Khovanskygate: A National Enquiry is a powerful political drama about rebellion and revolution and it’s set to explode in Birmingham next week.
Birmingham Opera Company is going to perform the controversial piece in The Freedom Tent at Cannon Hill, The People’s Park, Birmingham.
The story takes place in a Russia divided by powerful conservative forces and growing Westernising influence.
Musorgsky paints a devastating portrait of a nation on the brink of collapse; torn apart by state corruption, religious fanaticism, social inequality and ethnic cleansing.
The Freedom Tent, a massive six-pole, 60m x 40m “Big Top”, is now being used for rehearsals and Musorgsky’s haunting Russian melodies are being heard and enjoyed by the thousands who visit the park every week.
A number of park-goers have even joined the production as volunteer performers.
Designed by People’s Park movement architect J.T. Gibson (Birkenhead Park, Battersea Park) and gifted to Birmingham by Louisa Ryland, Cannon Hill, The People’s Park, celebrated its 140 year anniversary in 2013.
For the past ten years Cannon Hill Park has successfully achieved Green Flag status, which recognises and rewards the best green spaces in the country.
Director Graham Vick was one of the first international directors to be invited behind the Iron Curtain, by Valery Gergiev to direct Prokofiev’s War and Peace at the Kirov in 1991.
Over 30 years later his current new production of Musorgsky’s Boris Godunov can be seen this year at the Mariinsky Theatre.
Vick now directs Musorgsky’s final opera for the first time and in the UK.
The opera is performed with Vick’s own company, a cast of international soloists, the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra Children’s Chorus and over 200 volunteers from Birmingham.
Paul Nilon sings The Scribbler, Eric Greene plays Prince Ivan Khovansky, with Keel Watson as Dosifey, Stephanie Corley as Emma and Claudia Huckle as Marfa.
Performances will be staged on April 22, 24, 28, 30 and May 2.