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Top Pick: Love, freedom, real tears...a gypsy musical

"Gypsy love is a very strong feeling," said Miloš Ruppeldt, the musical's dramatic adviser. "It's more spontaneous, passionate and energetic than the love we [non-Gypsies] know. It's a love that doesn't know any borders, not even in heaven."
The new musical Ballad of a horse thief, or Gypsies go to heaven, based on the Russian movie Gypsies Go To Heaven (1975), will soon broaden the repertoire of the 500-seat Nová Scéna theatre. After this week's three premieres, the audience's next chance to take it in arrives on November 19.
The whole story is built on gripping gypsy music. The musical arrangement mixes both authentic as well as modern vision.


Katarína Hasprová as the temperamental Rada in the new musical.
photo: Ctibor Bachratý

"Gypsy love is a very strong feeling," said Miloš Ruppeldt, the musical's dramatic adviser. "It's more spontaneous, passionate and energetic than the love we [non-Gypsies] know. It's a love that doesn't know any borders, not even in heaven."

The new musical Ballad of a horse thief, or Gypsies go to heaven, based on the Russian movie Gypsies Go To Heaven (1975), will soon broaden the repertoire of the 500-seat Nová Scéna theatre. After this week's three premieres, the audience's next chance to take it in arrives on November 19.

The whole story is built on gripping gypsy music. The musical arrangement mixes both authentic as well as modern vision.

"This musical is universal as all songs are sung in the gypsy language," said Tamás Szarka, one of the three music composers and a singer in Hungarian band Ghymes, which plays gypsy music. Roma Viliam Zeman, language advisor to the Government Plenipotentiary for Roma, Klára Orgovánová, made all necessary changes to the original lyrics.

The scene is set at the end of the 19th century. Melancholy and exuberant melodies fill the air. Colourful costumes swish in front of the audience's eyes. Limber gypsy men rotate on one hand while sparkling necklaces cling as women shake their bosoms in wild dances.

On one side of the stage sits an old gypsy fortune teller, Izegril, who narrates the love story of the legendary horse thief Lujko Zobar and the beautiful Rada, both of whom are determined to sacrifice anything for their love.

"I'm already thrilled for the audience to see it," said Magda Paveleková, the musical's Izegril and actress in several gypsy-theme musicals.

"There is even one scene where they will see real tears streaming down my cheeks," she said. Paveleková first thought of bringing an onion with her to make her cry at that part - as she has problems to force herself to tears. But after she rehearsed the scene with one of Rada's fathers, Vladimír Jedľovský, she said she no longer needed an artificial aid.

"He played his part so well that I suddenly burst into tears and cried and cried. Since then, every time we get to this part, it's as if an invisible person turned my tear tap on and I begin crying naturally."

The one hour 45 minute long performances. scheduled until the end of this year, begin at 19:00 on November 19, December 1, 2, 26, 29 and 30, at Nová scéna (New Scene) theatre, Kollárovo námestie 20. For ticket (Sk150-290) information call 02/5292-1139; for programme information

02/5296-7638.

By Zuzana Habšudová

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