The first musical at the Mariinsky Theatre

Robert Carsen (biography)



“There is something popularizing about the mixture of all forms, plus the elements of spoken theatre, drama, plus the taboo of the microphone…

In Vienna, Covent Garden, I did “Kandid” last year for the Shatle, at La Scala… it is something which is now happening occasionally at the opera houses. We are very happy and honored to be invited to be the first one to bring this very English piece here, …. in the Mariinsky.

For the choir and the ballet dancer it’s been really fun to do this mixture of genres, they have fun of working together, which I don’t think they frequently do. Plus they had to play in so-called straight drama theatre.

I would like to come back one day with an opera production. In my own work I’m always trying to think how to bring a piece from the original age to our age. With “My fair lady” we are not that far away from it. And I think if you modernize it the piece will be destroyed. It is because the Bernard Shaw’s characters are unbelievably English. All of them have got such specifically English qualities. Shaw was very aware about the sexual politics, defending women rights and also social justice. He always does it in comedies with the smile and in a great warmth in a way he looks at the society. So it’s a kind of hidden political piece and it’s also quite ironic. He thought that the best way to give the pill was by sugaring it”.

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