Tickets £10-£20, book via the JdP website.

Performed by vocal ensemble EXAUDI and directed by James Weeks

The Sunday evening finale to the JdP's January New Music Weekend profiles Eugene Birman’s remarkable ‘documentary opera’, RUSSIA: TODAY. Birman and his librettist Scott Diel based the text on more than 500 interviews from members of the public in Moscow, Vladivostok, Riga, Helsinki and a host of other countries close to Russia. The interviewees were asked for their thoughts about Russia’s identity, particularly in relation to its former status as the central part of the Soviet Union and the sense at that time that Russia was seeking to expand its borders again, as shown by what happened in Crimea in 2014. These authentic texts were translated and reordered to form a 70-minute choral work that plays on the idea of a traditional Russian Orthodox panikhida, a form of requiem prayer for the soul after death. The opera, written in 2021, is all the more hard-hitting for the light on Putin’s subsequent invasion of Ukraine. Tonight’s film showing will be framed by Martyn Harry’s two choruses for EXAUDI, ‘Our Separate Ways’. The evening concludes with a post-concert discussion with Jade McGlynn, the author of two key books published this year: ‘Russia’s War’ and ‘Memory Makers’. 

The post-concert discussion will include Jade McGlynn (Kings College London), Philip Bullock (Wadham College) and Eugene Birman, the composer of ‘Russia Today’.