V. F. Komissarzhevskoy Theatre
St. Petersburg, Russia
premiere 30 January 2004, Main stage
h. a. Alexander Orlov
m. s. Vladimir Ivanov
195 min., with intermission
Alexander Bargman, Vladimir Bogdanov/ Denis Pyanov, Evgenia Igumnova/ Varvara Repetskaya, Alexander Vontov/ Alexander Anisimov, Elena Andreeva, Vladimir Krylov/ Yuriy Ershov, Ivan Vassilyev, Georgiy Korolchuk, Anatoly Gorin, Elena Simonova, Margarita Bychkova, Ridion Prihodko, Egor Bakulin, Olga Belyavskaya, Alexander Makin, Olga Arikova, Alexander Sydoruk
As it seems, this handsome and bold mister is under the influence of a love potion that still keeps secrets untold. But anyone can feel the magnetic charm of this "Epicurean pig", the lonely rebel, who dares to live and love the way he wishes to. This Dom Juan is giving away tickets to a world full of delight, to a kingdom of passion and sin, fearless in the face of both heaven and hell. He is brave, clever, cheerful and witty. He is an embodiment of all secret passions and all overt impulses. But who is he - a braveman or a demon, a madman or a devil? And where do we draw the line between ultimate freedom and abuse of tolerance? Who is to say...
Would you have a man bind himself to the first girl he falls in love with, say farewell to the world for her sake, and have no eyes for anyone else? A fine thing, to be sure, to pride oneself upon the false honour of being faithful, to lose oneself in one passion for ever, and to be blind from our youth up to all the other beautiful women who can captivate our gaze! No, no; constancy is the share of fools. Every beautiful woman has a right to charm us... As for me, beauty delights me wherever I meet with it, and I am easily overcome by the gentle violence with which it hurries us along...The first beginnings of love have, besides, indescribable charms, and the true pleasure of love consists in its variety... Nothing can surpass the pleasure of triumphing over the resistance of a beautiful maiden... I have the ambition of conquerors, who go from victory to victory, and cannot bring themselves to put limits to their longings. There is nothing that can restrain my impetuous yearnings. I have a heart big enough to be in love with the whole world; and, like Alexander, I could wish for other spheres to which I could extend my conquests.
~ Dom Juan
Moliere's “Dom Juan” is the deepest, the most philosophical and the most pure of all Dom Juans. There are numerous interpretations after that (I especially like the one by Max Frisch), but they are far from the mythology, the dreams, the problem of Dom Juan. I'm interested in the play not because of the lover, the great seducer, the dream of every woman, the adventurer. This is only an intermission, a decoration, the icing of a much deeper content. Here we see a person who has no addictions and is thoroughly independent from family, religion or society. In XXI century such a person bears a different illness. Personally, I'm attracted by Dom Juan for his ability to possess the ultimate freedom. The same question was raised years ago: what would you do when you are free? When you realize your complete freedom and there is no one to share it with…
AWARDS, NOMINATIONS & TOURS:
Government Diploma of Saint Petersburg city III-rd degree awarded for [Alexander Morfov's] great contribution to the development of culture and theatre in St. Petersburg and his production "Dom Juan"
"The Golden Soffit" Annual Theatre Award 2004 - Alexander Morfov, Best Stage Director
"The Golden Soffit" Annual Theatre Award 2004 - Alexander Orlov, Best Set Design
"The Golden Soffit" Annual Theatre Award 2004 - Irina Cherednikova, Best Costume Design
"The Golden Soffit" Annual Theatre Award 2004 - Best Big-stage Production
"The Golden Soffit" Annual Theatre Award 2004 - Alexander Bargman, Vladimir Bogdanov, Best Acting Duet
Nomination for "The Golden Muse" Annual Theatre Awards 2005 - Alexander Morfov, Best Stage Director
Nomination for "The Golden Muse" Annual Theatre Awards 2005 - Best Big-stage Production
Nomination for "The Golden Muse" Annual Theatre Awards 2005 - Alexander Orlov, Best Set Design
Nomination for "The Golden Muse" Annual Theatre Awards 2005 - Alexander Bargman, Best Leading Male Role
International Theatre Festival "Stanislavsky Season" - Moscow, 2004: nomination for Best Big-stage Production
International Festival "Arts Square" - Moscow, 2005
International "Adana" Theatre Festival - Turkey, 2005
"St. Petersburg Theatre Season" - Prague, 2007
Tours in Latvia, (Riga, 2007), Israel (2010) and Italy (Milan, 2011)
International Performing Arts Festival "Ex Ponto" - Slovenia, Sept 2012
"The Bulgarian director successfully depicts how happiness and joyful seduction gradually turn Dom Juan into a slave to himself. This man could as well have been saved refusing those gifts, but he fails and it brings him ever more bloodshed and sacrifice. The director hardly states that the character deserves damnation as he rather implies that life debts are better paid in time, before interest is accrued."
KommersantY, February 2004
"This delicate classical play is rather staged by Morfov after the laws of Renaissance comedy, a bit rough, a bit conditional, with a slight twist towards its tragic aspect. The mixture between Shakespearean street humour and grounded horror seems more inherent in our times than the aristocraticism of XVII-th century Palais-Royal. The language of visual images prevails over that of words. Visions rise from the somber empty space of the wooden "nothingness": masquerade games, the Commandor 's grave monument with a number of sculpted bodies covered with white sheets, seashore with cheerful little fish."
Nezavisimaya gazeta, February 2004, Moscow
"The director Alexander Morfov is always different - at home, in Sofia he's one, while in Moscow another, and on the stage of Komissarzhevskoy - yet a third one. Among this Morfov triad I find the closest to me the Morfov of St. Petersburg's. What is "Dom Juan" about? It's about the mistaken belief only in one's own power and about the even more mistaken belief only in God and the universal justice and love."
Moskovskiy komsomolec v Pitere, February, 2004
"This splendid and beautiful production, performed as if in one breath by the company of Komissarzhevskoy theatre, is as funny as it is gloomy and even tragic. Save from "Uncle Vanya" in Dodina, I cannot remember another production on St. Petersburg stages in recent years that is as beautiful in its magnificence. Big-stage production is a form of art by itself that has been nearly lost by our stage directors. The Bulgarian director Alexander Morfov has completely mastered this art. Moreover, he has yet another rare gift - the gift of comedy."
Teatralny Peterburg, March 2004
"We are faced with a production full of vitality, beauty and power. In Alexander Morfov's work there is even a certain grandeur. He loves the giant set and the expressive forms of sculpture. A magnificent feast of life and theatre takes place on stage. The quite young company of Komissarzhevskoy is, as it becomes clear, also quite talented. The thirst for loving everybody, for satisfaction, for enjoyment of love, for escaping all conflics, fights and duels - it's Dom Juan's artistic game. As a man who is not burdened with a distorted sense for royal honor, this is his answer to the painful question of all times: how should we live?"
Teatralny Peterburg, April 2004
"The appearance of "Dom Juan" is not an accidental one - neither for the director, nor for the theatre. For Morfov every production is a conversation with life and a summery of those conclusions. "Dom Juan" is a philosophy of living. Women always find attractive those men who know more than they do. And Morfov is such a man."
Teatralnaya zhizn, 2004, Moscow
"Dom Juan" | L. Shitenburg, Delovoy Peterburg, 13.02.2014
Petersburg landed theatre troops in Israel | A. Gorelik, Komsomolskaya Pravda, 01.12.2010
Milan scents some Russian tobacco | Andrey Pronin, fontanka.ru, 19.10.2011
Milan apploads St. Petersburg | Ekaterina Pavlyuchenko, Sankt-Peterburgskie Vedomosti, 20.10.2011
St. Petersburg theatre becomes a modern one | Ekaterina Ometsynskaya, Sankt-Peterburgskie Vedomosti, 20.10.2011
Bravissimo, Petersburg! The best productions in the northern capital were presented in Milan | E. Ometsynskaya, Argumenty Nedeli, 03.11.2011
A Russian October in Milan | Olga Novikova, PRO-Scenium, 01-30.11.2011