Saturday, October 15, 2016

The Golden Age

"The real geniuses know where their writing has to
be good and where they can get away with some

(Dimitri Shostakovich)
I know David and Bonnie are going to the ballet on Sunday, Shostakovich's music called The Golden Age.  

This ballet is not done very often.

When I go to the web, there is not much I can read about it. I am going as well tomorrow, in solidarity with them, though I am in a different city.

Here are the reviews:

Judith Mackrell reviewed the ballet, The Golden Age, years ago and said:
At the age of 24, Shostakovich was mad about football and brimming with a belief that he could transform Soviet lyric theatre. The result was The Golden Age - a three-act ballet starring a heroic team of Russian footballers, and featuring Shostakovich's musical imagination leaping crazily around a vast arena of possibilities. 
It was, of course, part of the composer's political tragedy that the ballet was banned.
I am reaching a long ways when I have to go to an LA Times 1987 review of this ballet:
The hero is a young fisherman named Boris who dabbles in political street theater--just an ordinary guy in a T-shirt and work pants who won't let himself be pushed around.

Wiki summarizes the plot the best:
The ballet is a satirical take on the political and cultural change in 1920s' Europe. It follows a Soviet football team in a Western city where they come into contact with many politically incorrect bad characters such as the Diva, the Fascist, the Agent Provocateur, the Negro and others. The team fall victim to match rigging, police harassment, and unjust imprisonment by the evil bourgeoisie. The team are freed from jail when the local workers overthrow their capitalist overlords and the ballet ends with a dance of solidarity between the workers and the football team. Shostakovich himself was a very keen football follower, and is said to have coined the expression "Football is the ballet of the masses".

I don't know what "Agent Provocateur" means so I looked it up.  An agent provocateur is a person employed to encourage people to break the law so that they can be arrested.

I am looking forward to finding that person in the ballet.


1 comment:

  1. So sorry I missed a good one. Thanks for the update.Did Bonnie and David make it?