Thursday, May 6 2021


The Soldier's Tale makes debut in HN

Update: April, 12/2021 - 08:04


VNSO musicians are rehearsing at L'espace. — VNS Photo Nguyễn Bình

HÀ NỘI — The Soldier's Tale, a theatre production by director Marcelino Valiente will debut at the French Cultural Centre (L'espace) to celebrate the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relationships between Việt Nam and Switzerland. 

The Soldier's Tale occupies a singular place in Russian-born Igor Stravinsky's work. It is scored with just seven instruments clarinet, bassoon, clarinet, trombone, violin, contrabass and percussion.

The musical version also features a libretto by Swiss writer Charles-Ferdinand Ramuz. 

"This is really tough work for me because I have never been in Việt Nam and worked with Vietnamese artists," said Valiente through an online press conference held at L'espace. 

"This work premier was used delayed in 1918 because of the Spanish Flu pandemic. We planned to show it last year in Việt Nam but it was also delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic."

According to the director, the show will entertain audiences with different music genres of jazz, waltz and tango. 

The story is a dark Faustian fable between a deserting soldier and the Devil who eventually possesses his soul.

The soldier's violin becomes a symbol of both the soldier's soul and the Devil's wiles. The story is based on an old Russian folk tale. 

It will be performed by the seven interpretation of the Việt Nam National Opera and Ballet under the baton of conductor Tetsuji Honna.

The soldier and the devil will be narrated by French artist Quentin Delorme and Valiente. The voices will plunge the audience into another dimension where epic meets science fiction. 

Valiente's experimental staging deconstructs the story in time and space, while Vietnamese artist Nguyễn Mỹ Anh's illustrations that scroll across the screen bring a futuristic context to the story. 

"We hope that the work will be warmly welcomed by Vietnamese audience," said Swiss Deputy-Ambassador Nicole Wyrsch at the press conference. 

"The work by Stravinsky may be from the 19th century but it still is suitable in modern life questioning what will we choose, richness or happiness.

"It is great that artists from French, Japan and Việt Nam will join the work which will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the relationship between Việt Nam and Switzerland."

There are lavish productions of The Soldier's Tale played all over the world but Valiente's version will focus on images. 

The artists will perform in French and there will Vietnamese translation screen on the stage. 

The show will begin at 8pm on April 16 and 17. Tickets are available at L'espace, 24 Tràng Tiền Street, from VNĐ200,000 to 250,000 (US$8.6 to 10.8). — VNS 

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