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December 21, 2011 3:15 PM   Subscribe

"everything is good that / has a good beginning / and doesn't have an end / the world will die but for us there is no / end!" Thus ends Victory over the Sun (part 1, part 2), the "first Futurist opera".

The opera, with a libretto written by Aleksei Kruchenykh and the prologue by Velimir Khlebnikov, was first staged in Saint Petersburg in 1913. The costumes and set were designed by Kazimir Malevich (previously), who later declared that his backdrop for the second act, fifth scene of the opera was the first public display of Suprematism. In 1920, El Lissitzky produced a series of drawings for a new production of the opera as an electromechanical spectacle, but this idea was never materialized. It was not staged again until more than half a century later (video of the reconstruction, with commentary by the production crew: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6). The libretto (English, Russian) of the opera has been preserved; of the original score, however, only fragments survive.

Bonus:
Malevich's paintings (site is in Russian, but you can just click on links)
Winter, a sound poem by Aleksei Kruchenykh

(Early 20th century Russian drama previously on Metafilter)
posted by daniel_charms (8 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite

 
Esoteric doesn't seem strong enough a word.
posted by Zagabog at 6:17 PM on December 21, 2011


Lissitzky and Malevich are fairly big names in early twentieth century Soviet art. This is interesting, thanks!
posted by Wemmick at 6:28 PM on December 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


Metafilter: Esoteric doesn't seem strong enough a word.

Did I do that right?
posted by Zagabog at 6:30 PM on December 21, 2011


I'm not sure you should just repeat the last thing you said.
posted by howfar at 6:54 PM on December 21, 2011


Metafilter: I'm not sure you should just repeat the last thing you said.
posted by howfar at 6:54 PM on December 21, 2011


the world will die but for us there is no end!

I'm not sure I agree a hundred percent with your thermodynamics work, there, Aleksei
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 7:18 PM on December 21, 2011


I'm not sure I agree a hundred percent with your thermodynamics work, there, Aleksei

I think the idea is that for the new men of the Future, the laws of thermodynamics are nothing. You could read it as the Futurists' response to the fin de si├Ęcle obsession with the second law of thermodynamics and entropic doom. "What, you're saying that the Sun is going to burn out and we're all going to die? To Hell with it, we'll take it down ourselves!"
posted by daniel_charms at 1:03 AM on December 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


I love this. Awesome.Thanks. The UCSC production is a hoot-- nice to see the costumes and sets in action.
posted by Capybara at 9:09 AM on December 22, 2011


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