Ballet by Eduard Tubin in two acts. World première on Mar 31st, 1943 in Vanemuine Theatre. Première at the Estonian National Opera on Sep 18th, 2015. Released on DVD on Oct 22nd, 2017.
“The story of Kratt is one of refusals, rewriting, lost scores and resurrection; my father polished the music for 20 years. The staging has developed from rural storytelling to a timeless visual knockout, inspired not least by the cinema classics my parents loved.” (Eino Tubin)
|Kratt / The Goblin Act I
|Kratt / The Goblin Act II
|Behind the Scenes
Watch the trailer (10 min 41 sec)
Librettist: Erika Tubin
Choreographer and stage director: Marina Kesler
Conductor: Vello Pähn
Costume designer: Gerly Tinn
Set designer: Madis Nurms
Lighting designer: Karmen Tellisaar
Video designer: Argo Valdmaa
Graphics: Joanita Janson
Repetiteurs: Elita Erkina, Viktor Fedortšenko, Marina Kesler, Daniel Otevrel
Chorus master: Elmo Tiisvald
Stage manager: Anton Osul
The Master: Denis Klimuk
The Devil: Anatoli Arhangelski
The Goblin: Eneko Amorós
Farmhand: Jevgeni Grib
Daughter: Marika Muiste
Farmhand’s friends: Adam Ashcroft, Svetlana Danilova, Carlos Garcia, Heidi Kopti
The Devil’s entourage: Elisabetta Formento, Alexandre Konarev, Nanae Maruyama, Zachary Rogers, Oksana Saar, Ali Urata
Night’s herdsmen: Nadežda Antipenko, Helen Bogatch, Aljona Burdanova, Svetlana Danilova, Ana Gergely, Heidi Kopti, Seili Loorits-Kämbre, Ashleigh McKimmie, Urve-Ly Voogand, Marita Weinrank, Greete Kivisild, Eveli Heinapuu, Kati Jaanimäe, Airike Kolk, Ludmilla Kõrts, Maria Leppoja, Danna Malõško, Airi Sepp, Valentīna Tāluma, Kairi Tammaru, Kristiina Under
Satanists: Adam Ashcroft, Iago Bresciani, David Ekman, Andrea Fabbri, Carlos Garcia, John Rhys Halliwell, Lauren Janeway, Daniel Kirspuu, Abigail Mattox, Vadim Mjagkov, Hanno Opperman, Svetlana Pavlova, Yana Savitskaja, Ksenia Seletskaja, William Simmons, Caspar Stadler, Lucinda Strachan, Benjamin Thomas, Paula Veiler
Estonian National Opera Orchestra
I violin: Andrus Haav, Kristina Kriit, Maria Goršenina, Maarja Allik, Liliana Tamm-Maaten, Jaan Normak, Henno Soode, Leena Uibokand, Katrin Uuli, Marika Vihermäe, Marita-Merle Klimova, Alar Villems
II violin: Eva-Liisa Heinmaa, Kersti Tomingas, Anu Laas, Karolina Normak, Kaia Sepalaan, Eivin Toodo, Johanna Marie Kork
Viola: Arne Pilliroog, Madis Järvi, Anneliis Lindre, Kerstin Tomson, Laur Eensalu, Maria Nesterenko, Mann Helstein
Cello: Mart Laas, Kristjan Saar, Marius Järvi, Jarkko Ensio Launonen, Andrus Vihermäe, Siluan Hirvoja
Double bass: Tiit Pärtna, Andreas Arder, Toivo Unt, Kadri Kukk
Harp: Eda Peäske
Flute: Jonathan Henderson, Ann Õun
Oboe: Guido Gualandi, Kristi Volmer
Clarinet: Yoshua Fortunato, Jüri Millistfer
Bassoon: Rene Sepalaan
French horn: Rait Erikson, Vigo Uusmäe
Trumpet: Priit Aimla, Chris Sommer
Trombone: Aabi Ausmaa, Guido Kongas
Percussion: Adam Jeffrey, Anto Õnnis, Csaba Zoltan Marjan
Piano: Ashot Drnayan-Babrouski
Live sound and video: Kalev Timuska
Lighting board operator: Ritšard Bukin
Technical manager: Mario Madiste
Flybar operator: Marko Rasch, Markus Karmo, Priit Pilt, Paul Kuhi, Henri Roolaid, Andres Hakmann
Lighting: Malle Valli, Karin Hiio, Ivo Org, Ats Tani
Make-up: Evelin Poom, Signe Järve, Maaja Tuuling, Raina Tamm, Kerli Laaberg
Dressers: Riina Saaliste, Mairi Tormet
Props: Piia Lindmaa, Natalia Siiv
Video director: Ruti Murusalu
Assistant video director: Dmitri Hljupin
Sound engineer: Kaspar Karner
Assistant sound engineer: Anton Ventsel
Chief cameraman: Raul Priks
Assistant to the chief cameraman: Mati Erik
Cameramen: Ergo Treier, Felix Grossmann, Meelis Kadastik, Indrek Mänd, Kaido Tiits, Priit Vehm, Märt Viisileht, Margus Voolpriit, Teet Konksi
Outside broadcasting: Tõnis Krünberg, Vahur Eller, Toomas Õigus, Hannes Allikmaa, Tarmo Tilsen, Margus Tamm
Video editing: Rauno Kanne
Recording producer: Ruth Alaküla
Recorded live at the Estonian National Opera on Mar 8th and 10th, 2017 by ERR
Music score published by Nordiska Musikförlaget / Gehrmans Musikförlag
Special thanks: Aivar Mäe, Ülla Veerg, Liina Viru, Katri Josling, Kaisa Luik
Total time 1 h 46 min
Format of screen 16 : 9, PAL, Region All
Subtitles and booklet in Estonian and English
© 2017 Estonian National Opera, ERP (Tallinn)
Marina Kesler, choreographer, stage director
Who is Goblin in your version?
Goblin is an allegorical metaphor composed of several ideas: an idea in the Farmer’s head; a sin on someone’s conscience; a source of money earned by unfair means; but also a clear-cut creature that can be seen dancing on stage. Specific definition is unnecessary. Let him be a wider concept than words that refer to him in Estonian (Kratt), English (Goblin) or Russian (Домовой). In our version, he might be more understandable to the contemporary person – a symbol of the Farmer’s greed. Contemporary Goblins could also be people that offer contracts that they cannot guarantee, print counterfeit money, or hackers who make unfair deals to bring money to their company.
What was it about Tubin’s ballet that captivated you?
The first thing that captivated me was Tubin’s music, maybe even more so than the subject matter itself. The plot of The Goblin is more complicated than that of the classical ballets based on fairy tales and love stories. Ninety per cent of ballets are about unhappy love or love between people belonging in different levels of the society. When Tubin submitted the first and shorter libretto version to the ballet libretto contest held by the Estonia Theatre in 1940, it lacked the love story between the Peasant and the Farmer’s Daughter. He added it later. The fact that the love story is of secondary importance in this ballet can be felt. For me, however, the topic of love is very important in The Goblin, as the entire idea and all the values are expressed in the conflict between two worlds: the greedy world of money and the spiritual world of love.
Gerly Tinn, costume designer
Who is Goblin?
I have not really figured out if he is good or bad. Maybe Goblin is like the conscience that reminds us to be moderate every once in a while. Maybe he is a divine sense of justice or karma that shows us that every action has a reaction. That is a bit awe-inspiring, is it not?
I went to the Estonian National Museum to read more on the topic. Having a Goblin was not only fun and games. At some point, Goblin always turned against his master and then there was no escape for anybody. To get a Goblin, you had to contact supernatural powers and the master always hoped that, at the decisive moment, he could outwit the Devil. Sometimes, he succeeded, but oftentimes there were so many catches related to the deal that the person could not handle it anymore. Nowadays, you can interpret the Devil as you please, even as a credit card.
When I was reading these stories at the museum, it seemed to me that the human nature would never change: all these mishaps and events keep occurring. Even the stupid and greedy master still exists. Only the figure of Goblin changes in time; it is no longer a creature made out of a broom.
What was it about this topic that inspired you to create costumes?
As a costume designer, I have always found inspiration from national costumes. As I was born in Viljandi and my grandfather was born in Tarvastu near Tinnikuru, the national costume of Mulgimaa is very close to my heart. Even if you cannot see all the folds and cuttings from the audience, I did use cuttings that are characteristic to folk costumes, in order to make the costumes look more authentic. However, I had to make some sacrifices bearing in mind the specific features of dancing and practicality.
I was very happy to be working with this production, as The Goblin is a very significant work in the history of the Estonian ballet and theatre; at the same time, I felt great respect, as the previous designers who have been working with this ballet, have been great names − Mari-Liis Küla and Aime Unt. Now, I have to tread in their footsteps. As the performance is minimalistic and contemporary, the costumes need to be in harmony with the choreographer’s vision and the stage design.
We also know that on March 9th, 1944, at the sixth performance of The Goblin, the theatre was hit by a bomb and the building burnt down. There is an actual link with this for me, as when I was studying at the university, Pille Epner, a friend of mine, told me that her great uncle Boris Blinov danced the part of Goblin that night and was running down the burning streets wearing the costume of Goblin. There is a certain amount of superstition related to the story.
Madis Nurms, set designer
Who is Goblin?
Goblin is the embodiment of human greed and envy − he is the concentration of our vices that has started to lead a life of its own.
What was it about this topic that inspired you to create the sets?
The main foundation of the design is our rich cultural heritage; folklore, folk tales, Tubin’s music, indirectly also works by Jüri Arrak and Priit Pärn.
A small business. The Master of the business is not pleased with the results − productivity is low and income small. Suddenly, the Devil appears before the Master, luring him with gold and fortune. The Master is ready to do anything in the name of money and promises three drops of blood and his soul to the Devil. Thus, the Devil crafts him a Goblin, who is to haul money and fortune to the Master.
Cafeteria. The Servant expresses his love to the Daughter of the House. The Master sees them together and forbids them from seeing each other, because the young man is too poor to make a worthy suitor for his daughter. The Daughter, who cannot deny her feelings for the Servant, disregards her father’s prohibition.
On his way home in the evening, the Servant sees the Master with a strange companion. He witnesses a money transaction with the Goblin and understands it is a swindle. The Goblin notices the Servant and storms to attack him, but the Servant gets away. It is clear to him that something suspicious is going on at the Master’s business.
The Daughter and the Servant are among other young people enjoying a night off. The Goblin, who is back from his looting trip, passes by the merrymakers. The Servant uncovers the Goblin’s actions and people start hassling the Goblin. The Goblin decides to take his revenge on the Master, who failed to protect him. On the next day, the Goblin sets fire on the business. Workers flee from the burning building. At the same time, the Master loses his money gambling at the casino and demands more and more from the Goblin. The Goblin is fed up with the Master’s voraciousness and lets the Master’s greed destroy him.
The roots of the Estonian National Opera go back to 1865, when the song and drama society Estonia was founded. In 1906, the society became the basis for a professional theatre. The ballet troupe began regular work in 1926, but the first full-length ballet, Coppélia by Delibes was performed in 1922 already. Since 1998, the theatre is officially named the Estonian National Opera. Estonian National Ballet that operates under Estonian National Opera was founded in 2010, employing approximately 60 dancers, being the country’s largest ballet company. Young choreographers are constantly enriching its repertoire of standard favourites with contemporary pieces and occasional avant-garde projects. The artistic director and chief conductor is Vello Pähn, the artistic director of the Estonian National Ballet is Thomas Edur and the general manager is Aivar Mäe.
The theatre’s repertoire includes classical and contemporary operas, ballets, operettas and musicals. In addition, different concerts and children’s performances are delivered and compositions of Estonian origin staged. Estonian National Opera is a repertory theatre, giving 350 performances and concerts a year, being famous for its tradition of annual concert performances of rarely staged operas, such as Alfredo Catalani’s La Wally (2007), Verdi’s Simon Boccanegra (2008), Rossini’s Guillaume Tell (2009), Bizet’s Les pêcheurs de perles (2010), Bellini’s I Capuleti e i Montecchi (2010), Rimsky-Korsakov’s The Tsar’s Bride (2011) and Snegurochka (2014), as well as Der Rosenkavalier by Strauss and Gounod’s Roméo et Juliette (2013).
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