The first premiere in the New Year will be that of the Croatian Drama Company, Autumn Sonata, on Thursday 12th January at 19:30 hours, with the performance and audience together on the stage of the CNT Ivan pl. Zajc. The family drama by the famous Swedish director Ingmar Bergman from the year 1978, now in the tenth anniversary of his death, is in the direction of the young Belgrade director Ana Tomović, this being her first engagement in Croatia. The production features Mira Furlan, Marija Tadić, Jelena Lopatić and Leon Lučev, for whom, after his role in Nad grobom glupe Europe (On the Grave of Stupid Europe), this is his first role as a new member of the CNT Ivan pl. Zajc Croatian Drama Company.
The Theatre general manager and artistic director Marin Blažević said that although the play poster by its quoting the film poster suggests a performance made after the film, this is a completely autonomous project of the team and actors, who, in the 24 hours, just as in Greek tragedies, are trying to resolve the characters’ traumas. “The play does not have a tragic ending, but tragic awareness.” He added that Ana Tomović engaged in a risky project trying to find her own approach to this family story and succeeded in finding her own point of view. “It is with this play, that the Rijeka audience has been given the staging of a full-blooded dramatic text”, concluded Blažević.
The Croatian Drama Company director Jelena Kovačić reminded that the very word “sonata” from the Bergman’s title, the composition written for the solo instrument and accompaniment, represents the base of the relationship between mother Charlotte and daughter Eve.
The director Ana Tomović studied in detail the exceptionally fruitful (having directed 62 films and over 170 theatre plays) Swedish author Bergman (1918 – 2007), who, according to her words, still remains inscrutable. One of the topics he dealt with is the domineering one in this play, namely, the topic of love, the longing for a mother’s love. Tomović says that this topic is also close to Begman’d personal relationship with his mother, the unresolved, irremediable and unreachable one. “Four exceptional actors succeeded in a not an easy task; being sensitive and in every sense perfect, they felt all the nuances of the interrelations. This cooperation, supported by the richness of the text and life, has proved to be dynamic and exciting”, concluded the director Tomović.
Mira Furlan, the theatre and film actress of a great experience, said that the text as a screenplay possesses a realistic code and that although it may seem easy at first, these are the relations that all have felt and experienced. However, continued Mira Furlan, the more they “scraped” the text, the more layers they found, those that are not noticed upon the first reading. She also mentioned an interesting reminiscence from her secondary school days when she learned Swedish in order to be able to watch Ingmar Bergman’s Autumn Sonata in the original, wishing ever since to be able to work on it, which has finally come true. She even lived in Sweden for a year.
Her partner on stage, Marija Tadić, in the role of daughter Eva, said that this play requires presence and truthfulness, also that it is through the character of Eva that Bergman expressed a number of thoughts and attitudes that are philosophical and metaphysical.
The new citizen of Rijeka, as he introduced himself, Leon Lučev, says that the most sincere and precise moment of the play is the need of communication, of love, the human need of intimacy that cannot be realised as the characters are all conditioned by they traumas, unrealised…
Jelena Lopatić, whose performance Marin Blažević characterised as an ingenious acting miniature in which the whole of the family tragedy is summarized, said that we need to communicate, listen to and hear ourselves in order for our relations to be opened to love.
The dramaturg Olga Dimitrijević sees this play as a kind of a canvas onto which every one can make an imprint as it is the matter of different family problems in which each can recognize herself or himself. “Our play goes further than the relationship Eva has remaining in the shadow of her mother Charlotte, the pianist with a world-wide career”, said Dimitrijević.
Vuk Ršumović, who is the dramaturg of this play, otherwise also a screenwriter and director whose feature-length film Ničije dete (No One’s Child) is a triple winner of the International Critic’s Week of the 71st Venice Film Festival while he has been awarded with over thirty international prizes and shown at more than 50 festivals in the world. He pointed out that they tried to justify both Charlotte and Eva, consider the characters through their vulnerability and longing for intimacy, stripping all to the utmost, which rendered it more difficult for the actors, but in such a view of the spectator as a voyeur, an exceptionally precious emotion is provided.
The composer and instrumentalist Josip Maršić has already cooperated with the Croatian Drama Company, while now he is the author of the original soundtrack for the production of Autumn Sonata, not having used the quotes of Chopin or Beethoven, as was the case with the film.
The set designer Ljerka Hribar put the characters into a space in which they are completely exposed, as if to the wind, without the warmth of home, which you can only have a glimpse of and remaining just a symbol and the object of eternal longing.
The Autumn Sonata by Ingmar Bergman is performed in the translation by Željko Takač, the director is Ana Tomović, dramaturgs are Vuk Ršumović and Olga Dimitrijević, the composer is Josip Maršić, the set designer Ljerka Hribar, the costume designer Momirka Bailović, the lighting designer Boris Blidar, the assistant director Alisa Debelić, the assistant costume designer Tin Vlainić and the assistant set designer Paola Lugarić. Sebastian Macan, a boy, takes part in the play.
The play is performed in agreement with the “Josef Weinberger Ltd., London” society, in the name of the Ingmar Bergman Foundation.
The reruns of the production are on 13th, 14th and 16th January in 2017 at 19:30 hours, the play and the public together on the stage of the CNT Ivan pl. Zajc, then on 18th, 20th, 21st, 26th and 27th January at 19:30 hours, the play and the public together on the stage of the Croatian Cultural Centre, HKD, in Sušak.
TALK AFTER THE PLAY
Following the Saturday play on 14th January, a talk will be organised on the stage, with Brigita Miloš and Sanja Bojanić from the Centre of Women’s Studies at the Rijeka University Faculty of Humanities and Social Studies, as well as the actors from the play. Actors will talk again to the spectators on Monday 16th January, after the play.
On Tuesday 17th January 2017 at 19 hours we invite you to the Art-kino cinema for a discussion on the “Autumn Sonata” in film and theatre with the actors from the production, the director Ana Tomović, dramaturg Olga Dimitrijević, film critic and assistant professor at the Department of Croatian Language and Literature of the Rijeka University Faculty of Humanities and Social Studies Dejan Durić, PhD, while the film critic Dragan Rubeša will be the moderator.