On 4 March the Lithuanian National Opera and Ballet Theatre shall be submerged into the enchanting world of musical magic – the new opera for children “Five Miracles of Mary” by Lithuanian composer Raminta Šerkšnytė is beginning its journey into the hearts of little theatregoers and their parents.
Why are there five miracles? Because the composer along with the author of libretto Ramutė Skučaitė managed to symbolically put the entire life of a human being into five magical events. It is worth mentioning, however, that it is not possible to define where and when does the opera take place – the world of miracles is not managed by any coordinates. As R. Skučaitė herself indicates in the libretto, the action takes place where and when Mary wants it to.
Mary, the principle character of the opera, arrives from the world of children’s imagination, while other characters are more contemporary, “picked out” from the environment that children can easily recognize.
“In this opera every characters has its own melody and individual instrumentation that reflect certain emotions. For instance, we have the character of Sara Vamp, who whirls around the kitchen and is surrounded with various cooking tools – so naturally, her music is rather noisy,” – says R. Šerkšnytė. She also remarked that the new work is not intended for youngest theatregoers and should mostly appeal to schoolchildren.
Music director and conductor of the new production Julius Geniušas expressed his happiness that the composer didn’t choose to go down the easiest path and write uncomplicated, easily remembered little songs. R. Šerkšnytė’s score is filled with complicated rhythms, constant metric modulations and recitatives. Both orchestra and the soloists spent quite a bit of time attempting to master the piece, and yet, it should be easily understandable to all those who shall hear it.
“Overall, I would not say that “Five Miracles of Mary” is an opera for children – it is rather intended for the entire family. Parents especially will have a chance to contemplate their relationship with the children – do they understand the little ones, are they capable of finding enough time for them amidst the everyday routine? In this opera, Mary is a person who slows this routine down, and not a primitive housekeeper,” – said director of the production Kęstutis Jakštas.
Costume designer Julija Skuratova decided to add her own miracles besides those created by Mary – some of the supporting characters are suddenly turned into giants. And choreographer Dainius Bervingis faced the task of finding a way to manage the stage movement in a way that would allow the singers to be heard without much trouble.
The first premiere of “Five Miracles of Mary” on 4 March shall be performed by Jomantė Šležaitė, Joana Gedmintaitė, Liudas Mikalauskas, Jovita Vaškevičiūtė, Rafailas Karpis, Tomas Pavilionis, Liudas Norvaišas. On 5 March we shall hear the second cast: Eglė Šidlauskaitė, Aistė Pilibavičiūtė, Šarūnas Šapalas, Aistė Miknytė, Mindaugas Jankauskas, Edgaras Davidovičius and Egidijus Dauskurdis. Inesa Linaburgytė and Žygimantas Galinis will perform on both evenings.
All of the little theatregoers who participated in LNOBT’s pre-premiere educational events will be greeted by a surprise – in the Red Foyer they will see magical trees with stars that guard the dreams of children.
All those who wish to get to know the mysterious Mary before the premiere are invited to the National M. Mažvydas Library on 4 March, at 1 p.m. – here you will hear some arias from the new opera and also will have a chance to meet the author of the libretto R. Skučaitė. The entrance to the event is free."