The rock opera “Jurate and Kastytis”, starring Marijonas Mikutavičius and Aiste Smilgevičiūtė, takes on its most serious challenge this year. For the first time in history, the work will be performed completely live: with orchestral accompaniment and choir. Special arrangements for the rock opera have been composed by Jievaras Jasinskis. They will be performed by the Kaunas Big Band conducted by Jievar Jasinski. The performance will be sung by the mixed choir Vilnius Voices, conducted by Kristina Žaldokaitė.
Since the premiere of the rock opera in Klaipėda, on Anikė Square, the vocals have always been performed live, but no orchestra has ever taken part in the performances. Most of the time it was technically impossible. On the rare occasions when the technical difficulties could theoretically be solved, another difficult question arose: who would be the arranger and the orchestra that would take on this challenge?
“Kaunas Big Band is a collective with a huge experience, and Jievaras Jasinskis is one of the most talented arrangers in the country. After the successful concert project of the big band and Marijonas Mikutavičius, there was a real hope that we would be able to create a quality arrangement of “Jurate and Kasteitis” and perform it during the show”, – said the organisers of the rock opera.
The Kaunas Big Band bravely accepted the challenge and took on the serious work – the sound of the arrangements is truly extraordinary. They preserve the sensitive authenticity of the sound that composer Rokas Radzevičius put into the work and the fragility that makes rock opera unique. This sound really makes one think that the project with the Kaunas Big Band will be exceptional.
The only thing missing was the choir, and then Kristina Žaldokaitė and the Vilnius Voices mixed choir, under her direction, kindly agreed to take part and add even more power to the work. The complex puzzle of live performance has finally been successfully completed and awaits the audience’s appreciation.
“The rock opera “Jurate and Kastytis” is extremely talented: the music by Rokas Radzevičius fits very organically with the excellent lyrics by Rimvydas Stankevičius. The big band and the choir have given this musical diamond even more power, grandeur and breadth of sound”, say the organisers of the latest show with orchestra and choir.
“Jurate and Kastytis” with the Kaunas Big Band and Choir will appear on stage in its golden line-up.
Marijonas Mikutavičius and Aistė Smilgevičiūtė will play the leading roles. The role of the Old Man of the Dunes is played by Kostas Smoriginas, the director of the production, and the mother of Kastytis is Karina Krysko. Thunderbolt is Tadas Juodsnukis, Neptune is Jeronimas Milius.
The choreographer of the performance is Gytis Ivanauskas, the dancers are from his theatre company.
“Jūratė ir Kastytis” is a work steeped in national and ethnic motifs. This impression is further strengthened by the set designed by Marijus Jacovskis – full of pagan idols and reflections of the everyday life of seaside fishermen. Ethnic motifs were also an inspiration for the clothing designer Liuka Songailaitė.
The rock opera “Jūratė ir Kastytis” is a continuation of the well-known story of the fisherman Kastytis and the goddess Jūratė. Kastytis kneels on the seashore to mourn his beloved Jurate, who was cut down by thunder. Suddenly, she comes to life and the story “after the story” begins… Jurate and Kastytis face serious trials, the wrath of the gods and the elements, but true love conquers all.