futurist opera
new staging, Vienna 1993

Text Alexei Kruchonykh
Music 1913 Mikhail Matyushin
Music 1993 Sergei Dreznin
Sets & Costumes 1913
Kazimir Malevich
Sets & Film projections
Klaus Karlbauer
Accusmatic" projections & Staging Dieter Kaufmann
Costumes 1993 Erika Reimer

Premiere March 1993
Theater im Kuenstlerhaus Vienna

with Gunda Koenig, Roswitha Schreiner, Birte Brudermann, Anatoly Dorovskikh, Mikhail Nikiforov, Victor Zoykin, Konstantin Rostchin, Sergei Dreznin,
Dieter Kaufmann, Klaus Karlbauer.
the rare photo of the first creators Dreznin, Kaufmann, Karlbauer


Kazimir Malevich's originals

In the cultural history of the 20. Century there are works that have become legends. The "futurist opera" VICTORY OVER THE SUN is certainly one of them.
Performed only twice in 1913 in St. Petersburg, it created the biggest theater scandal of its time. A "futurist" team of the poet Alexei Kruchonykh, musician Michail Matyushin and, above all, painter Kazimir Malevich presented a bold and provocative work, booed by the conservative premiere audience but enthusiastically received by a group of fans whose number seemed to grow over time, as Socialist Realism made all such works appear both farsighted and masterful. Prologue was written by Velemir Khlebnikov.

Malevich's famous Black Square appeared for the first time in this opera; it was here that he discovered the style that later became known as Suprematism. The influence of this style on Western art was enormous. In Russia VICTORY OVER THE SUN, together with other Malevich's works, was buried under the concrete blocks of "Socialist Realism."

Opera is in a way a giant parable on the eternal fight between the New and the Old. The Sun, a symbol of the eternal values, is captured and locked into the House of Concrete. The New Order is imposed, free of the morals of the past. But people feel uncomfortable, they don´t know what to do with their new freedom. And again there´s no end to the fight of New and Old.

All is well that ends well
And has no end.
Let the World go to hell
But we are without END!

-- Reforms in Russia;
-- Enthusiasm of Dieter Kaufmann, one of Austria's leading avantgarde composers, responsible for staging and for the electronic music in the production;
-- Artistry of Sergei Dreznin, Russian pianist and composer living in Vienna (new music + pianist/performer in the show) NB since 1998 Sergei is a resident of Manhattan, New York
-- Courage and fantasy of Klaus Karlbauer (set + film projections);
-- Experience of Erika Reimer (costume reconstruction + design);
-- Humor and professionalism of the bilingual troupe of three Viennese actresses and four Moskvichi (two opera and two pop singers) -- and support ... MADE IT POSSIBLE TO PUT THIS WORK ON STAGE AGAIN!!
The Vienna premiere took place in March 1993 in Kuenstlerhaus theater. The
audience and critics were enthusiastic. <Futurism is alive!> headlined the
Vienna daily Kurier. <The Austrian-Russian cast acts with fun and to the
point> (Salzburger Nachrichten). <Revue of the Absurd, the Scurrilous and
original Nonsense>(Standard). The tour around Austria followed. In October
1993, a week after Yeltzin´s men stormed the White House, the show came to
Moscow to be performed on the old "Lyubimov" stage of the legendary Taganka
Theater. Despite the curfew, all three performances were sold out. "A
fireworks of fantasy" -- wrote Literaturnaya Gazeta. In October 1997 VICTORY
OVER THE SUN return to its birthplace, St. Petersburg!! St.Peterburg
performances were sponsored by Austrian Ministery of Foregn Affairs, Vienna
City Council and Verein KulturKontakt, Vienna.