BSO Concert Hall 2 hours

Overview

In October 1944, a private Moscow audience attended the modest premiere of Prokofiev’s opera War and Peace based on Tolstoy's epic novel about Napoleon's 1812 invasion of Russia. Prokofiev had hoped it would resonate with audiences enduring a devastating new invasion by Nazi Germany in World War II but it came and went with little fanfare and would not be performed in full, and on stage, until 1957. By then, it was a very different opera – a massive four and a half hour production
full of military bombast and swelling patriotic anthems as demanded by the Stalinist authorities, complete with a caricature of Hitler replacing Napoleon.

Reflecting the calamity of the current conflict in Eastern Ukraine, Mark Anthony Turnage’s Testament explores the fate of refugees through the eyes of contemporary Ukrainian poets, starkly represented by the Sergei Prokofiev International
Airport in Donetsk – a structure, now in ruins, named in honour of the Ukraine-born composer whose tormented War and Peacehas become a paean to Russian military might. Glière’s The Sirens paints an evocative picture of those enchantresses that lured sailors to their doom. Cellos and harps at the outset depict the depths of the sea out of which the Sirens themselves finally appear. Their song intertwines seductively with the dashing theme of an unsuspecting sailor, and then with a crash of the cymbals, they mercilessly drag their victim under the water before calm is restored.

Ticket Information

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School holiday

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BSL

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