St Petersburg, Mariinsky II

Three Masks of The King


Performance of the of Samara Academic Opera House

Music by Mikhail Krylov
Libretto by Viacheslav Zarenkov and Yury Smekalov
Idea: Viacheslav Zarenkov

Production Team:
Choreographer: Yury Smekalov
Musical Director: Evgeny Khokhlov
Set & Costume Designer: Viacheslav Okunev
Lighting Designer: Irina Vtornikova
Video Designer: Victoria Zlotnikova
Assistant choreographer: Victoria Litvinova
Orchestration: Daniil Pilchen
Sound producing: Vlad Zhukov

Three Masks of the King is a contemporary drama-ballet based on motifs of a tale by the Petersburg benefactor and founder of the Kilize Theatre Vyacheslav Zarenkov. Based on a romantic plot about the love of a ruler of a nameless kingdom, the choreographer Yuri Smekalov has created a parable ballet about the nature of power and heroes who strive to overcome a system of established social masks and show the path to honesty and freedom of choice. The almost full cast of the ballet company of the Samara Theatre features in the ballet's intense crowd scenes. The orchestra conducted by Yevgeny Khokhlov is accompanied by electronic compositions by Vlad Zhukov.

Act One
King Julius rules the Kingdom where everyone wears a mask, himself included. He wants to get rid of his mask. He is in dismay. Sarah watches him. Her true face is hidden. Perhaps, Sarah only exists in his imagination.
Julius pays no attention to the affairs of the state. His Ministers are worried. Chief Advisor Conor is outraged. Julius is carried away with a girl who dances in the garden. Her name is Emma. She doesn’t wear a mask. Julius and Emma observe one another. They are filled by caution and fragility, disbelieve and fascination, joy and fear. Emma inspires Julius.
Conor is worried by the King’s new love. It’s hard to bear the monarch’s recklessness. There may be other reasons as well. Conor’s aim is to dethrone the King and to acquire omnipotence.
A conspiracy. Ministers and guards swear loyalty to Conor.

Act Two
No mask may be just another mask…
At night, Julius is alone in his study. The conspirators enter the King’s rooms. Julius senses the danger. He wants to live without a mask, to change himself and his people. Conor cannot believe it. In his fury he wants to make Julius faceless. The King faces a choice. He flees. The road is hard. He reaches the outskirts of the city and collapses.
Conor ascends to the throne. He wants total control over the people. His Ministers turn the citizens into a faceless mob. Only few resist. Darkness falls over the city.
Emma finds Julius. She convinces him to lead the unyielding citizens and regain royal power. The dethroned King liberates the citizens from their masks.
Meanwhile Conor and his men revel in power. The Kingdom descends into mayhem. Led by Julius, the citizens enter the castle and liberate Ministers and guards from their masks. Conor seeks refuge in a city tower. Julius finds him and tears his mask off. Seeing the Chief Advisor’s true face, the King cannot believe his eyes.
Julius’s only choice is to wear the mask of omnipotence forever.

Age category 6+

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