The country’s best theatres, which are the national Golden Mask theatre award winners and nominees, will take part in the Journey to Christmas Festival. On 31 December and 1 and 2 January, they will stage their performances at 10 theme venues on Tverskaya Street, including An Ordinary Miracle, The Snow Queen, Ruslan and Lyudmila, The Tale of Tsar Saltan and The Tale of the Golden Cockerel. Theatre groups from St Petersburg, Yekaterinburg, Perm, Omsk, Samara, Kostroma, Krasnoyarsk and Novokuibyshevsk will present 17 performances.
“We’re happy that Russia’s best theatres will get an opportunity to stage their performances for people in Moscow during the New Year and Christmas festivities,” said Maria Revyakina, general director of the national Golden Mask theatre award and festival. “The aim of the festival is to bring different parts of Russian culture together. So, it’s important that as many people as possible can get more acquainted with the bright, interesting plus diverse trends in modern theatrical art in both Moscow and St Petersburg, as well as in dozens and hundreds of cities across the country from Novosibirsk to Kostroma, Krasnoyarsk and Novokuibyshevsk.
The Ruslan and Lyudmila venue situated at 1–3 Tverskaya Street will have The Romantic Reminiscences by Kostroma-based Dialogue Dance theatre group, a twice Golden Mask-award winner. The theatre group’s founders Ivan Yestegneyev and Yevgeny Kulagin create modern choreographed performances by combining dance with performing arts.
The Karambol Musical Theatre from St Petersburg will stage The Love Melody, a performance imbued with nostalgia plus humour. Its version of Alexander Ostrovsky’s play offers a story about how beautifully and wisely the world is arranged. It will also be staged at the Ruslan and Lyudmila venue. The fairy-tale The Twelve Months will be staged at the Snegurochka (the Snow Maiden) venue at 5/6–9 Tverskaya Street. The Karambol Theatre has also prepared a new production, The Umbrellas of Cherbourg, staged by Vasily Barkhatov, in which the daring idea to transfer the musical film to the stage is matched by the brilliant performance. To watch the musical, visit the An Ordinary Miracle performance venue at 27–31 Tverskaya Street.
St Petersburg’s АХЕ Engineering Theatre is a unique theatrical phenomenon. It was nominated for the Golden Mask award several times for its experiments on stage and new vision of the theatre, winning the prize in 2003. The innovative thinking of its founders Maxim Isayev and Pavel Semchenko is expected to drive the imagination of visitors to An Ordinary Miracle.
The musical part of Nils’s Adventures will be performed by actors from St Petersburg’s Theatre Imeni Lensoveta at the Golden Cockerel venue at 13–15 Mokhovaya Street. The musical based on Selma Lagerlof’s fairy-tale won the Grand Prix of the Arlekin children’s theatre festival while the theatre won the Golden Mask award several times.
Actors from Novokuibyshevsk’s Gran Drama School will narrate an elegant fairy story Snezhinka (the Snowflake) based on a fairy-tale by Latvian author Anna Sakse on the Snegurochka venue stage.
The Samara Opera and Ballet Theatre will stage an airy and sparkling operetta that will easily infect audiences with enthusiasm. On its Grande Operetta programme there will be extracts from works by Johann Strauss, Franz Lehar and Isaak Dunayevsky, to name but a few composers. The performance venue: Ruslan and Lyudmila.
The Krasnoyarsk Youth Theatre won the national theatre award for the best performance in the operetta and musical category after being nominated for the award three times. Director Roman Feodori has transformed an ordinary theatre into one of the most interesting youth theatres. Its actors will perform at the The Snow Queen (9–13 Tverskaya Street) and An Ordinary Miracle venues in a romantic and magical production of what is called, Shakespeare in a Midsummer Night, based on a comedy by the legendary English playwright.
“The Snow Queen is a difficult, ambitious and unique performance of its kind,” Roman Fiodori said. “It earned the Krasnoyarsk theatre its first ever nomination for the Golden Mask award, making its name known across the country. This was particularly gratifying given that prior to this it was only several times that children’s performances had been nominated for the Golden Mask. We’ve prepared an adaptation of The Snow Queen for the stage on Tverskaya Street complete with hints of pantomime together with video effects. I’m sure everyone, particularly, the little ones will like it.”
The Maple Garden staged by Yekaterinburg’s Provincial Dances Theatre received two Golden Masks at once for the work of its choreographer and artist. Tatyana Baganova, the theatre artistic director, who directed the performance, is making a remarkable contribution to the art of modern Russian dance. Her theatre won the national award four times. The Maple Garden will be staged at the Ruslan and Lyudmila performance venue.
The Sverdlovsk Musical Comedy Theatre will present two concert programmes: the stylish show Broadway Land on the Ruslan and Lyudmila venue that will take the audience to the land of their favourite musicals and a concert by the Izumrud (Emerald) Russian folk group at 15–17 Tverskaya Street, the Kamenny Tsvetok (Stone Flower) venue.
Perm’s Teatr-Teatr Theatre, which is marking its 90th anniversary this year, remains, probably, the most experimental theatre outside Moscow. Led by Boris Milgram, it has already received the Golden Mask twice. Their vaudeville Enough Stupidity and All Other Things is based on Alexander Ostrovsky’s play. A sparkling musical production about the adventures of a young careerist is dedicated to actor Andrei Mironov and will be staged on Okhotny Ryad Street, the Tale of Tsar Saltan performance venue.
Actors from the Omsk Drama Theatre will perform on the Golden Cockerel stage. Director Oleg Teploukhov will present his production Conceiving a Fairy-Tale based on the fairy story Roverandom by John Ronald Reuel Tolkien. Festival goers will find themselves in the company of Siberian hobbits, elves, magicians plus dwarfs.
Russia’s Golden Mask is the country’s main national theatre award. It was established back in 1993 by the Union of Russian Theatre Workers as a professional award for the best performances in all areas of theatrical art, including drama, opera, ballet, operetta, musicals, modern dance and puppet shows.
It is the most ambitious and representative theatrical forum, which showcases the most remarkable and interesting performances from dozens of cities from all across Russia. It is held every spring in Moscow.