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The Tsar's Bride is an anti-totalitarian, not an anti-Russian production, claims opera conductor, Myron Yusypovych

«I've lived with the idea of creating this production for a long time… To my mind, there is much in common with the totalitarian regimes of the 20th c. and those of the era of Oprichnina during Ivan the Terrible's time… Present-day totalitarianism (1917, 1937) draws its roots from that time. Oprichnina, as a phenomenon, gave birth to the Cheka, MVD… Although the characters of Ivan VI, Malyuta Skuratov are historical, this opera lends itself well to being produced as a reflection on the 20th c. … such abuse of power was evident during the time of Lenin, Dzerzhynsky, Stalin, Beria…

Malyuta Skuratov, who killed a bishop with his own hands gouging out his eyes and quartering him, who manipulated Ivan the Terrible, who attacked a boyar (noble) whom he had betrayed, took his wife, raped her and then hung her upside down on the door frame, is no different from those who committed atrocities in the 20th c. when people lived in constant fear of being forcibly removed from their homes in the middle of the night. At least, I don't see any differences. On the contrary, the wheel of history repeats itself.

I have been asked whether or not I see this opera as being anti-Russian. No, I don't. For me, it is anti-totalitarian…

My idea was to portray at least three periods on stage: first – 1917, the second act in a Moscow suburb in 1937…. and only the last act would be staged in the original period. For me, it is not the outward visual trappings that are important, but the content…

Totalitarism is capable of rebirth. I see this as a possiblity not only here, but also everywhere….» -- said, the production conductor of the Lviv Opera's The Tsar's Bride, Myron Yusypovych…

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