(Very fresh impressions after the premiere of “Count's Daughter Mariza” (Gräfin Mariza) at Kaunas Musical Theatre) Osvaldas Grinius
www.kamane.lt 2006 11 21

Mariza - N. Vilkanauskaitė

Mariza - R.Vaicekauskaitė

In brief: The earlier staging of the operetta by Emmerich (Imrer) Kalman “Count's Daughter Mariza” (Gräfin Mariza) of 1984 is still alive in the memory of Kaunas residents. It was a merry, colourful performance full of emotional and easily remembered music, in which the best operetta performers of that time participated. All these epithets may be said about the newest staging of “Count's Daughter Mariza”.


Despite the fact that the operetta was staged using rather traditional means, the creators presented several novelties. The director Aleksej Stepaniuk corrected the plot slightly turning baron Koloman Zupan into a friend of count Tasil – baron Ishtvan. The friend of Tasil Karl Stefan Liebenberg disappeared from the performance. An important role was granted to the gypsy Manja, who joins the fates of the main heroes.


The scenography of the performance is interesting and original. The painter Frieder Klein composes the scene to the depth and creates the impression of perspective by all means. Pastel colours of decorations help to stress the colourful costumes of characters. The painter Kotryna Daujotaitė used her fantasy designing memorable, sometimes classical, sometimes very complicated and still functional clothes.


The creators of both main roles are worth praising. The soloist of the first evening Nomeda Kukulskienė has rather big experience of performing in operettas. She charmed the listeners by the wonderful and lush voice, expressive and persuasive acting. The soloist Raminta Vaicekauskaitė who made her debut on the operetta stage and who performed on the second premiere also charmed the listeners. The light and easily controlled voice and the graceful look left no one indifferent. Perhaps the young soloist still lacks the stage experience but it may be guessed that her role will improve and develop in future.


Generalising the first premieres, it may be stated that a beautiful performance of traditional operetta has been created. The ones who are willing to observe the love story will find it in the drama of the main characters, and the ones willing to laugh merrily will find the roles of the second and third plan persuasive. Melodies are easy to remember, one should also enjoy the playing of the orchestra and the concordant singing of the choir and soloists conducted by Jonas Janulevičius.


Therefore, the new “Count's Daughter Mariza” is like tango – it is slightly passionate, nostalgic, sometimes fresh and temperamental, sometimes melancholic, it often sounds with rich harmonies of music and sometimes – with empty echoing chords.

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