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Evolution, Revolution and the Mail Order Bride

When everything is in a state of upheaval and the stakes are high, can a woman shape a new destiny or is she bound forever to tradition and history?

In this musical tragicomedy, revolutionary Inessa Armand seeks to introduce the concept of “free love” to the new proletarian ideology of Bolshevik Russia, but her famous lover Vladimir Lenin dismisses it as a bourgeois concept. Inessa’s alter egos, the modern and feminine Eva and the ancient Maya, the shaman, are constantly present while she attempts to establish what is more important – personal happiness or the great cause.

Driven by a startling mix of traditional and contemporary musical styles, Evolution, Revolution and the Mail Order Bride tells the intertwining stories of three women, all performed by Zulya Kamalova, and accompanied by musicians Erkki Veltheim (violin, electric mandolin), Charlotte Jacke (cello), Justin Marshall (piano, percussion) and Donald Stewart (trombone, trumpet).

The development of this project was supported by the Australian Council for the Arts, City of Melbourne and Arts Victoria.

Image credit: photography by Sarah Walker.

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