Dmitri Kourliandski portrait 2012 radio


Opera and music theatre


opera for choir and soloists (2012)
on the text by Boris Yukhananov
soprano, contra tenor, bass-bariton
~ 75 min.


Programme note;
Swerlians is actually my third opera, after Nosferatu and Asteroid 62. The trip from Nosferatu to Swerlians is consequent and methodic. After the utmost introvert Nosferatu experience which is the continuation of my journey inside me, the analysis, summarizing and radicalizing my ideas of the past ten years, I felt the need of a psychological détente – Asteroid 62 – a lyric opera, acting on the territory which was not used in Nosferatu. Sometimes naïve (if a conscious naiveté is possible), sometimes even recklessly breaking the principles and statements developed in Nosferatu. Asteroid and Nosferatu are as a breath in and breath out, no matter what is what. They’re both simultaneously one and the other. They condition each other and delineate the sphere of my compositional and life interests. In other words, Nosferatu and Asteroid are me and myself. However, between inhalation and exhalation, between me and myself there is an interspace separating one another and constituting the third. Secret comma, the difference between the same… This very difference is my third opera, Swerlians. Not surprisingly it is staged first. The fact itself is already mystic. It is a time machine which doesn’t transfer in time but just annulates it. I’m not quite sure “opera” is the right term, it is rather an oratory. However the musical history knows examples of operas-oratories (Stravinski’s “Oedipus rex”). For those who know my work, Swerlians will be a surprise. This opera lies aside of my general artistic research. I’m not sure myself how to refer this work – and how it refers me. But exactly this distance – comma – attracts me, it creates the material and the hidden protagonist of the opera. An important key to the perception of the opera should be an understanding that the opera is a stylization. But the specific is that it is a stylization of a non-existent style. A reconstruction of non-existent language.

Swerlians is commissioned by Boris Yukhananov and written on the text of his novel-opera. This is just a part of a bigger project – only an opening fragment of the novel-opera’s overture is used in the work. However, the opera is a complete and standalone work.

Previous performances
Dec. 2, 3, 4, 2012 - Moscow, Russia
ARTPLAY centre
Boris Yukhananov, stage director
Andrey Kuznetsov-Vecheslov, choreography
Stepan Lukyanov, stage design, computer graphics
Anastasia Nefedova, costumes
Questa Musica, soloists and choir
Maria Grilikhes, conductor


opera for soloists, choir and orchestra (2011)
Libretto - Dimitris Yalamas
Nosferatu - male voice
Persephona - soprano
Three Graeae - mezzo-soprano
Coryphaeus - female voice
Choir: 12 female voices, 12 male voices
Orchestra: (min
~100 min.


Commissioned by Perm opera and ballet theatre, Russia
Published by Editions Jobert

Programme note;

Previous performances



Asteroid 62
opera for soloists and ensemble (2012, in progress)
Libretto - Dimitris Yalamas
soprano, mezzo, tenor, bass
~50 min.


Commissioned by Johann Joseph Fux opera composition competition (Graz, Austria)

Programme note;

Previous performance

Nov. 19/20, 2013 - Moscow, Russia
Moskvitch Cultural Centre
Soloists - N'Caged
Moscow Contemporary Music Ensemble, Fedor Lednev, cond.
Kapitalina Tsvetkova-Plotnikova, stage director
Oct. 2013 - Graz, Austrias

Dmitri Kourliandski. Objective music
(click the picture to order the book)

couvkourliand1aPierre Roullier,
Omer Corlaix,
Dmitri Kourliandski,
Makis Solomos,
Jan Topolski,
Dmitri Bavilski

2010. 2E2M,
A la ligne. collection.
130 pages. French / English.

Order scores at Editions Jobert

Orfey couvkourliand1a