Chersonese, Crimea, August 13, 2019
A new musical detailing the history of Sevastopol premiered in late July at the National Preserve of Tauric Chersonese in the Crimean city.
The show was written by His Eminence Metropolitan Tikhon (Shevkunov) of Pskov and Porkhov, the head of the Russian Church’s Patriarchal Cultural Council and author of the internationally renowned book Everyday Saints.
Among the honored guests at the premier of Vladyka Tikhon’s “Griffin” on July 27 was President Vladimir Putin. The show was staged on a new stage in the port area of the national preserve, reports RIA-Novosti.
In addition to public officials, the performance was also attended by activists of the All-Russian children and youth movement “Russian Students’ Movement” and student participants of international festivals and competitions.
The show, based on a play written by Metropolitan Tikhon, is a large-scale theatrical performance combining impressive modern special effects and high-tech scenography with the architecture of ancient Chersonese. Preparations for the musical took more than a year and beautification and improvements on the site have been underway since 2017. The musical is performed in the open air, in the ruins of the walls of the ancient city on three stages equipped with multimedia screens and floodlights.
“Griffin” tells the story of two teenagers and the museum curator who travel through the key events in the city’s history thanks to the mythical griffin—a lion with the head of an eagle, the symbol of ancient Chersonese.
Giant mechanical dolls, sailing ships, inflatable figures, and hundreds of other props moving on a sea of light fabric allowed the actors to take the audience into the imagination of the main characters and lead them through six turning points in the life of the city of Sevastopol, from antiquity, to the Middle Ages, and to the present day.
The guide in the journey through the past is the griffin, considered the keeper of mysteries, secrets, and truths from ancient times. Met. Tikhon explained to tvkultura.ru why he chose the griffin for his show:
The griffin was considered the protector of this place… Strange though it may be, [the griffin] easily transitioned from pagan antiquity to Christian Byzantium, and it was used as decoration in churches there. Why? Because it became one of the images of the Lord Jesus Christ, the King on earth, the lion, and the King of Heaven, the eagle.
A news report from the channel Russia shows the amazing props and technology used in the show: