The Youth Theater presented the Hero City with the epic performance «Sevastopol Strada»
Theatrical debut of the stage embodiment of the epic novel by S.N. Sergeev-Tsensky took place on August 31 and September 1 on the stage of the Drama Theater. B. Lavreneva Black Sea Fleet. The performance based on the novel of the same name was another gift that the masters of art presented to the people of Sevastopol in honor of the 240th anniversary of their hometown, the Black Sea stronghold.
More than a thousand spectators came that evening to watch the performance directed by Honored Artist of Russia Olga Pankratova. She chose voluminous and historically difficult material as the basis of her production. “Sevastopol Strada” is a large-scale and impressive performance about the First Defense of Sevastopol (1854-1855), an epic tale about the heroes of that time, who to this day delight the world with valor, courage and fortitude. The staging was written in collaboration with the Honored Art Worker of the Republic of Crimea Aksinya Normanskaya.
About her desire to create a performance based on the novel by S. Sergeev-Tsensky, stage director Olga Pankratova says:
For me, as a native of the hero city, it was very important to create this performance. Unfortunately, not everyone has read the novel «Sevastopol Strada». Some are not even aware of its existence. I considered it my duty to leave a mark and “raise” this complex work. So that today, in our difficult time, we talk about the feat of the people, which was accomplished in the days of the First Defense of Sevastopol.
The implementation of the idea became possible thanks to the grant support of the Russian Cultural Foundation and the full participation of the Sevastopol Youth Theater:
The staging of such a large-scale performance was made possible thanks to grant support from the Russian Cultural Foundation. The musical epic performance based on the work of Sergeyev-Tsensky, created by the team of the Sevastopol Youth Theater together with the ANO «Young Theater», will help support and strengthen moral and cultural values. We tried to tell the youth in theatrical language of how, back in 1853-1856, incredible courage and steadfastness made the whole world admire our defenders and why Sevastopol is rightfully called «Russian Troy» and «outpost of the south of Russia»— said the honored worker of culture of the city of Sevastopol Andrey Maimusov.
Two days, August 31 and September 1, at the Drama Theater. B. Lavrenyov Black Sea Fleet real magic happened. Spectators, including even the smallest, could not tear themselves away from the action that unfolded on the stage.
Someone went to the premiere with high expectations, and someone even with apprehension, because in such a performance there is no right to distortion and inaccuracies. The director faced a difficult task — to fit three books into a compressed theatrical time, because the epic of Sergeyev-Tsensky contains not only a list of the facts of the First Defense of the City, but also reliably prescribes the characters, draws the physical and moral appearances of the characters. Carefully and with great love, the production team, actors, costume designers and musicians created this performance.
In the performance, Nakhimov, Kornilov, Istomin are, first of all, people who do not separate themselves from ordinary Sevastopol residents, who fully shared the tragic fate of the white-stone city. Next to them in the chronicle of the anxious and heroic days that Sevastopol experienced are the legendary surgeon Pirogov, the first sister of mercy Dasha, the desperate daredevil Pyotr Koshka, the brilliant engineer Totleben, officers, soldiers, faithful sailors — people who give all their strength to protect their native city. The play «Sevastopol Strada» is designed to fill the audience with fortitude and love for Sevastopol, for the feat of the people and ordinary people, whose names are the streets of our city.
The scenery was created specifically for this production. Production designer, Honored Art Worker of the city of Sevastopol Tatyana Karaseva developed multifunctional structures that performed their functions in different scenes.
The volume of the production was added by the brass band of the Federal Service of the National Guard Troops of the Russian Federation «Rosgvardiya» in Sevastopol, conductor — Honored Artist of the city of Sevastopol Valentin Taev.
The National Guard Orchestra with great joy responded to the offer of the Sevastopol Youth Theater to take part in a performance that is relevant to our time. It shows historical events that we heard about on tours and museums. It is very symbolic that the production took place on the eve of the 170th anniversary of the First Defense of Sevastopol and the Crimean War, which are of great importance in the history of the hero city— says Valentin Taev.
In «Sevastopol Strada» the audience heard the music of Pyotr Tchaikovsky, Glinka, Prokofiev in a live performance. And most importantly, they did not bypass the folk soldiers’ songs of that era. According to the conductor, a great contribution was made to the military orchestra service, since such songs have never been performed to the accompaniment of an orchestra. Especially for the performance, the musicians made arrangements, which in the future will serve as an example in the work for military bands throughout the country. The work on the production brought a lot of new things to the work of the musicians, since previously there was no experience of cooperation specifically in the theatrical sphere, within the performance.
To the sounds of the orchestra, the artists of the theater for the young spectator sang soldiers’ songs, decomposed into different voices. This became possible thanks to the high professionalism of the honored worker of culture of the city of Sevastopol Irina Kuznetsova, head of the musical part of the theater.
The choreographer, Honored Artist of Russia Yuri Slonchenko worked on the plasticity of the artists. In every step and wave of the hands of the artists, the historical authenticity of the dance of the 19th century is visible. According to the choreographer, at the beginning of the work, the most famous dances of that era were selected — polka, polonaise. Actors had to learn to walk the way it was in past centuries.
The first shows were charitable. The creative team plans to transfer the production to the stage of the Tauric Chersonesos Theater and give everyone an opportunity to touch the history of the city.