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Contemporary opera by Boris Yukhananov and Dmitri Kourliandski
In Russian with English subtitles

Featuring a libretto based on a 1924 essay by Leon Trotsky about Lenin and fragments of a play, Octavia, attributed to Seneca about the Roman emperor Nero, this is a thrilling new opera staged with verve and ambition by one of Russia’s most acclaimed directors. An opera about the possible and the probable, about the recent and not so recent past, about tyranny and its discontents that allows Lenin, Trotsky and Nero to enter into a poetic, interdisciplinary dialogue on what power means and how it is executed.

Octavia. Trepanation was created in the year of the centenary of the Russian revolution as a response to the need to reflect upon the nature of power. Commissioned by the Holland Festival (premiered in Amsterdam in June 2017 on the stage of the Muziekgebouw), the opera explores the theme of tyranny. The director and the composer define the work’s genre as an «opera-operation.» The essence of this operation is the trepanation of revolution: by means of their artistic gesture this production’s creators dismiss the source of bloody tyranny and forever invalidate the notion of war.

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