Kim Breitburg: “there must be light in the play”

Theater season ended in the Orenburg theater of musical comedy. But there is a work on the musical of Kim Breitburg “Jane Eyre” based on the novel by Charlotte Bronte on stage and in the shops. To do this, a production group came to Orenburg in full force. headed by producer and composer Kim Breitburg.

— Kim Alexandrovich, you became a curator of the Orenburg musical Comedy five years ago. Can you say today that this is your theatre?

— I can partly. I’m close enough to know the troupe and service of the theater. This is the theater I had to work with the most. Today Orenburg is one of the cities where a lot of my performances take place. I try not to force my presence as an author on the Orenburg poster. There are my names-musicals “Blue cameo”, “Dubrovsky”, vaudeville “It does not happen”, children’s musical fairy tale “Snow Queen” still once in a year and a half or two. Now we are preparing the musical “Jane Eyre”.

— Recently, the X international theatre festival “Gostiny Dvor” was completed in Orenburg. What do you think about the situation in the Russian musical theater after watching all the performances of the festival program?

— Accidentally or not, the performances that have been shown reflect the trends of the current Russian musical theater. Firstly, is a popular film is transferred to the stage, as in the case of the play “Three Musketeers”, which opened the festival, where there are many recognizable melodies and popular song numbers. Secondly, it`s a ballet, which showed Crimeans. Philosophical parable, who was born inside the theatre. That is to say, self-creative product. In many theaters directors write scripts, musical leaders compose musicals. This is a certain kind of trend. The third option was demonstrated by the Belarusian theater. “Tristan and Isolde” – a very old and very famous story, not just used in musical theater in various interpretations. Here is a re-modeled situation where the story is old, but the music and staging concept is new. The fourth option is a “Scarlet sails” from Sverdlovsk theater of musical Comedy. This is also a fairly common trend today is to take a literary bestseller, to exacerbate the existing conflict in it, to fill the plot with other meanings than the author, to use the work as an excuse for an original Director’s statement. In many cases, the role of the artistic leader of the theatre, say, the chief Director, is decisive in the repertoire policy. And from what eyes he looks at the world around him, it depends on what trends, what moods prevail in the interpretation of works staged in the theater: pessimistic or optimistic.

— Let me ask you, what is your worldview?

— I cannot say that I see the world only in pink. I’m an optimist to the musical, the musical theater. Unconditional. I am for the fact there must be light in the play necessarily and there be humor. I believe that positive elements are necessary for musical theatre. Maybe it will sound pathetic, but as a producer I am simply obliged to protect the interests of ordinary people, the majority of whom, especially since the musical genre is highly democratic. I do not want my works created in this genre to be of interest only to a handful of theatrical snobs. I want our theatre to be attended not by certain categories of citizens – the richest or the most intellectual, but by all people. To make the emotional response of the audience to the music, to the action was bright and direct. Not that I was advocating for empty entertainment, I just think that entertainment, accessible musical language, intelligibility of the plot in the musical theater are necessary. I do not like when the audience is imposed any idea, even if it is very correct, when the audience is trying to educate in a violent way. For me, it is better when people judge the performance on the basis of their own thoughts and emotions.

— How do you assess the current state of the Orenburg theatre?

— As for the creative component, there are no problems in the theater. The troupe is in good working shape, trained, worked in recent years with different Directors – from Moscow, Novosibirsk, Nizhny Novgorod, Minsk. I try to bring the most interesting and qualified Directors to the production process. Same with the authors. I managed to involve Alexander Zhurbin, Maxim Dunaevsky, Alexey Rybnikov in cooperation. Artists are happy. I’m also very satisfied. We communicate with these authors, follow their creativity. And we will be glad if we have their new works in the repertoire.

— How is the work on the musical “Jane Eyre”?

— The production “Jane Eyre” is a fundamentally new stage in the history of the Orenburg musical Comedy: it will be performed in the traditions of Broadway. There is a lot of work at the workshops: theatre, heavily equipped – more than 150 costumes and a lot of change of scenery. But the main thing is new horizons opens up for the artists in the work on this production. They learn new elements of acting. I will not hide, through overcoming. Some effort requires from artists to master this material. Which I think is good. Because if you don’t go forward, you’re known to go back. Of course, this performance will contribute to the growth of acting. High bar established theaters in Moscow and Minsk, where the musical “Jane Eyre” is a great success. We give all our energy to the work and hope that it will be a new bestseller, which, as a “Blue cameo” will be one of the most visited performances in the city.

— Perhaps the most visited: Jane Eyre-favorite heroine of many generations of readers…

— “Jane Eyre” – one of the first novels, where the main character becomes a woman, a strong-willed man, purposeful, intelligent. A woman who can fight for her love, for her life and destiny on her own.

— So that the audience did not have questions why the action on the stage will not take place “word for word”, as in the book, let’s clarify: the musical is based on the novel…

— Novel by Charlotte Bronte cannot be mechanically transferred to the stage. It’s too long, there’s a lot of storylines. Therefore, Karen Kavaleryan, one of my constant co-authors, wrote the libretto of the musical in verse, squeezing a relatively small number of words into a large amount of meaning. Some lines have been changed. There is humor in the musical in addition to lyrical and dramatic moments. There were grotesque characters. I won’t reveal any more secrets. I can only say that such a musical will be staged in Orenburg for the first time. It is very similar to Broadway in structure, in spirit, in musical characteristics. Those who were not on Broadway, watching “Jane Eyre” would be partly to have an idea of how there are the musicals.

— Have you been on Broadway?

— Lera and I (Valeria Breitburg, musical Director of the production, associate Professor RAM) regularly go to Broadway to see new items. This experience and experience of communication allowed us to grow with Broadway actors and people who are engaged in this business, reading professional literature – Russian and foreign. I hope, I have also grown as an author over these last nine years, doing musical theatre. And I began to understand more deeply what a musical is. “Jane Eyre” for me is a new step in the development of this genre. I very much hope that the Orenburg people will appreciate it.

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