How to Feel the Stage in Geneva

Nov 29, 2017 | Theatre

On 14 and 17 December Carouge, PlainPalais, Champel and other central districts of Geneva are going to cry as the young masters of the Crescendo arts school will give a performance of Romeo and Juliet on the stage of the Théâtre Cité Bleue. SUISSEPIC had a small chat about this upcoming event with Almas, who will play the part of Romeo.

Of course, he is very excited about it.

“It is the first time that I am playing a lead role”, Almas says. “And I am really excited to play it in French”.

Almas has been involved in theatre activities since 2012. These have mainly related to singing and dancing, but now he has been given the honour of playing Romeo and acting as standby for Mercutio in case of an accident.

Photo: @diamond_ilyassov

Romeo and Juliet is not an easy performance, as Shakespeare’s star-crossed lovers had a tragic destiny. To play these parts well, you must have a very emotional soul. When you are young, like lots of Crescendo actors, it is not easy to feel the deepest regrets and anxiety of love.  But Almas says that practice makes perfect, and numerous rehearsals help to bring out all the accents and emotions.

“Happy Island” theatre can trace its heritage to the Crescendo arts school. It was founded in 2014 by professional dramatic actors, filmmakers and linguistic specialists. Initially it was a part of the Russian Ecole Oiseau Bleu (“Blue Bird”) school in Geneva.

Photo: @diamond_ilyassov

The idea came to Elena Khazanova, the Theatre’s current art director, in 2010 when she decided to arrange a small studio for children and offer young people the chance to play on the stage. This excellent small initiative was supported by Tatiana Fleischmann, headmaster of the Crescendo school, and now “Happy Island” is a real theatre, where Almas is happy to play.

I am looking at this young man. He is tall and handsome, and definitely popular among the young ladies. So I am interested in what drew him to the theatre.

“It is a great feeling to be on a real stage. But we are like a big family here. It is very diverse, and you can choose a character to play who will be relevant to your emotions and mood”.

I am ready to ask him another question, but feeling a bit shy, and he continues.

“I think theatre activities help shy people a lot, allowing them to feel open, as well as those who have difficulty socializing. They feel that they are involved in the atmosphere, however sometimes they take their roles too seriously, so we need to be careful to separate the moments when we play on the stage from our real life”.

Almas has been living in Geneva for 7 years already. When I came to the city, he confessed that initially he did not like it much. At that moment, in 2010, the capital of French-speaking Switzerland seemed to be too plain, and maybe even grey. But time passed by, and after a while this young man fell in love with the beauty of Swiss landscapes. He travels a lot with family and friends and has already visited 24 of Switzerland’s 26 cantons.

Schwyz and Zug are now on his list to visit.

In the end he told me a rumour that some famous producers from both Russia and Geneva would like to see the performance. I’m keeping my fingers crossed – who knows, maybe I just had my small interview with a future celebrity.