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Black Square

Black Square

Event Type
Lyric Theatre @ Illinois
Tryon Festival Theatre, Krannert Center for the Performing Arts (500 S. Goodwin Ave., Urbana, IL 61801)
Apr 4, 2024   7:30 pm  
Advocate 80 / Standard 40 / SC 35 / STU 18 / UI & YTH 10
Originating Calendar
Russian, E. European & Eurasian Center: Co-sponsored Events
Idea by Igor Konyukhov
Music by Ilya Demutsky
Libretto by Olga Maslova & Igor Konyukhov
Nathan Gunn, director
Michael Tilley, conductor

Black Square is a new comic opera, written by the team of Russian and Ukrainian artists living in U.S. and France: Ilya Demutsky, Olga Maslova and Igor Konyukhov.

The events of the opera follow a motley crew of characters who suddenly find themselves in the midst of serious societal cataclysms that overhaul the entire structure of beliefs and values overnight. Oscillating between low-brow street humor and high pathos, between mundane picks into kitchens and bedrooms and deafening hum of gigantic congregations, traveling through times and ideologies, Black Square weaves a shimmering web of a hypnotic melodies, written by Ilya Demutsky, absurdist poetry by Aleksei Kruchenykh and Velimir Khlebnikov, pop culture references laced with ancient motifs, and offers a philosophical probing into the contingency of public will.

Inspired by the 1913 futuristic hooligan daring act known as the “opera” Victory over the Sun, Black Square is a contemporary retelling of the eternal story of the relationship between authenticity and conformity. It mixes the tradition of opera buffa, driven by the comic characters, and opera seria, which focuses only on serious subjects in mythical settings, resulting in a completely original, unique in its style production, still daring 100 years later.

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