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Opening Asia for Russia

20.09.2021 49 просмотров

In an exclusive interview with the Big Asia media resource, Sergey Li, the artist of the musicals Anna Karenina and Count Orlov, spoke about his characters and the new theater season, as well as about his personal life: about his first victories and first travels, about Korean roots and Korean culture in your life.


- How will the new theater season be for you? Where can we see you?

- This year will happen the revival of our project, which was temporarily suspended 5 years ago, is the musical "Count Orlov". This is such great news for us, for our viewers and fans. You can also see me in the rock opera "Karamazovy", the musical "Anna Karenina". Well, let's see, the season is just beginning.

- How did you react to the opportunity to return to the role of Domansky in the musical Count Orlov< /a>?

- We work in a repertory theater, so we don't have the opportunity to play all the performances together. One project replaces another, and when there is a parting, it is always, of course, very sad. I think that everyone would be happy to play Anna Karenina, Count Orlov, and Monte Cristo every month ... Therefore, I am very happy. We have already begun rehearsals and invite you to come to the performance. 

-What role do you think Domansky plays in the development of the plot of "Count Orlov"? How does it influence the course of events?

- I think that it does not affect the course of events in any way, because little depends on it. He has a lyrical, & nbsp; in general, the task. He really loves, loves Elizabeth very devotedly. The only one who does not betray her, and goes to jail because of this. This is a character who at the beginning appears as a hero-lover, but at the end of the performance we see that this is a truly, sincerely loving person.

- Is Domansky close to you in character? Do you resonate with his feelings?

- I think he is close. If I love, then I also sincerely love. I will never betray. In general, I've been lucky lately to play the role of heroes-lovers, probably, there is something in me. 

- You also play in the musical "Anna Karenina". Has your perception of the novel changed while working on the role?

-
The musical Anna Karenina and Tolstoy's novel Anna Karenina are, of course, two different works. It is very difficult to fit the whole novel into a two-hour action, so the author of the libretto refused some important episodes, and, on the contrary, made some points prominent. Because the musical is such a digest. Of course, we retained all the most important things that Tolstoy intended. 

It seems to me that my perception has not changed, but I saw Anna in a different way in the musical, because before that, when I read the novel, I had some kind of even negative attitude towards her. I am not the only one in the musical, I think that all viewers accept and love this heroine more, understand her suffering better. It's a little different in the novel. 

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- You have one of the main roles - Count Vronsky. How would you characterize him from a psychological point of view?

- I think he is such a good, kind fellow, an officer who has earned respect from his colleagues. He is probably less deep than Karenin - again in the novel, because it seems to me that Tolstoy in the novel shows Karenin as a deeper person, and Vronsky - so superficial, maybe even a womanizer, frivolous. But in the performance I deviate from the direction of Tolstoy's thoughts, what he put into it. Vronsky, of course, loves Anna very much, and cannot cope with the avalanche of her love. He probably just lacks experience, that's hard. In the novel, we see how he breaks down, and from a young, bursting with strength and health of a young man, he turns almost into an old man. In the musical, we do not have time to show all this change in such a short time. Therefore [in the performance] he loves Anna to the end, but, unfortunately, he could not understand her and help her. All men have difficulty understanding female psychology. 

- Anna Karenina is the first and only Russian musical staged in South Korea under license. Have you seen this production and what are your impressions?

- Unfortunately, I have not seen the production in its entirety, only some recordings, pieces. But I met here, in Moscow, with the performer of the role of Anna Karenina in Korea - Ok Joo Hyun. She was even here, on the stage of the Operetta Theatre, and we performed a duet of a song in Korean with her.

- Did you also sing in Korean?

- Yes, I learned [the text] in Korean.

- Why do you think Anna Karenina became interesting to the Korean audience?< /b>

- Well, because I play there, probably (laughs - ed. note). In general, this is a very big victory for the Operetta Theater and for our producers. This is the first and only Russian project so far, which was bought abroad. It is interesting, of course, because it is a classic work, a world classic. I think that Koreans also know [creativity] of Tolstoy. The musical genre is very popular and successful. They are great: as far as I know, they have been moving in this direction for a long time. Many other foreign musicals have been staged in Seoul, and probably they (South Korean producers - ed.) watched a lot, searched. I know that the Korean side watched our musical several dozen times even before the start of negotiations. There is no doubt that we have a successful, beautiful, strong project with wonderful artists, chic music, scenography, so this is a well-deserved success.

- Sergey, have you ever thought to play in foreign productions ? Were there any proposals or maybe there are now?

- When I found out that the play "Anna Karenina" would be staged in Korea, I was very sorry that I did not know the Korean language. At one time, I studied at the Moscow International University (International Korean University for the Humanities in Moscow - ed.), which was created by a South Korean businessman, only Russian Koreans studied there, and I studied at the philological faculty and learned the Korean language. If I still learned it, then I think I would have every chance to take part in the casting and play Vronsky in South Korea in Korean. So I missed this chance. Well, as for where else I would like to play - well, where we are not, and where I was born, it came in handy.  For us, for Russia, the musical genre is still young, but, for example, Broadway has come such a long way, and the number of good professional musical artists is incomparable to what we have. So far, we have many artists moving from project to project, from company to company. But we are growing, we already have a Musical Theater, we have our wonderful Operetta Theater - it is like a pioneer, because our first musical "METRO" was born and staged within these walls. That's why I like our Operetta Theatre, where I've [worked] in this genre for more than 20 years. 

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- You were born and raised in Russia, but you Korean roots. What role does Korean culture play in your life?

- It's hard to say. In general, it is a great happiness to be born in a multinational family and absorb a little bit from all cultures and from all nationalities. And in general, this is a very big tragedy. We will not spread, but sometimes it is hard to understand who you are, where your roots are. On the one hand, I have always considered myself a man of the world. For me, there are no prejudices, races. I am for "peace, friendship, chewing gum." But I suffered from this since childhood: all sorts of insults, bullying at school, and so on. I was one of the few who had such a pronounced Asian appearance. But I was brought up in a family where we spoke Russian. We were raised by a Russian grandmother, my mother's mother. There were moments when I was worried because we had confrontations in the family, like "Montagues-Capulets": starting with the fact that [in the family] they were generally against the marriage of my father and mother. Therefore, all this is very difficult, difficult. Of course, the Korean language is lost in Russia, and the one spoken by Russian Koreans is not similar to the one spoken in South Korea. The kitchen remained for us: our favorite Korean carrot, some other dishes ... I know that a lot of work is being done on the part of South Korea. 

- And you went on an exchange to South Korea?

- Yes, I was in South Korea twice in my student years - we went on an exchange, for some small training in the Korean language, just to see the capital . And I was in North Korea, in the city of Pyongyang, when I was 13 years old. I won the competition and joined the delegation, we were 20 children from the Soviet Union. It was an experiment. We went to the 13th World Festival of Youth and Students in Pyongyang. 

- Was this your first trip abroad?

- Yes, it was my first trip.

- Did you have a strong impression? 

- Firstly, when I arrived, I got lost there. We were brought for accreditation, taken to some large building like a sports facility, and there was an exhibition. I got my accreditation and went wandering around, and I saw a girl with a badge with the name Lee. She was a translator. Only she was from North Korea and spoke Russian. And we talked to her. While we were talking, I looked around, but my delegation was not there. I am a 13 year old child. They explained to me how to get to the hotel, and I got very large cradles. It was very serious, but the impressions [of the trip] remained for a long time. Because, of course, it was all done on a grand scale, like the Olympics. It was a separate built avenue, separate cultural institutions, sports centers, hotels, everything was at a high world level, despite the fact that North Korea is a country with a difficult state of affairs. 

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< i>- What do you remember from your trips to South Korea?

- It was very hot, I remember. Surprised that they have air conditioning everywhere. Wherever you go - on the bus, trolleybus. Everywhere air conditioners, down to telephone booths. I was also struck by a very beautiful autumn. These maples are red, yellow and a huge number of wedding couples who are photographed in the park. And we learned that they do not have a wedding, this is a separate photo session. They are waiting for this autumn entourage, dress in wedding dresses and make this photo shoot. This was also my surprise that there are a lot of such couples. 

Of course, I also really liked the real Korean cuisine. Very impressive - real kimchi. I also remember a trip to the sea and seafood. It was some kind of restaurant with a huge fish counter, which, in general, was also a curiosity. The freshest fish, shellfish, some sea reptiles.
Always waited for this inner call of the blood of the motherland. This didn't happen. After all, I am a Russian person at heart.

- Since we are talking about travel, do the pandemic and closed borders affect you?
< br> - I suffer a lot, a lot. But now it has become easier, some countries are already opening up, it has become easier with quarantines, tests and other things ... Yes, I really like to travel, I traveled a lot before the pandemic. And now, of course, this is very lacking. But I hope that with the Sputnik vaccine it will be possible to fly to Thailand without quarantine - not to all regions, but to Phuket and Koh Samui. Therefore, I plan to go there in the winter.

- Did you manage to go somewhere in the summer?

- In the summer I managed to travel around our vast homeland. And I spent a lot of time at the dacha, because there are repairs, a lot of things to do. By the way, sometimes you can still find something positive in some difficult situations. If there was never time, now the time has appeared - repaint the house, rebuild the fence, and so on.


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