Crai Nou / Foreword director Răzvan Ioan Dincă


I have been acquainted with the “Crai Nou“ operetta since I started studying this genre, operetta. A precursor genre to the musical, operetta continues to fascinate me. The Romanian operetta, valuable but undervalued, deserves more attention. It must be seen as a form of social satire, beautifully dressed musically, with spectacular choreographic interludes or atmosphere inlays, and with various thematic influences. Used during the totalitarian regime in Romania as a means of mobilizing propaganda, but also, in the interwar period, with the purpose of a satire against the aristocracy, the operetta acquired in the collective consciousness a role associated with various regimes.

In “Crai nou”, past eras reveal their atmosphere and constitute an excuse for remembering them for those who lived them or a vision of the perspective of the past for those who did not know the previous regimes. The Viennese, pastoral, baroque, or oriental musical influences will make this operetta a challenge if you want to perform it on stage. It’s hard to find a stylistic unity, of the genre, you have to find a suitable epic thread to be able to find the correct theatrical meaning. What value can Alecsandri’s text still have today? How could the wedding ritual or the one of going to war still catch the eye of the youth who live more in the virtual space?

We have tried, therefore, to create a story using the musical value of this operetta that combines together with the choreography and the projected images a recognizable world in meaning, not necessarily in form, with the hope that we will find symbols and representations valid for any type of audience of this world. The somewhat dystopian society proposed for the second act materializes any vision of totalitarianism, of dictatorship, regardless of the cultural area from which we look. The same themes prevail in the “Crai nou” operetta as in any generally valid type of work: love, war, wedding, marriage, interpersonal conflicts. The mobilizing style of music, sometimes a hymn, sometimes a march (once real hits) represents and induces a similar perception in terms of the way in which they were used to cover the dysfunctions of a system and dress it in false patriotism. Parade patriotism, formal singing, are characteristic of the totalitarian era. In an optimistic spirit, love finds its way, and nature, human nature survives regardless of the harsh times. Nothing new, just the expressive simplicity of an archaic literary musical creation, brought into the contemporary, with the help of technology and current visual means.

The first large-scale musical manifestation of the Romanians, in a montage made with reverence for the composer, to whom we apologize rhetorically for sometimes using some quotes in contexts that, at the time he composed, he would not have imagined could ever happen.

Romania…the country where myth and reality coexist in the spirit and actions of Romanians, even today.