Friday, February 13, 2009

Life, Tears, Love

The concert was wonderful. Mezzo-soprano Zoya Kaipova and tenor Eduard Spebnitsky, accompanied by pianist Irina Seregina and violinist Svetlana Mikhailech, entertained us with 21 Russian love songs over 75 minutes. All for $2.50 each. The $10 seats were filled. In fact the entire theatre was filled by curtain rise. No surprise that Tanya knew all the songs.

The songs were arranged in a “mini-operetta”. The scene opens with the husband Eduard in the process of leaving his wife Zoya. She is packing his suitcase with the help of the maid Irina. The suitcase is full, Irina goes to the piano, Zoya sings of how unhappy she is; Eduard replies with another song and then they sing several songs of their life together. The interaction is such that you wonder why he is leaving.

Then in comes the “Other woman”, Svetlana, who is young enough to be his daughter and very beautiful. Eduard sings several songs, accompanied by Svetlana on the violin. I think the violin was invented to play Russian love songs. No other instrument can bring out the haunting sadness. At the end of one song, he is on his knees with his arms wrapped around Svetlana’s legs. Tanya mutters “Idiot…need kill”. Laughing out loud at a concert is not a good thing.

Zoya sings a couple of songs of her own while the lovers smooch on the couch. Then Svetlana leaves to wait for Eduard. Three more songs make it plain that he is having difficulty with this whole thing but Zoya dumps a vase over his head and sends him on his way. She has time for one sad aria before (we knew it all along) Eduard is back, suitcase in hand, pleading for her forgiveness and telling her how much he loves her.

Zoya of course forgives him (we knew that all along, too) and after two duets the curtain falls on the happily reconciled couple.

As the performers were taking their bows, various member of the audience lined up onto the stage bearing flowers which they present to one or the other of the singers. Because this concert was sort of a story, they did not interrupt during the performance. During the concert we saw in 2005 with Zoya Kaipova and Maria Stephyuk who simply alternated songs or did the occasional duet, the members of the audience would go up at any time with flowers and present them to the one who was not singing.

We had a great mini-holiday and are not going to wait two years to go to the theatre again.

1 comment:

  1. Now i remember why I am not so crazy about those musicals..

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