“IYOV” – opera-requiem for prepared piano, cello, drums and voices
Music by Roman Grygoriv, Illia Razumeiko
Directed by Vlad Troitsky
The premiere of the opera “IYOV” was held on September 21, 2015 on the main stage of the biggest festival of contemporary art in Ukraine – VIII International multidisciplinary festival “GogolFest 2015”. In May 2016 it was performed at The V Festival of Traditional and Avant-garde Music CODES(Lublin, Poland). In June “IYOV” became a headliner of contemporary art festival Porto Franko Gogol Fest (Ivano-Frankivsk, Ukraine). In August, 2016 opera “IYOV” was presented in Copenhagen, Denmark, in November, 2016 it was played at The Gdansk Shakespeare Theatre. In 2017 opera was presented at Musikverein (Vienna, Austria) and at May Opera Evenings Festival (Skopje, Macedonia).
Job (Iyov in Hebrew) is the central character of the Book of Job in the Bible. This is a story of his life, pride and disbelief, the search for life’s meaning and death, hope and regret.
The center of musical scenography is the prepared piano, that turns into a real orchestra. The pianist and singers use a wide range of percussion instruments such as snare drum, marimba and timpani sticks, triangle, ride cymbal. They use coins, keys, fingers and nails for playing on the strings and the body of the grand piano. The instrument sounds like a harpsichord, drums and occasionally as a synthesizer or electronic sounds generator.
“IYOV, Heavenly punishment & post-revolutionary syndrome”
Piano sounds like percussion, synthesizer or harpsichord. When the vocal ensemble starts their throat singing, and the light colors in red figures around the instrument. There are the images of priests or shamans that tell fortunes around a huge cauldron of magic potion. The camera takes instrument inside – sometimes, the image appears on a large projection screen. All action is endowed with the mysteriological character that aims to attract viewers to a specific experience that they can take to their everyday life. At the end of the performance singers go down into the concert hall with the drum plates and extract the sound close to the audience. This creates the effect of belonging to the realized artistic experience. A story that is told in the opera IYOV sounds as a reminder of the need to respect ourselves and not to lose hope under any circumstances. And only then life will triumph over nothing.
Anastasiaya Gaishenets (theater critic), 3/03/2016
Music of “IYOV” combines minimalism and the avant-garde, neoclassicism and rock. Polyphonic choral episodes and instrumental interludes alternate with the parts that use a full range of the human voice: from classical, jazz and folk singing to breathing, screaming, whispering and overtone singing.
The dramaturgy of music performance is based on the сontrast compilation of recitatives (based on the Book of Job) and parts of Requiem – Catholic Mass, which refers to traditional Latin texts.
Opera-requiem “IYOV” is a synthesis of ancient Greek drama, baroque opera, oratorio, Requiem, and the techniques of postmodern theater. It is the mystery of the birth of a new sound inside the piano and the demonstration of endless possibilities of the human voice.
IYOV Opera: Ventriloquism Session
The main character is neither a voice nor the narration from the Book of Job. The main character is the prepared piano, and the task of the six singers, two pianists (Illia Razumeiko plays mostly on the keyboard, and a professional contrabass player Roman Grygoriv – on the strings and the body of the instrument) and even of cellist Zhanna Marchinskaya and drummer Andrey Nadolsky is to make piano ventriloquize. And the piano in this battle is probably the most wise mediator between the worlds of the Old and New Testaments.
Lubov Morozova (musical critic), 4/03/2016
Maryana Golovko (soprano)
Anna Marych (soprano)
Oleksandra Mailliet (mezzo-soprano)
Andrey Koshman (baritone)
Ruslan Kirsh (baritone)
Yevgeniy Rakhmanin (bass)
Zhanna Marchynska (cello)
Andrey Nadolskiy (percussion)
Illia Razumeiko (grand piano)
Roman Grygoriv (conductor)
Tatiana Troitska (voice)