"A brilliant show rich in subtexts awakened the emotions and imagination of the audience for a full two hours..."
"...orchestra was conducted by maestro Igor Andreev. Violins, viola and cellos, flutes and clarinet, double bass, piano and percussion played like good friends."
"The production demonstrates Mira Alkhovik's talent as an opera director..."
"The impulsiveness and expression of the well-written music for the voice combined with the skills of the talented artists, giving the audience a harmonious and relevant act as a great cause for empathy and reflection..."
HKB Chamber orchestra led by conductor Igor Andreev performed a world premiere of Andrei Maksimov’s opera Barabbas. This fully staged production brought together singers, dancers, actors and instrumentalists for two nights (14/04, 15/04) in Biel Volkshaus.
Barabbas follows the well-known story of a people’s resistance against Pilate’s invasion of Jerusalem. Yet when Barabbas is due to be sentenced to death, his life is saved by another.
This new opera wrestles with revolution, sacrifice, love and conflict and reminds us how stories from centuries ago can have as much meaning now as they did then.
Preparations for the play have been underway since December 2022, when the first musical rehearsals began. At the same time, the concept of the production was born, based on the division of the stage by a black cloth as a symbol of reversible exclusion. Here's what director Mira Alkhovik says about her staging solution:
"I thought for a long time about how to render this inner conflict of national enmity in a way that would be understandable to a modern audience. That is how the concept for our production was born.
Barabbas is a story that has no reference to nationalities. It is a story about people who are trying to find a place in this world and express themselves in every possible way. But what these people really have in common is a sense of loneliness. They talk about freedom and happiness, but they don't know where to find it.
Yet at the end of the play comes someone who can explain that what matters most is themselves, without masks, prejudices and attitudes. Human life is the greatest value. You just have to see this value in every person you meet on your way."
Voice type: Baritone Nationality: Russian Web:andreimaksimov.com Vocal Coach: Malin Hartelius Current studies: Master in Specialized Music Performance – Oper, Hochschule der Künste Bern HKB
Voice type: Soprano Nationality: Brazilian / Portuguese Web: annabeatrizgomes.com Vocal coach: Malin Hartelius Current studies: Master Specialized Music Performance Opera, Swiss Opera Studio, Bern Academy of the Arts