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Jul 18, 2018

The theatre from Daugavpils, the Latvian twin city of Vitebsk, is well-loved by the theatergoers. In different years it presented the play “Woman's Happiness” staged by Mikhail Mamedov and the dance-drama action “Casanova. Henrietta. Venice” by the artistic director Oleg Shaposhnikov at “Slavianski Bazaar in Vitebsk”.

The performances were successful and unforgettable, so a full house at the musical play “The Mystery of Mister X” was quite predictable. The curiosity of the theatre-lovers was also warmed up by a new genre. The operetta appeared in the history of the festival project for the first time.

“The Mystery of Mister X” was shown on the stage of the Yakub Kolas National Academic Drama Theater. The play is based on the well-known story of “The Circus Princess” by Emmerich Kalman, but Oleg Shaposhnikov offered his unique version.

“The theatrical time machine will take us to the Riga of 1925. Only art can do that. In other cases, the time machine won’t start”, - said one of the characters who had a dialogue with the audience throughout the action, unfolding either in the Riga cabaret “The Green Crow”, or in the house of the banker Eduard Kochergin.....

The main character Mister X is perceived as a knight, totally free from pride, a noble, honest man, who becomes “a circus performer, a clown, a buffoon” in the hypocritical secular society that appears in the cabaret to watch his performances.

In the dramatic story, connected with betrayal, slander, power of the prevailing customs, Mister X and his beloved Eleanor turn out to be winners. Love triumphs, as it should be in the operetta. Love makes everyone kinder, love multiplies love!

Following the story, the theatre audience faces the realities of the Riga of 1920s. The name of the actor Mikhail Chekhov, who was at that time in Riga, appears in the play. According to the director’s idea Mister X personates his friends: Mikhail Chekhov, Sasha Cherniy from St.Petersburg, a children’s poet... This is both a play of meanings and references to the country’s historical realities. The actors sometimes juggle the names of the cities of their neighboring country - Braslav, Minsk.

The Daugavpils “Mystery...” has humor, irony. The magnificent scenery, rich scenography, beautiful costumes, choreographic shows, the music by Emmerich Kalman and fantastic vocals help to immerse into the plot.

The operetta “The Mystery of Mister X” features the star of the Latvian Opera Ilona Bagele, the opera singer Ilya Lapich (Moscow), a graduate of GITIS who performed at the opera in Monte Carlo and Mannheim in Germany, the vocalists Anzor Alimirzoev from Belarus, Halina Dubicka from Warsaw and other actors.