I. S. Turgenjev: Fathers and Sons

Date created: 31.01.2020.
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Dubrovnik Summer Festival & Zagreb Youth Theatre

I. S. Turgenev: Fathers and Sons


Direction and selection of music: Ivan Popovski

Cast: Ugo Korani, Dado Ćosić, Filip Nola, Zoran Čubrilo, Pjer Meničanin, Doris Šarić-Kukuljica, Urša Raukar, Milica Manojlović, Iva Kraljević, Tina Orlandini, Mia Melcher, Damir Šaban, Ivan Pašalić, Mateo Videk

Set design: Igor Vasiljev

Costume design: Doris Kristić

Lighting design: Aleksandar Čavlek

Stage manager: Stella Švacov Miletić


Fathers and Sons is a novel by Russian writer Ivan Sergeyevich Turgenev published in 1862. The main theme of the novel is nihilism in the Russian Empire, presented through the character of Yevgeny Vassilyich Bazarov, a young scientist who is critical of traditional values. The novel is one of the first Russian writings to become very popular in the West, whereas the philosophical and psychological questions it addressed influenced many Russian authors, including Dostoyevsky. The plot is set in 1859, the period when Russia was swept by great peasant uprisings (serfdom was legally abolished as late as 1861). In the political arena, there was a struggle between the proponents of the reforms based on the Western model and those who were in favour of preserving Russian tradition. At the same time, the ideas of radical social change and total rejection of social norms were increasingly spreading among the members of the young intelligentsia, which made them grow apart from the liberals of the older generation. The novel has been successfully adapted for European and Croatian theatres countless times and this is its first staging at the Dubrovnik Summer Festival, directed by Ivan Popovski, Macedonian director with a successful career in Europe, and co-produced with the Zagreb Youth Theatre.

Ivan Popovski (b. 1969) is a distinguished Macedonian director who graduated from the Russian GITIS Academy under Pyotr Fomenko and has extensively directed in Russian theatres with great success ever since. His work is highly regarded in Russia, where he has won prestigious awards such as the Pushkin Medal for special merit, contribution and promotion of the Russian language and culture, the Golden Knight Award for Best Children’s Play (Through the Looking-Glass) and the Award of the City of Moscow for Best Play for his trilogy P.S. Daydreaming…, Absinth and The Four Seasons. His work was also noted all over Europe, where he has worked at the Opéra de Lille, Avignon Festival, Wiener Festwochen and elsewhere. His direction of The Idiot at the Zagreb Youth Theatre in 2012, based on the novel by F.M. Dostoyevsky, was exceptionally well received in Croatia, where he staged Koltes’s Roberto Zucco at the Split Summer Festival ten years earlier. He is the winner of the most prestigious Russian award, The Golden Masque, for Best Play in 2016 for A Midsummer Night’s Dream staged at the Fomenko Theatre. He has taught opera directing at the GITIS Academy since 2017.