Peralada Festival: La Fura dels Baus reviews Stravinski

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La Fura dels Baus will premiere this Friday at the Castell de Peralada festival Contemporary revision of the work 'Histoire du Soldat' (1918) by Stravinski with a strenuous and critical message about war conflicts. Under the direction of Àlex Ollé and the live music of the "Orquesta Sinfónica Camera Musicae, Ramuz's original text has been adapted to the story of a soldier whom a devil convinced him to sell his violin (his soul) in exchange for the wisdom collected in a book. The Fora version focuses the staging with a soldier in a coma (played by Sébastian Dutriex, who also plays as a demon and narrator) where ghosts and hallucinations come alive with the help of video projections. It is the first time that the assembly is seen in the State after being released last year in Lyon (France).

The title of the adaptation of La Fura dels Faus is already a statement of intent to mark the universality of the narration. Igor Stravinsky's 'Histoire du Soldat' (History of the Soldier) has been renamed 'History of a soldier'. This Friday will be played at the Auditorium of the Castle of Peralada, where it will be a state premiere. It is a very impressive and critical adaptation of war conflicts. It is directed by Àlex Ollé, based on Ramuz's original text.

Part of the story of a soldier a hundred years ago (taking references from the classic "Jonny got his gun" of 1939, starring a mutilated WWII combatant) and projects it to contemporaryity with the letter of suicide of Daniel Somers, an American veteran soldier who fought the war in Iraq and who, in 2013, took his life at age 30 not overcoming that painful and traumatic experience.

"Often a more naive vision of this Russian tale has been made, but we wanted to talk about the cruelty of a war," explains director Alex Ollé. He admits that for the staging the letter of suicide was revealing and a "key element" because it expresses very well the trauma of combatants who are unable to resume their lives.

Composed in 1917

The work Stravinski, composed in 1917 from the text of Ferdinand Ramuz, has three main characters (the soldier, the devil and a narrator) and the music of seven instruments. It is based on the story of a popular tale starring a soldier who, returning home, encounters a devil who convinces him to change his violin (which represents his soul) for a book that will give him wisdom . It's three days to teach the devil to play the instrument. He immediately realizes, however, that three years have passed and when he returns home, nobody remembers it. The original music has influences of tango, ragtime, pasodoble or jazz and, according to Ollé, already at that time was a mixture "very innovative" and they make it a "very interesting piece".

In the setting of the Fura, the story focuses on a soldier in a coma (played by Sébastian Dutriex, who also plays as a demon and narrator) in a hospital room where two parallel realities cross each other. On the one hand, the thoughts and memories of the soldier (with the help of videos projected with shocking images such as torture), and on the other, the actual narration with the health personnel who serve him or the relatives that visit him . These two worlds are crossing during the assembly to the point that a kind of "schizophrenia" is reached.

The other actors that act there, making secondary characters are Jean-Philippe Bigorre, Rém iBlasquez, Jean-Luc Burfin, Pierre Desmaret, Caroline Michel and Monique Milliot. There is also no need for the violin, a metaphor for his soul, and the book of wisdom. And above all on stage, well visible, the Symphonic Orchestra Chamber Music interpreting the songs live.

The assembly is in French, is subtitled in Catalan and lasts one and a half hours. It opened last year at the National Opera of Lyon (France), coinciding with the centenary of the premiere of Stravinsky's piece.

Yesterday Thursday the general essay was made in the Auditorium of the Parc del Castell de Peralada.

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