RSC Needs Help Hunting Rare Ukranian Instrument???Date: 22 July 2009
Calling all Ukranian folk instrument collectors! The Royal Shakespeare Company’s music department is on the look out for a kobza - an unusual and rare Ukrainian folk music instrument similar to a lute - to use in its forthcoming production of The Grain Store.
Written by emerging Ukranian writer Natal’ia Vorozhbit and directed by RSC artistic director Michael Boyd, The Grain Store is set against the backdrop of the terrible Ukrainian famine of the 1930s, and centres on a close-knit community which finds itself standing in the way of Stalin’s drive to create a thriving socialist Soviet Union.
John Woolf, RSC head of music, is composing the music for the show, but told recently how the band is missing a vital component: "To give the score an authentic sound, I’m keen to use a kobza ... In Ukrainian villages of the period music, singing and dancing held an important part in people’s lives.
"The importance of the kobza is that it symbolised the culture of the old Ukraine that was replaced by the Soviets who brought in their own professional musicians to encourage Soviet urban music."
Anyone who may be able to help the RSC find a kobza (pictured) should contact Richard Sandland in the RSC Music Department on 01789 272226 or email@example.com.
The Grain Store runs in rep in the Courtyard Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon, from 10 September to 1 October 2009.
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