coming here, and namely, works of Rainis and history books, and she feels surprised about the history of our country. “I am surprised about Latvia as a new country. It meant a lot to me that I could participate in the Chain of Book Friends during opening ”Riga 2014” program and hand over the first three books. The feeling of being in the chain was incomparable, and I though then if anything similar could ever happen in Switzerland."

Robert Koller was most surprised by the ice fishers on river Daugava and the similar staging in the rendition of another piece of the show composer Jēkabs Nīmanis that related with the final scene of “Lysistrata”, which, in the singer’s opinion, hit the jackpot.

“I am honest when I say that this is what I have dreamt and thought of. To be sure, in these four years there have been some complications and small crises in the project as it happens in every work that you do. Now I can see that all changes are in our favour. It has been a predestined turn of events when we met each other in the exact same company as we are now. The people are full of enthusiasm, extremely professional and working at full blast, so we are eager to experience the festival of the three shows of “Lysistrate” in Latvia,” Antra Dreģe added in the conclusion of the press conference.



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