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Moscow theater to present Il Trovatore with audio description for visually impaired

June 27, 9:04 UTC+3 MOSCOW

On June 27, the Moscow-based Helikon Opera company presents its last premiere of the season, Verdi’s Il Trovatore

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© ITAR-TASS/ Vladimir Astapkovich

MOSCOW, June 27. /TASS/. On Tuesday, June 27, the Moscow-based Helikon Opera company presents its last premiere of the season, Verdi’s Il Trovatore.

At the show on July 4, the visually impaired guests of the theater will have an opportunity to listen through headphones to an audio description of what is on the stage that will help them to understand the plot, the performers’ movements and the change of scenery on the stage, Dmitry Bertman, the artistic director of the theater and the stage producer.

"Many senior citizens come to theaters and some of them are visually impaired," he said. "And if you take our theater, it’s extremely important to understand what’s taking place on the stage."

"That’s why we designed this grandiose project," Bertman said. "The commentator will tell details of the performance to each visually impaired person.

He added that the commentator had visited all the rehearsals and was therefore familiar with all the details of stage action.

Helikon Opera co-produced this pilot project in cooperation with Iskusstvo, Nauka i Sport (Arts, Science and Sports) charity foundation of businessman Alisher Usmanov in the format of the project for support of visually impaired people that has the codename ‘A Special Outlook’.

As of the next season, audio descriptions will accompany practically all the performances at Helikon Opera.

Giuseppe Verdi composed the four-act Il Trovatore in 1853 to the libretto by Salvatore Cammarano. The plot unfolds around a competition between Count di Luna and the adopted gypsy son Manrico, who are in love with the beautiful Leonora. A chain of deceptions, revelations and acts of revenge leads up to the death of Manrico, who turns out to be Count di Luna’s blood brother.

"We live in a very difficult time today," Berman said. "We switch on our TVs and see wars and unending bloodshed. Il Trovatore’s story is closely interlinked with the theme because it deals with a murder of one brother by another brother, although they don’t know about their brotherhood."

"The most atrocious thing in our times is that people kill one another not because they so horrible but because someone else manipulates with them and makes gains on these killings and, second, they do it out of a sense of revenge," Bertman said.

Spanish maestro Oliver Diaz, the principle conductor of De La Zarzuela Theater in Madrid is the music director of the production.

The premieres will be held on June 27-30 and July 4-5 in the theater’s Stravinsky Hall.

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