St Petersburg, The Prokofiev Hall

Loskutik and the Cloud

musical tale for children

Performers

Performed by soloists of the Mariinsky Academy of Young Opera Singers

Credits

Music by Boris Tchaikovsky
Lyrics from songs by David Samoilov

Music Director: Larisa Gergieva
Stage Director: Dmitry Otyakovsky
Stage Designer: Olga Kovalenko
Video Designer: Tatiana Merenkova
Lighting Designer: Anton Nikolaev

SYNOPSIS

The lad Borya sits down to his lessons till late, but fails to finish them. The luckless young scholar is sent to bed, but the task of the theme “What is water” is in turns written by his mum, dad and grandmother, each adding new details to the story.

In one kingdom, the water was of great value and every last drop belonged to the King. The greedy monarch’s favourite meal was porridge. But the royal chef could make nothing of it. Each time the King asked for it to be served the chef would ask the old and wise Barbatsutsa, who brilliantly accomplishes the task, and in reward is given a jug of water.

In the same kingdom there lived a maiden called Loskutik (the Rag Girl). She was called that because the orphan lived with relatives who took no care of her, and she wore an old dress made from rags patched together. One time Loskutik receives an unusual visitor – a real Cloud. The Cloud cannot believe that the girl has never seen rain, and decides to show her what it is. The Cloud becomes so engaged that its energy runs out and it is left powerless. By outwitting the guards, Loskutik and her new friend enter the palace gardens – the only place water can be found. The Cloud bathes in the fountain and instantly cheers up.

The friends have resolved to discover from where the mischievous King gets his water and restore it to all the people. It is all very simple: the spring was hidden within the palace. When Barbatsuta returns to prepare porridge for the King, Loskutik to be taken inside with the Cloud. Having cast her eye over the kitchen, the girl discovers that the long-secret spring lies in the ruler’s goblet. Thus exposed, the King wishes to dispatch Loskutik and the Cloud, but Grandmother Storm-Cloud comes to their rescue. Lightning strikes the palace, revealing the spring – the kingdom is refreshed with long-awaited rain and a new, happy and prosperous life begins.

ABOUT THE PRODUCTION

The tale of Loskutik and the Cloud was written by the children’s author Sofia Prokofieva in 1972. The author of numerous magical stories for infants and schoolchildren (The Adventures of the Yellow Suitcase, The Sorcerer’s Apprentice and When the Clock Strikes), she chose the battle between good and evil to be the principal theme of most of her works. Her story of the poor girl named Loskutik and her friend the Cloud, who together have resolved to expose the secret of the King who took all of the water for himself and to return it to the people, is no exception.

In 1977, based on motifs of the tale, there came the eponymous animation film, the music for which was composed by Boris Tchaikovsky. A melodist-composer and the writer of symphonic and chamber works, he is known to wider audiences first and foremost for his music for the cinema films Aybolit-66, Balzaminov’s Marriage and A French Lesson, and for the radio productions for children The Brave Tin Soldier, Puss in Boots and The Emperor’s New Clothes.

The production of this touching musical tale about Loskutik and the Cloud at the Prokofiev Hall has been brought about by Dmitry Otyakovsky, winner of the young opera directors’ competition held at the Mariinsky Theatre in 2016, who has previous experience of working at this venue. His debut as a director at the Mariinsky Theatre came with his production of the opera The Adventures of Kintaro, much loved by young audiences.

Dmitry Otyakovsky says of his work on the opera that “The basis for the creation of our production came from the music of Boris Tchaikovsky for the animated film Loskutik and the Cloud. We did not wish to use the plot of the animated film, and so together with Stage Designer Olga Kovalenko we came up with our own universe, existing on the border between reality and the dreams of a young boy who has been tasked late in the evening with completing his homework. Borya (as we have called this protagonist) is helped in his lessons by his parents and grandmother, and every one of them tries to focus this story on him or herself: the Mum believes that the main character is the somewhat stupid King, Barbatsutsa is sympathetic to the Dad, while the Grandmother writes a tale about a young girl named Loskutik. Will the heroes of the tale find the hidden source of water and will the parents succeed in completing their opus before the clock strikes? This we will learn at the performance.” (Olga Vokina)


Premiere at the Mariinsky Theatre: 9 February 2020


Running time 40 minutes
The performance without interval

Age category 3+

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