Barrie Kosky’s mystical and visually stunning production of “The Golden Cockerel” transports the audience into the enigmatic world of fairy tales – and tells us more about our time than we might think. Following stints in Aix-en-Provence, Lyon and Adelaide, the acclaimed production can be seen at the Komische Oper Berlin from January 2024.
Fig. above: © Jan Windszus Photography
King Dodon is worried: his kingdom is threatened by enemies all around him, his sons have no sensible advice to offer and Dodon would rather just eat and sleep than look after his country. An astrologer enters the scene with the solution: a golden rooster that crows and flaps its wings when danger threatens. Dodon is delighted, especially as the astrologer doesn’t want to reveal the price of the precious tool until later. When war really does break out, the rooster crows and his sons are presumed lost in battle, Dodon has to set off in person – even if the armour no longer fits after a life of revelry. But instead of the expected battlefield, he encounters the unimaginably beautiful Queen of Shemakha. When Dodon falls in love with her, disaster takes its course …
Rimsky-Korsakov’s last work of music theatre unleashes the magic of Alexander Pushkin’s dark fairy tale with an almost legendary wealth of tonal colours. Barrie Kosky translates this into images that are as poetic as they are mysterious, revealing the innermost core of Rimsky-Korsakov’s fairy tale. Comical, unsparing and sensuously dark and shimmering. “A great moment in the history of opera.”
By the way
Director Barrie Kosky’s musical partner is the new General Music Director James Gaffigan, who is the musical director for The Golden Cockerel!
Komische Oper Berlin
Premiere: Sunday, 28 February 2024, 6 pm.
Further screenings in February and March 2024.