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Postat pe 05.30.2018
The premiere of the performance MASTER MANOLE by Lucian Blaga

The "Lucian Blaga" National Theatre of Cluj-Napoca invites you at the premiere of the performance MASTER MANOLE by Lucian Blaga, which takes place in the Great Hall, Saturday, 9 June, from 7.00 p.m., directed by Andrei Măjeri.


The play Master Manole was written between 1 May and 15 September 1926, and printed in 1927 at Dacia Traiană Publishing House from Sibiu. Its absolute premiere was on 6 April 1929 at the National Theatre of Bucharest, under Soare Z. Soare's stage direction, with the role of Manole played by A. Pop Marțian, and of Mira by Aura Buzescu. On 11 February 1930, the play premiered at the National Theatre of Cluj, directed by Ștefan Braborescu, with Manole played by Ion Tâlvan, and Mira by V. Cronwald. Lucian Blaga elaborated upon the South-European largely-spread myth of Master Manole, in which the stronger, larger-than-life love of Manole for Mira combines with his urge to create a time-transcending work. Manole is a Lucifer-like character striving to reach immortality through his own creation.

He calculates and plans everything, stands to set proportions, projects the foundation stability, although abbot Bogumil does not believe in measurements, in numbers, since "you only count in Hell", as he says; "In God's Kingdom, to count is a sin slightly smaller than not honouring Saturdays, but definitely bigger than breaking the sixth commandment". Bogumil is the one who suggests Manole the necessity of human sacrifice: "the soul of a man built up in the walls would hold together the joints of the sacred place (...) 

The soul comes out of the worms-fated body to re-enter triumphantly the body of the church, thus gaining immortality." The Manichaean Bogomil is an heretic who believes in an imperfect, dual-nature God, in whom good and evil stand together. He asks himself a question meant to ravage Manole's own faith: "What if the good Lord and the awful Satan are brothers in immortality? What if they switch masks so you can no longer tell one from the other? Perhaps one serves the other". Blaga dwells upon this idea in one of his poems, Pax Magna: "Apparently - eternally / enraged God and Satan / understood that each is bigger / if they peacefully shake hands. So they reconciled / within me: together they dripped into my soul / faith and love and doubt and  lie". 

The idea of human sacrifice appears at the exact moment when Mira, with her feet over Găman, "plays" the part of the church and the man does not stumble, which hints at the solidity of walls instilled with living blood and the immortal soul of man. The serenity Mira asks from frowned builders, her laugh and joy, are part of the death-and-immortality game her lover Manole subjects her to, following Bogumil's advice: "Do it and stop thinking about it!". The play marks an unique landmark of Romanian playwrighting, synthesizing the magical, the sacred, the profane, the mysteries, in an impressing fusion of the human and the cosmic spirit.

The play was previously performed at the National Theatre of Cluj under the direction of Alexa Visarion in 1973. Nowadays, thirty four years later, a young director, Andrei Măjeri - now at his fourth collaboration with the National Theatre of Cluj, after Katalin Thuróczy's Pandora's Box (2014) and two performances on texts by Rodrigo García, Agamemnon and Death and Reincarnation in a Cowboy (2015 și 2016) - approaches Blaga's text in a modern vision. The performance space conceived by Mihai Păcurar and costumes realized by designer-artist Lucian Broscățean complete harmoniously the director's vision, in a setting of an austere simplicity which endows the tale of the church-maker and his unthinkable sacrifice with an impressive depth. We wouldn't, however, want to disclose more of the mystery within this performance, so as to let its secrets live and protect the corolla of world miracles.