TWO RUSSIAN HAMLETS: TCHAIKOVSKY. PROKOFIEV
Concert film by the Sochi Symphony Orchestra conducted by Anton Lubchenko was filmed in August 2020 at the Sochi Winter Theater, during the period of epidemiological restrictions.
That is why musicians were keeping social distance and the Winter Theater hall was empty.
Concert film was shown on the Sochi 24 regional TV channel, online broadcast was made by the Orpheus classical music radio; it was also shown as part of the Stay Home with Russian Seasons project. Project is uniqueness for its content which is not an archive record or a live broadcast related to the "self-isolation" art, but a full-fledged concert film shot with several cameras to revive the best traditions of the Soviet television broadcasting. Program of the concert film included rare scores, some written 45 years ago as a musical accompaniment to the drama productions of Shakespeare's tragedy. Tchaikovsky began creating his "Hamlet" during the reign of Alexander III — in the year when Sergei Prokofiev was born, and the Soviet classic music composer created his interpretation of the canonical scenario in 1937, which was a tense period for our country. Film was initiated by Anton Lubchenko, Artistic Director of the Sochi Symphony Orchestra, conductor and composer from St. Petersburg. Both compositions were performed by the Sochi Symphony Orchestra under his baton. This project became the last for the conductor in the role of the ensemble artistic director.
Anton Lubchenko says about the concert film: "It was important for me that the leading Sochi singers acted as the soloists here - those whom I discovered once for myself and then persistently offered to the audience in my programs. For instance, both songs of the Coffin Maker (it was this character who brought both composers closer together with similar grotesque solutions!) were performed by a young baritone Vladimir Grishchenko, now a student of the Rostov Conservatory. Ophelia is the main character, of course. In the scenes of her madness shown by Tchaikovsky you can easily read traces of Maria from Mazeppa, Lisa from The Queen of Spades, while Prokofiev's Ophelia anticipates Lubka from Semyon Kotko, opera created just two years later. There are also techniques for the character of Frosya travelling from "Hamlet" to "Kotko" : her song "Noise and buzz" practically reproduces the first song of Ophelia. In both cases, it's about summer rain, by the way. Soprano Ekaterina Bogacheva sang and played two Ophelia brilliantly in my opinion. Generally, there are more drama related challenges for singers here than vocal ones, because music was composed for drama artists... Symbolically, it was this program that opened the round of my creative life in Sochi and now it is closing it. I am sure that thanks to the scores imbued by the spirit of the time, it will be interesting for the audience to see the historical cross-section of the two epochs in Russia under a magnifying glass."