If you’re planning a visit to Moscow any time soon and happen to be a fan of musicals (as I certainly am), Count Orlov is the perfect choice for a night out! First of all, the music is really good. Second, it’s a truly star studded performance as you can find a lot of famous Russian actors there. The decorations are wonderful in the way that they help to show beautiful Italian palaces and streets, docks with Russian fleet, traditionally bright Moscow celebrations, gloomy prison cells and grandeur of St. Petersburg.
So what is the story about? Not sure if you have heard of Count Orlov before, count Alexey Orlov to be precise, but he is a well known historical figure in Russia. Orlov brothers played a significant role in Catherine II plan to overthrow her husband, Peter III, son of Elisabeth I and grandson of Peter the Great, helping her to become Catherine the Great.
Orlov brothers were always loyal to Catherine, but after a while fell out of grace and Alexey Orlov was sent to Italy to lead Russian navy. Around the same time, so called Princess Elisabeth, supposed granddaughter of Peter the Great, starts to gather supporters to overthrow Catherine and claim the Russian throne.
Count Orlov writes a letter to Catherine the Great, telling her about the impostor and receives an order to bring her to St. Petersburg. As Elisabeth has a lot of followers protecting her, stealing her in Italy was not a simple task. Count Orlov decides to have an affair with her, using his charm and a promise Russian navy’s support of her cause. His plan, however, backfires and he faces an impossible choice – love or honour.
Of course, all the songs are in Russian, but as it often happens with musicals and opera, music and actors’ performance compensates for the language barrier. I would definitely say that you would be able to immerse into atmosphere of Russia during the reign of Catherine the Great.
Just an additional teaser, here’s a trailer of Count Orlov:
If you are now wish to see Count Orlov musical (and I hope, you do ;) you can get more info on the official website of the Moscow Operetta Theatre.