Yolanta,’ From Soviet
HOWARD THOMPSON. Dec. 23, 1964
THE Carnegie Hall Cinema took on a nice, seasonal glow yesterday with the arrival of “Yolanta,” a Soviet-made version of Tchaikovsky’s opera. The work reportedly has never been produced in this country and it is hard to understand why.For one thing, it is a tender, happy opera that doesn’t run forever. From a movie standpoint, the filmmakers have effectively prowled the camera around the medieval setting—a craggy, woodland castle. The color and period costumes are eye-filling (though the theater projectionist yesterday would have done well to steady his machine and the dimming, flickering print). The Tchaikovsky music, from start to finish, is stunningly lyrical and the English subtitles are consistently articulate. The singing, ghosted for operatic “performers” who, for once, can act, is splendid.Above all, there is the incredible facial purity and presence of the title heroine, portrayed by Natalya Rudnaya, as a secluded blind princess, whose love for a roving knight, Yuri Perov, inadvertently restores her sight. As the focal point, Miss Rudnaya is an angel, and Galina Oleinichenko sings off-screen accordingly.Under V. Gorikker’s most sensible direction, and with firm histrionic support from Fyodor Nikitin, as the girl’s father, Aleksandr Belyavsky, as the young hero’s friend, and others, the picture—or opera, if you will—ends on exactly the right note.”Yolanta” is moving to watch, a joy to hear and a most disarming Yuletide package from behind the Iron Curtain. Merry Christmas right back.
YOLANTA, directed by V. Gorikker; produced by Riga Film Studios; released by Artkino. At the Carnegie Hall Cinema, Seventh Avenue and 56th Street 22 December 1964 (New York City, New York). Running time: 82 minutes.
Yolanta . . . . . Natalya Rudnaya (sung by Galina Oleinichenko)
Vaudemont . . . . . Yuri Perov (sung by Z. Andjaparidze)
King Rene . . . . . Fyodor Nikitin (sung by Ivan Petrov)
Duke Robert . . . . . Aleksandr Belyavsky (sung by Pavel Lisitsian)
Eon-Hakkia . . . . . Pyotr Giebov (sung by V. Valaitis)
Bertrand . . . . . Valdis Sandberg (sung by V. Yaroslavtsev)
Выпущена в прокат в СССР 20 апреля 1963 (Рига), 2 сентября 1963 (Москва)
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