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Opera Water

An immersing experience capable of transporting you to an alternative reality were fear of pandemic dissolves by an aquatic study.

It's Saturday night, November 14th, 2020 at the OPERA WATER. I was invited to the event by one of the many characters you'll encounter through your journey. As I'm writing this article, I remember the feeling of overwhelming inspiration and lamenting more friends couldn't come see the spectacle. This was it's last day.


Дуна's sits in front of a table as a fortune teller in the corner of a blue room, revealed slowly through the mist she controls. There's a chance she'll ask you something about the water state (cold, with gas, etc), as she did to a few lucky ones who dared sit with her.

She serves you a short as described and then declares a beautiful statement before you drink it. At this moment I became a part of the show, organically. I felt my organs were compromised with this capsule. Engaged.

After the performance ended, I had the opportunity to ask this mystical creature about the show and here's what she said:

"It began with the laboratory at the CIM in Meirhold, 2 years ago for playwrights, composers and directors. Boris Lesnoy came up with the idea of ​​playing music on the water and making a performance out of splashes of water. Lisa Shostakova conducted research and compiled a text reflecting scientific data about water. Then there was the brusfest festival in the new Tretyakov Gallery, where Boris invited me to help him solve the space, back then, there were only 3 participants and the performance lasted only 15 minutes, it was more like a choir, but not yet a performance."

The memories of Sleep No More were pleasantly awakening. Back in New York around late 2011, I felt the same buzz in my body, while exploring the McKittrick Hotel on 27th street for the first of several times.

The fact that Opera Water happened during what seems to be the peak of the pandemic, gave this show an extra layer of surrealism. All guests are wearing masks which distinguishes us from the performers. The room is filled with people I think I know, somehow.

As we explored the two floors, activities are unfolding infront of our senses. From the feeling of floaty slipperiness you get while walking through the specially treated floors, to the ever evolving soundscapes, so carefully and masterfully crafted, the crowd is deeply hooked. Our new personas are playing a role we all know in some layer.

The event's social channels have teased a possible continuation. To save you from a spoiler, I'll end it here.



Information on the Performance

  • Opera: Opera Water

  • Composer / Director: Lesnoy Boris

  • Libretto: Dunya Frankshtein

  • Playwright: Liza Shestakova

  • Choreographer: Sasha Vetrova

  • Costume Designer: Vartan Martynya

  • Plumber, Conductor, Charon: Mikhail Levin

  • Naiada: Maria Shimchuk

  • Chorus: Eva Tardes, Alexandra Podolskaya, Anastasia Rossokhina, Evgeniya Grieber, Vera Ter-Gabrielyan, Polina Revis, Natalia Dubovik, Evgeniya Karavaitseva

  • Orchestra: Anna Sokolova (flute), Roman Komlev (contrabass)