Justina Paltanavičiūtė, 2011 04 11

“Aida”. Photos of Martynas Aleksa

In brief: Kaunas State Musical Theatre filled with bright colours, exotic smells and lyrical ballads on the evening of the 25th of March. A whiff of fresh wind blew in the theatre along with the premiere – musical of Elton John and Tim Rice “Aida”. The staging of this opus in Kaunas was expected; however, not all people were optimistic about it: there were some sceptics who asserted that the music piece written in the language of popular music was only entertainment. Meanwhile, the creators of the musical rejoiced for the staging and shared compliments to each other. How did this musical reach Lithuania? How did the theatre troupe succeed to work with the musical material and why was it replenished by invited guests? The conversation about this with the creators of "Aida": director Vytenis Pauliukaitis, conductor Jonas Janulevičius and one of the main role performers Jeronimas Milius is presented.

Vytenis Pauliukaitis: “I believe that this musical suits Kaunas State Musical Theatre really well. It is rejoicing that the audience will see a newer work, something that is actual in the world rather than opuses of past decades. I am sure that this musical was a whiff of fresh wind in the repertoire of Kaunas Musical Theatre, despite the fact that the theatre had staged more musicals, which enjoyed great success.”

Jonas Janulevičius: “The orchestration of “Aida” is a solution of the 21st century, and it is very evident. On another hand, one cannot feel it while listening to music. Everything has been composed cleverly. A good pyramid has been built in “Aida” orchestration: the rhythmical group – wind instruments – string instruments. The music style prompts the domination of percussion instruments. By these features the musical“Aida” differs from other opuses of this genre written for the full symphony orchestra and rhythmical group. In this case the rhythmical group is full, but everything else was reduced to the minimum. Nonetheless, the sound of the musical does not suffer due to this.

The appearance of this music in the repertoire of Kaunas State Musical Theatre has two meanings: it is important for the theatre to think about the young spectator and to create an alternative for other concert organisations organising concerts in big halls and drawing the young spectator by what he/she needs: a big load of sound, emotions, expression. Having come to the theatre, such a person may feel frustrated as information from the stage is presented in a subtle and refined form here. Therefore, we need to assure that a young spectators would hear good sound and see good view in the theatre. The musical “Aida” has all these qualities. Looking strategically, this musical is a wonderful possibility to focus on the young spectator, as we risk to stay with the middle generation only if we show only classical (academic) operetta”.

Jeronimas Milius: “I was invited to Kaunas State Musical Theatre by the principal director of the theatre Kęstutis Jakštas, who offered to attend the hearing of the musical “Aida”. The role of Radames I perform is a character restricted by various circumstances. On another hand, he has to rediscover himself due to this reason. It is a man discovering his human features, and the events around him make him fight against what he had found.

Radames has to control the situation; otherwise, the situation may start controlling him and perhaps will even ruin him. From the moment he meets Aida, he has to control the situation more frequently, and it becomes harder for him. The fight with the fate has to be combined with the fight with the changing internal features of the character. Therefore, the role is extremely interesting to me, as I have to experience all this on the stage too.”

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