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Venue details

Lviv National Academic Opera and Ballet Theatre , Svobody Ave 28, L'viv, L'vivs'ka oblast, Ukraine, 79000



About the work

Ivan Nebesny's opera for family viewing "Nikita's Fox" was written especially for the Lviv National Opera, in order to expand the modern Ukrainian opera repertoire for children and adults. The opera premiered on February 21, 2020. The libretto was created by the opera director Vasyl Vokun based on the poem "Nikita's Fox" by Ivan Franko, which was first published in 1890 in the Lviv children's magazine "Dzvinok". The following year, this magazine version appeared as a separate book. This fairy tale gained unprecedented popularity immediately after its publication. "I love my Fox Nikita the most because I wrote it for my children," said Ivan Franko. Indeed, the first listeners and readers of this work were the writer's own children - Andrew, Taras, Peter and Anna. However, Franko's fairy tale has become a favorite book not only for children, because "Nikita's Fox" is a two-part work : it is equally interesting for children and adults. The artistic world of Franko's poem is seen as a kind of model of social reality: in the fairy tale the main characters are animals that are guided by the laws of the struggle for survival, but their behavior is too reminiscent of human society. Animals live a socio-political life, hold certain positions, are in family relationships with each other, visit, sue, quarrel and reconcile, cry and laugh, love and hate… In this society, where the truth is conditional, as well as conditional there are notions of good and evil, deception, intrigue, bribery, protection, lies prevail and are valued… The basis of the compositional production of "Nikita's Fox" is the trial, singled out by the author of the libretto Vasyl Vovkun and the composer Ivan Nebesny in the main plane of action. Fox Nikita wins the lawsuit thanks to cunning and remarkable abilities: "We even sympathize with him, smiling, and a little jealous, because he is a brilliant showman, a talented actor, a brilliant director, a successful human being… And each of us in Fox Nikita wants to know someone from his very good acquaintances, without admitting that each of us is his closest relative…, ”says director and librettist Vasyl Vovkun. Opera music, like all components, is subject to the general idea - opera for children and adults. Composer Ivan Nebesny synthesizes different genres in this work - opera, musical, operetta, burlesque, buffoonery, show, performance, creating a spectacular performance. Melodies and fragments of the opera are easy to remember. The opera also features Ukrainian folk instruments - trembita, cymbals, bandura, wheel lyre. The musical episodes of the opera are extremely colorful: the court stage is solemn, marching, orchestrated with thick colors; fragments accompanying Fox's tricks and their consequences - lively polka. Only two numbers - the aria of Nikita the Fox in court and his duet with the Fox - with their honey-sweet intonations resemble pop hits, but it is thanks to this false sweetness and sentimentality that the Fox sheds tears in the audience. An international team of artists is involved in the production: director - Vasyl Vovkun, conductors - Teodor Kuchar (USA) and Iryna Stasyshyn, choirmaster - Vadym Yatsenko, choreographer - Marcello Algeri (Italy), artist - Tadei Rindzak, costume designer - Anna Ipatieva, - Arvidas Buinauskas (Lithuania), 3D mapping - Svitlana Reiniš, hat-making designer Lyudmila Tabachkova. The costumes of the opera "Nikita's Fox", designed by the artist Anna Ipatieva, are marked by imagination and individual vision of each image. The impressive robes of the Lion and the Lioness stand out in the middle of the animal kingdom with a wealth of clothes. Other characters are united by the features of one or another animal with the style of clothing of modern people with elements of military camouflage, because as Ivan Franko writes, putting the thought into the mouth of Fox Nikita: "Our whole life - there is a war!". The artist especially emphasizes this moment in costumes, which remains relevant for our time. Animal hats are transparent and air, made of metal-wire structures. 3D mapping and complex and spectacular lighting design are important in scenography. There is, however, an element contrasted with all the topical, colorful and moving multi-figure compositions on the stage - an unbreakable giant circle and the same giant, placed in this circle mistletoe bush on the cut crown of the tree. Mistletoe - a parasitic plant, which in many nations is considered sacred, a symbol, among the many meanings of which - strength, rebirth, freedom from restrictions, but also vulnerability to a world of chaos.
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