“Fiddler On The Roof“

“Fiddler On The Roof“


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Joseph Stein, Jerry Bock, Sheldon Harnick "Fiddler On The Roof"


Musical in 2 acts


Director: Jan Szurmiej (Lenkija)

Conductor: Stasys Domarkas

Set Designer: Wojciech Jankowiak (Lenkija)

Costume Designer: Marta Hubka (Lenkija)

Choreographer: Jan Szurmiej (Lenkija)

Assistant Directors: Ramūnas Kaubrys, Virginijus Pupšys

Assistant to Choreographer: Valdemaras Marcinkus


Based on the story of Sholom Aleichem, with the special permission of Arnold Perl

The author of libretto Joseph Stein, music author Jerry Bock, the lyrics author Sheldon Harnick


The musical “Fiddler on the Roof” written in 1964 by the American composer J. Bock, libretto author J. Stein and lyrics author S. Harnick is the classics of musical genre. This and other famous musicals “My Fair Lady”, “Hello, Dolly!”, “West Side Story” and “The Sound of Music” are outstanding and legendary works of musical genre.


When in 1958 J. Bock and S. Harnick debuted as coauthors, they both already had significant achievements in the sphere of theatre. Although, their first work together, the musical “The Body Beautiful” was unsuccessful, the talented creative ensemble got the artists’ society attention. After a year the big breakthrough came. The success came with the musical “Fiorello!” in which the authors with the means of expression: music, poetry and dance, vividly and interestingly told the biography of one of the most famous politicians of that days, Fiorello H. LaGuardia (1933 - 1945), the ex mayor of the New York city. Both, music and the lyrics raised a furor and especially the satirical episodes of the work. This stage production won the highest recognition and various awards. However, when today the LaGuardia name even for the most New Yorkers associates only with the airport with the same name, it is hard to imagine “Fiorello!” in today’s theatre.


After two not very successful musicals “Tenderloin” and “She Loves Me” the tandem of authors began to work on the Jews literature classic’s Sholom Aleichem story about Tevye the dairyman and his family life in a small town in the times of Tsarist Russia, when the Revolution of 1905 was already sensible in the air.


At first neither J. Stein the librettist, nor the producer Harold Prince was interested in this idea. However, they were talked into it and Jerome Robbins was asked to be the director. In this Broadway theatre staging the character of Tevye was played by the famous Zero Mostel, and Tevye’s wife Golde was played by a dancer Marija Karnilova.


The opening of the “Fiddler on the Roof” occurred on September of the 1964. One of the most striking and innovative musical theatre play was born with a very strong load of humanistic ideas, which speaks to all and is understood by the audience all around the world, no matter what race or what nationality.


Lyrical, humorous but in the same way tragically, the play’s success by a big part was because of the mastery of J. Robbins, who reached the total unity of director and choreography. This play to its coauthors won not only many prestige’s awards but also brought a worldwide glory.


“Fiddler on the Roof” surpassed all the records of the success by getting a fantastic number of staging in Broadway: in nine years it was shown 3242 times! After the premiere it was staged in 32 countries and its characters spoke in 16 languages.


One of the biggest advantages of the play is its libretto. The author managed to create an unusual poetry and specific humor atmosphere. The story of Sholom Aleichem is told in a playful and rich way, the unique philosophy of the characters of the musical is shown in a subtle way. In the musical the small town of Jews is designed colorfuly.


The motif in “Fiddler on the Roof” is tradition, which is very important for the main character of the play, because it is his life credo. Sadly, the tradition doesn’t handle well the confrontation with the younger generation, looking differently into the world.


The music of the play is full of passion, unheard temperament, extremely spiritual. Here the listener can recognize the stylized Jew folklore, the elements of Old Russian romances, and next to it you can hear the sounds of typical modern theme with usual rhythmic, melody and harmony.


Many of the musical numbers became generally recognized hits. First of which is sounding in the very beginning in the prologue “Tradition”, Tevye song “If I Were A Rich Man” and Tevye’s wife’s Golde and the choir song “Sunrise, Sunset” and others.


The works of Sholom Aleichem, who is known as the “Jewish Mark Twain”, are considered to be the Jewish nation’s life, its everyday and customs, its characters types and societies layers encyclopedia. The writer worked as an ethnographer researcher, his notes were always open and his ears picked up every new nuance. The master of the word recorded not only sayings, maxims, the ways of intonation and articulation, in which they are expressed, but as well all of it accompanying grimaces. He was always surprised and always admired the richness of the poetic Jewish word. All of this is found in his stories about Tevye the dairyman.

Duration: 3 hours 30 min., 1 break.

Door opens before: 1 hours

Free entrance for children: NO.

Permission to take photos, record: NO.

Organizer: Klaipėdos valstybinis muzikinis teatras

More information: www.klaipedosmuzikinis.lt

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