Pushkin's Fairy Tales
Based on selected Fairy Tales by Aleksandr Pushkin
Premiered on June 16, 2015 at the Theater of Nations, Moscow, Russia
Performed in Russian.
“In the evening I listen to fairy tales, thereby compensating for the insufficiencies of my accursed upbringing. How charming these fairy tales are! Each is a poem!” said Aleksandr Pushkin, expressing his enthusiasm in a letter to his brother in 1824, roughly 6 years before he started publishing his own five most important fairy tales. “Our language,” said Pushkin, “is inherently beautiful and nowhere has it such breadth of expression as in folktales.” Indeed, Pushkin did create a distinct voice within Russian literature by incorporating everyday speech into his works. The poetry of Pushkin’s language thrives in Robert Wilson’s setting, featuring music by indiepop duo CocoRosie, who collaborated with Wilson on Peter Pan (Berlin, 2013) and Edda (Oslo, 2017), and starring Evgenyi Mironov, one of Russia's most celebrated actors.
Pushkin wrote the Fairy Tales at his country home Boldino between 1830 and 1834. The tales' sources vary from Russian folklore themes to Western tales. Written in verse, a humourous narrator alternates with dialogue of the characters. Rich symbolism and enigmatic structures ('Tale of the Golden Cockerel,' 'Tale of the Priest and his workman Balda') and powerful imagery ('Tale of the Fisherman,' 'Tale of Tsar Saltan') are central characteristics of these late works by the great Russian poet. Robert Wilson’s production of Pushkin's Fairy Tales unites four of the five tales in addition to the rather unknown fragment of the 'Tale of the She-Bear.'