New opera production called "Mikhail and Mikhail play chess"

On March 12, the Latvian National Opera will present its brand new and very unique opera production called "Mikhail and Mikhail play chess", which is about the legendary chess match where Latvian chess legend Mihails Tāls (Mikhail Tal) became world champion.The unusual phenomenon behind the popularity of chess during the Cold War is at the center of this opera, brought to audiences by the young Latvian composer Kristaps Petersons. The so-called Wizard of Riga – the multi-award winner and Grandmaster of chess, Mikhail Tal – plays a significant role in the opera. The opera’s musical dramaturgy is precisely based on the 1960 Moscow World Championship match, in which Tal won against the seemingly unbeatable Soviet Union chess master Mihail Botvinnik. This legendary match will be replayed in a multimedia-lecture format, emphasizing both the ideological meaning of chess in the Soviet Union, and Tal’s intuition and improvisation-based tactics, which helped him defeat the rational and academic Botvinnik. The creative team for this project will consist of bright young Latvian artists who are accomplished both in Latvia and abroad.

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