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UKSUS (2016)

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Published on Sep 20, 2016

UKSUS
a chamber opera by Erling Wold

box 0: Winter ’42, in which Pushkin is attacked and robbed.

box 1: Nadeždinskaja, 11, in which Fefjulka and Pushkin dream of happiness together.

box 2: Three left-hand hours, in which we see played before us the appearance of the OBERIU in the Leningrad House of the Press.

box 3: Defeatist Propaganda, in which occurs the arrest and the interrogation of Pushkin.

Director Jim Cave • Conductor Bryan Nies • Empress Lynne Rutter •  libretto by VADA

Timur - Pushkin • Laura Bohn - Fefjulka • Nikola Printz - Our Mama / Stalin • Bob Ernst - Michelangelo • Roham Sheikhani - M2 • Jim Cave - A Samovar • Sabrina Wenske, Peter Overstreet, Nathanael Card - the Soviet soldiers

The band: Beth Custer, Rob Wilkins, Joel Davel, Diana Strong, John Schott, Elzbieta Polak, Lisa Mezzacappa

costumes by Kristen McCullough and Laura Hazlett • choreography by Kerry Mehling • Melinda Morey scenic artist • Phred Swain-Sugarman stage manager • live sound by Greg Kuhn & Salvador Raya • audio recording by Karen Stackpole • video recording by Austin Forbord and Alex.

Daniil Kharms and his OBERIU friends were born during the time of the Tsars, fancied themselves aristocrats, true individual artists following in the footsteps of Kazimir Malevich and other troublemaker artists, were caught up in the rise of the proletariat, and died during the time of Stalin and the Nazi invasion of the Soviet Union, swallowed by the general horrors of the time that swallowed up so many. During those horrors, while living in abject fear and panic, they laughed and laughed and laughed, loved wordplay and nonsense, rejoiced in absurdity, and held onto that love and joy and laughter to very end, to their ambiguous deaths in custody of The State, the secret police, the NKVD. And so we hope that we, now, living in our own time of horror, among those who impose their piggish and tinpot will on others, can find our own place of exultation, our own reason for continuing in this life, and finally our own triumph over all that works to contain us.

Thanks to Duncan Wold, Mary Forcade, Paul Dresher Ensemble, The Klagenfurter Ensemble, Dmitry Sokolenko, Thom Blum, The Oakland Symphony, Laney College, Dmitry Stroganov, Kyoko Yoshida, Brittany Jarabek, The Talltones, Lisa Prosek, Thom Blum, and Laney College.

Supported in part by The National Endowment for the Arts (Opera), Zellerbach Family Foundation, and Theatre Bay Area CA$H.

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