September 2021G.Rossini's comic opera "Il Turco in Italia" at the Kaunas State Musical Theatre, Lithuania
It all starts with poet Prosdocimo looking for a plot for a comedy, while his slightly dim-witted friend Geronio is looking for a fortune teller to advise him on marital issues. Coincidentally, they meet gypsies, among whom is the wonderful but unhappy Zaida, who is said to have come from a Turkish harem…
This event triggers the plot of Rossini’s opera “Il Turco in Italia”. Sounds like a silly soap opera? This is exactly what it seemed like to director Andrus Vaarik, a comic actor himself, who decided to bring this opera to the stage in a completely original, in his opinion only possible interpretation, where the poet becomes an overbearing TV producer and others are characters in his crazy reality show.
Stage director Andrus Vaarik: “By putting this frivolous farce on which Rossini’s opera is based in an even sillier format of modern mass entertainment, we surprisingly found a story that’s very lively, witty, and even moving.”The concept of director Vaarik is amplified by the scenography of designer Madis Nurms. In the visual of “Il Turco”, there is probably an element of nostalgia for those who had their childhood in the early nineties. Compared to the designer’s previous works, this production looks more colorful and cheerful, but otherwise, it continues the line of previous PromFest productions – shamelessly sexy, not decorative, but rather constructivist. “It’s like Meyerhold under acid,” as the designer himself puts it.
Musical Director and Conductor – Erki Pehk
Stage Director – Andrus Vaarik
Set and Costume designer – Madis Nurms
Choreographer – Dainius Bervingis
Lighting designer – Kornelija Kondrataviciute
Video designer – Katre Sulane
Selim – Sargis Bazhbeuk-Melikyan (Armenia), Joris Rubinovas (Lithuania), Giedrius Prunskus
Fiorilla – Gabrielė Bukinė (Lithuania), Hanna Tverdova (Ukraine)
Geronio – Taras Berezhansky (Ukraine), Žygimantas Galinis (Lithuania)
Narciso – Mindaugas Jankauskas (Lithuania), Yury Rostotsky (Russia)
Prosdocimo – Vladyslav Tlushch (Ukraine), Andrius Apšega (Lithuania)
Zaida – Kamile Bonté (Lithuania), Ieva Goleckytė (Lithuania)
The orchestra and chorus of the Kaunas State Music Theatre
Chorus master – Rasa Vaitkevičiūtė
Concertmaster of the orchestra – Povilas Grigas
"Nurms' signature style has always been pleasantly sexist, this time especially. The audience comes face to face with an abundance of stripped legs and buttocks emphasized with tight clothing - most of them men's. In the costumes of the "Il Turco" the tone is set by unrestrained gay-bling, in which glamour and grotesque shamelessly embrace each other"
Alvar Loog. Postimees. Sept 16, 2021