Eight times Faust and eight times Hamlet in a constructed conversation, which was recorded in Berlin in about 400 audio recordings and 80 video recordings and then premiered in St.Petersburg with live musicians and the singer Natalya Pschenitschnikowa. The video projection fills the façade.

The premiere of Vladimir Rannev’s opera „Two Acts“ will take place in the atrium of the General Staff of the State Hermitage in Russia during the German Year 2012/13. The libretto was written by Dmitri Prigow, one of the most important representatives of Moscow conceptualism. „Two Acts“ opens the „Dmitri Prigov Days in the State Hermitage“, which will be hosted at the opening of the artist’s hall in the museum’s permanent exhibition.

The text of the libretto was written by the author especially for the composer and has not yet been published. Prigov’s heroes, as is often the case in his works, are people from cultural history. In this case it is Hamlet and Faust. According to Vladimir Rannev, the figures for Prigov are types rooted in European culture with a strongly reflective worldview. However, the reflective moment is not as pronounced in the piece as in the originals. We are not dealing with heroes or extraordinary personalities, but with average people, even social outsiders, who seem uncomfortable and comical because of their views. Their sad fate lies in the fact that modern life forms give them no incentive to fulfil their predestination. They do not find themselves in discord with the pathos of their „profound thoughts“, but rather insert this pathos into themselves like the requisites of a ritual, as a less annoying habit. Today, to describe it in the words of Maximilian Woloschins, they are no more than speech noise.
The opera is performed by German musicians of the ensemble Mosaik under the direction of Enno Poppe, one of the leading European ensembles of modern music. The ensemble is at home on Europe’s major stages and regularly performs at international festivals of modern music. „Two acts“ is the first visit of the musicians to St. Petersburg.
The soloists, Natalia Pschenitschnikowa, Rainer Killius and Gunnar Brandt-Sigurdsson, are also names from the world of modern academic music.
Vladimir Rannev also appears here for the first time as a director, who has invited video artists from the Petersburg theatre „AXE“ – Oleg Michaikov, Kirill Malovichko, Georgi Mamatov – to collaborate.
The leading role in the performance will be played by multimedia installations that create an unusual scenic space in the recently renovated atrium of the General Staff of the Hermitage.


Composition: Vladimir Rannev
Production: Goethe Institute
Location: Hermitage St. Petersburg (RU)

Director – Vladimir Rannev
Musical direction – Enno Poppe
Video – Oleg Mikhailov, Kirill Malovitchko, Georgi Mamatov
Soloists – Natalja Pschenitchnikowa, Gunnar Brandt-Sigurdsson, Rainer Killius
Supported by the Governing Mayor of Berlin, Senate Chancellery – Cultural Affairs
Goethe Institute St. Petersburg

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