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True love, sensual temptations and an agreement with the devil: these are the quintessential ingredients for opera, which the incomparable Igor Stavinsky combines to create a deeply moving drama about the quandaries of human existence. Following his productions of American Lulu and The Barber of Seville, Russian director Kirill Serebrennikov now produces the idiosyncratic work of his compatriot Stravinsky. Ensemble member Tansel Akzeybek is immersed as frivolous Tom Rakewell in a twilight world of madness and desire under the musical direction of Jordan de Souza.
Despite a happy engagement to his beloved Anne Trulove, Tom Rakewell follows the enticing call of Nick Shadow, an enigmatic man who promises an easily earned fortune in the big city. After arriving, Tom is rapidly lost to the seemingly endless permutations of money and sex, even allowing himself to be married to the whore Baba – after all, »is anyone really respectable, good and pure?« Tom Rakewell realizes too late that he’s fallen into the hands of the devil and that Nick Shadow is playing a deadly game of life and death, love and madness!
For his opera The Rakes Progress, premiered in 1951, Igor Stravinsky referenced his role models Mozart, Verdi and Handel, honoring them in his musical language without losing his unique signature. Stravinsky alternates arias and ensemble numbers with recitatives, placing the music entirely in the service of the singers. The Rakes Progress is the abyssal character study of naïve Tom Rakewell who succumbs to Nick Shadow’s temptations, falling into a phantasmagoric world of lust and black magic, for which he will pay dearly in the end.
Opera in three acts 
Fable by Wystan Hugh Auden and Chester Kallman