Madrid (EFE).- “The nose” by Nikolai Shostakóvich, with its “diablada” score, a plot with large doses of absurdity under the even crazier gaze of Barry Kosky as stage director and the cameo of the presenter Anne Igartiburu, they promise to turn their first landing at the Teatro Real on March 13 into “a delirium”.
There will be seven performances that will be performed until March 30 of this opera written from a story by Nikolai Gogol in which a man of good standing but ruthless towards his peers wakes up one morning without a nose, a symbol of his economic opulence. and sexual, and sets off on a run after her elusive appendage to reclaim her identity.
“It is undoubtedly one of the most unique operas in history,” said Joan Matabosch, artistic director of the Real, in the presentation this Thursday to the media of this production by the Madrid theater itself in collaboration with the Royal Opera House, the Komische Oper Berlin and Opera Australia, places where it was acclaimed by the public and critics.
He did not have it easy at the beginning, however. Premiered in 1930 in Saint Petersburg, it was then silenced for 40 years by the Stalin regime, until 1974, when it was recovered by the Moscow Chamber Opera and, turned into a landmark, that show spent decades traveling around the world, with step included by Spain, where in 1992 he stopped at various points, including El Escorial (Madrid).
Never before, however, had it been performed at the Teatro Real, where it will arrive under the orchestral direction of the British Mark Wigglesworth, who has extolled the “extreme, fun and at the same time terrifying” character of this score, so tailored to the plot that As he has said, its author did not like the possibility of it being played without his staging.
“It is extraordinary to think that Shostakovich composed it at the age of 23, because it brings together references to everything he created the rest of his life.
It contains chaos in all its forms and, from there, he dedicated himself to putting it in order and refining it, but that same sensation of brilliant adventure and anarchy was never experienced again”, added the one who already directed the Real “Dead Man Walking” by Jake Heggie in 2018.
Wigglesworth will lead the Teatro Real Orchestra and Choir to give this score its “cinematic” character, which was composed for a chamber orchestra with the addition of 10 percussionists “that give a very big sensation” and that incorporates all kinds of sounds (screams, whispers, sirens, atonal choirs, folk and jazz songs, among others).
The stage direction of the irreverent Barrie Kosky, well known in Madrid for his reinterpretation of “The Magic Flute”, will fall into the hands of Johannes Stepanek in this landing in Madrid.
Reflection on social positioning and identity
In his opinion, “The nose” constitutes a reflection “on social positioning and identity, on the image that we all build around ourselves”, and “what Kosky does brilliantly here is how he represents this petty character who treats everyone fatally, but manages to empathize with him as a human being with all his flaws.
The baritone bass Martin Winkler will be in charge of embodying it in front of a cast of 28 soloists who will in turn represent an immense gallery of caricature characters, 78 sung and 9 recited.
As a curiosity, the cast includes Anne Igartiburu with a small speaking role to play precisely a television presenter who puts a bit of order in all this madness.
“Instead of a singer playing that role, we thought: ‘Everyone will know what it’s about if she comes out, which she also delightedly accepted,'” Matabosch said about the origin of this cameo.