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CATHARSIS. Dmitry Cherniakov

Dmitry Cherniakov is a famous Russian director, scriptwriter, and stage designer. He worked for several theaters across the Post-Soviet countries in Vilnius and in Novosibirsk, and one of his most well known collaboration was with Gergiev on the challenging staging of Russian opera “The Legend of Kitezh town”. All his performances are a shock and revelation. He is a permanent nominee at the “The Golden Mask” festival, the most important Russian theater competition. As a producer, a scriptwriter, and a costume designer, he has changed the very idea of opera.

Dmitry Cherniakov in his own words:

I have noticed, if one has an extremely strong wish, it will surely materialize. One must just be eager very much. There were seven principal wishes in my life, they burnt me out and demanded an indispensable realization.
My first wish was to enter the University of the Theatre Art. My family had no relation to art, but I desired to be admitted passionately and began solving this problem. As a result, my strong wish made the reality change in a fantastic way. The second wish emerged after I had graduated from the university. I came to Vilnius, made a call to the Russian Drama Theatre and felt a genuine theatrical atmosphere there. I decided to give up everything to work there. I was lucky to convince the director of the theatre to entrust me the position of a producer. Four years passed, I came to Novosibirsk and was ceased by the idea to stage an opera. I made some publicity for myself, and the director of Novosibirsk Opera and Drama Theater phoned me and we met. My project to stage the opera “The Legend of Kitezh town” was not well accepted from the start. However, I was so eager to put this performance on that soon I sat in Gergiev’s reception-room and we were discussing this idea. This way the wish can come true.
I have always thought my analytic abilities are weaker than emotional ones. I comprehend the reality through some emotional shock. It is necessary for me to drive myself into the state of excitement, and then I can feel everything immediately even if I have not experienced it in my life. I can imagine the most heart-rending scene between the characters but I am not capable of modeling this kind of relationships in the real life because I am scared.
At first, I did not know who I wanted to be in the theatrical world. I realized I was a producer having staged my first performance, but this came in a rather strange moment of realization: Oh, I am a producer already! Actually, I came into the theatre art not because of the music or acting but due to the strange thirst for space. The space for me is not just a territory. I feel it another way: closer-farther, lighter-darker. It is an unaccountable biological feeling. I relate to time as well, sometimes I am late for a few hours or even days.
I have never forced myself to do the things that do not go well with my inner world. It is better for me to leave or even spoil the relations with a person who would force me in such circumstances. If I do not feel at ease with somebody, I reduce the contact to a constructive minimum, technological necessity ( ... )


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