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)