Edvard Grieg

Peer Gynt

ballet in two acts

Recommended age 12+

Dates

Libretto: Sergey Mikel based on the eponymous drama by Henrik Ibsen
Choreography and staging: Sergey Mikel
Musical director, arranger: People's Artist of Belarus, laureate of the State Prize of the Republic of Belarus Alexander Anissimov
Designer: Lyubov Sidelnikova
Lighting designer: Sergey Ozeran
Video design: Lyubov Sidelnikova, Elena Akhremenko
Conductor: Vladimir Ovodok
Running time: 2 hours with one interval
Premiere: 8, 9 September 2020

12

 

Prologue

 

Pursuit. The wounded stag runs away from the pursuer Buttonmoulder, the master for remelting of "unfit" souls – souls, which are not worthy of hell or heaven, souls of those who did not strive for holiness and did not commit great meannesses.

Peer Gynt: in the past he is a dreamer, hungry for adventure and exciting stories, and a wanderer, seeking fame and immortality, in the present-a man who has passed his entire life without achieving his goals.

Buttonmoulder reminds Peer of a long -standing duty: he must give his soul for remelting: ‘you were created as a button for the world waistcoat, but the ear was broken, bounced off, and now you are supposed to be scrapped and remelted together with the others.’ Peer, looking at himself in the lake, sees himself young and carefree...

 

Act 1

 

Suria Muria, a travelling theatre belonging to Åse (Peer's mother), comes in the village of Hegstad. The artists of the theatre perform an outlandish production, but it is interrupted of Peer’s vagary: he kidnaps Ingrid, one of the theater's artists. Barely cooling down after a heated argument with his mother, Peer sees the migrant Solveig and falls in love with her. However, his heart does not find peace. Peer meets with the Buttonmoulder and, having indulged in fantasies, leaves the people he loves.

Vanity leads the hero to the Troll corporation. Meeting with the Mountain King changes Peer's life. From the Troll chief he learns the truth that determined his future path: "Troll, be true to yourself!» Troll’s views are close to him, he is ready to accept the invitation to stay and marry the Maiden of Dovre, the king's daughter, and unwittingly gets into Troll’s clutches. The sudden bright image of his mother saves Peer from full transformation into Troll. He returns to Solveig and finds peace for a while. This quiet sheltered happiness does not last long, Åse dies. Peer Gynt cannot cope with the weight of guilt and leaves the house again.

 

Act 2

 

Peer goes on a journey around the world. Over these years he plays a lot of roles roles. Each new craft he solemnly declares a long-awaited lifework, but devotes himself to it only until difficulties arise. He looks for happiness in money, becoming a businessman, slave trader, arms trafficker, he tries to find himself in passionate dances, seducing the Bedouin Anitra. A mosaic of alternating roles leads him to a madhouse, where people name him Emperor, wearing a crown of antlers on his head, and then he ends up in a dump with homeless people.

At the end of his life, finding himself completely alone, having spent his wealth and lost his position, Peer realizes the threat of non-existence, "melting" in the bucket of the Buttonmoulder: ‘Your life is failure; it's time to be melted down.’ At the end of his life, he is desperately searching for an answer to the question, what does it mean to be himself and whether he was himself?

Peer meets the white-haired Solveig and only then realizes that he is saved. Behind the most varied masks throughout his motley life, he remained himself only in love with Solveig, protected by her hope and faith.

 

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