The Firebird plays like an elongated fairytale, elaborated and expanded to suit the sensibilities of contemporary listeners. Young audiences meet Russian Prince Ivan, competing with his cruel older brothers, Yuri and Igor, in their pursuit of a mythic beast, the Firebird. Only by capturing this winged legend can Ivan win the favor of his father, Tsar Demyan, and marry his lifelong love, the gallant Princess Tamara. Performer Richard Aspel deftly captures the old-world atmospherics that drive this adventure. Aspel not only finds a unique voice for each member of this manifold cast, but exudes an air of sympathy and authenticity as he relates their hopes, fears, and motives. Indeed, Aspel's capable character acting breathes added depth and complexity into the story's familiar fairytale conventions.
Ivan, youngest son of the powerful, greedy Tsar Demyan, is resigned to a life of misery and humiliation at the hands of his brothers, brutal Yuri and sly Igor. And to add to his torment, Yuri has been promised in marriage to the girl Ivan has loved all his life - the bold and beautiful Princess Tamara, daughter of a neighboring king. Then one day, Ivan sees the legendary Firebird in his father's garden. The Tsar, obsessed with the beautiful creature, orders his sons out in a quest to capture it and bring it back to the palace. Determined to find the bird before his brothers do, Ivan embarks on a thrilling journey of reckless endeavor and strange magic.
©2001 Sophie Masson; (P)2005 Bolinda Publishers Pty Ltd.
"Masson writes with elegance and intelligence." (The Weekend Australian)
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