21 Mar 2019 - 18:36
Costumes by Georgian designer Simon Machabeli are under the spotlight of Opera National de Lyon as the French theatre premieres a new redaction of the classic The Enchantress in the country this month.
Director Andriy Zholdak’s production launched at the venue last week, with a seven-show bill originally scheduled through the end of the month.
While the March 19 performance cancelled due to strikes in France, the remaining evenings are on course to go on stage and present the new version of the 1887-premiered opera by Pyotr Tchaikovsky.
Costume design by Machabeli is joined on the Lyon stage by sets by Andriy and Daniel Zholdak, with
Daniele Rustioni adding his efforts as musical director and Etienne Guiol working on video.
Taking the 15th century setting near Nizhny Novgorod as its basis, The Enchantress sees a tangle of intrigue involving a range of characters centred around inn owner Nastasya.
Premiered at the Mariinsky Theatre of Saint Petersburg, the opera was later performed at the Bolshoi Theatre of Moscow. Its contemporary redactions include a 2014 premiere at the Theater an der Wien in Vienna.
Zholdak has worked on productions based on classics from Shakespeare to Dostoevsky, with the Lyon show summary praising his staging work for “[drawing] the audience to him passionately”.
The venue’s organisers have also lauded him as an “exceptional director” who has assembled “genuine” characters “from Medea to Electra, from Phaedra to the Princess Turandot, or from Anna Karénine to Madame Bovary.”
Machabeli is known as a multi-profile designer working in performing arts, cinema and fashion and featured at shows and exhibitions from Glasgow to Leeds.
Graduating from the State Academy of Arts in Tbilisi, he later studied at the Edinburgh College of Arts and the Central St. Martins College of Art and Design.
The creative’s work in fashion has been on display at the Tbilisi Fashion Week and Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Tbilisi, while he was named among Three Georgian Fashion Designers That Create Pure Art by Georgia Starts Here.
The bill for The Enchantress will run in Lyon through March 31.