Michaela, let's start with the name of the project. Why “Anastasis”?
Because the greek word Anastasis means a resurrection, the bringing back to life, and because it is the story of children doing everything to save the Earth, it is about trying to bring the dying Earth back to life again.
Isn’t it too idyllic?
Well, it's a fairytale story, so there's a lot of fantasy and the fantasy is something that gets you beyond the limits of common perception. You can share the space without any limitations. All the fairytales are in some ways idyllic, but also you can find the life truths in every fairytale as well.
Honestly, it comes to me more like actual story of nowadays…however with too idealistic end….
If we could communicate to the supernatural beings, fairies, pixies and angels nowadays...that would make the world looking entirely differently...wouldn’t it?
It is about the free inner perception of each person, every man can perceive this fairytale differently, and every end of the fairytale is actually ideal....evil is punished and the good wins. Isn't that right?
Could you share with us the musical storyline a little more?
You are probably familiar with the practice in TV production when a new movie or a fairytale is made, even if it is a trailer or an interview with the author, it is never revealed too much.
I can only reveal that the story is about interconnecting of two worlds. The world of fantasy and the world of reality.
The world of fantasy can be perceived, of course, the most of all by the children themselves, and therefore it is a children's musical. Children will see the elves, the fairies, the agents of good and evil, will hear the voice of the Earth and the Universe. There is the saying “who wants to see ... will see” ... “who wants to hear ... will hear”.
The children won’t ignore how roughly the Earth is treated and they will get touched by testimonies from elves, angels, and fairies very sensitively, but the most of all by the testimony of the Earth herself describing how badly does she suffer. Children will, of course, look for the solutions to help the Earth and seek for the answers at supernatural beings.
That seems to be quite challenging to make it all happen and stage it, isn't it?
There is a lot of things planned to be done, but I would not like to talk about future things so far
How demanding was the casting of children for a pre-musical class? I also know that several more castings are going to happen ....
The casting itself has definitely not been demanding for children at all and it never will be. I'm not looking for musically genial kids, but kids who enjoy singing and are not afraid of expressing themselves.
I’m perfectly fine with those who can feel and perceive the music.
I'm looking for the spontaneous and natural children, and if they would really enjoy the story and can really live and feel it, then I can guarantee that their performance will be genial - and that's what the whole uniqueness of this musical project is based on.
What should the musical pre-class bring to the children? Do you plan to start working directly on the Anastasis musical project with them?
Thank you for this question. The invitation to the casting was as following: We are looking for the musically and dramatically gifted children with dancing talent for the newly prepared musical project preceded by the musical pre-class.
It is a big difference when looking for the children for the roles of the finished musical they should act in - looking for certain types of children, with given voice range, etc.
Then there are just few children with chances to succeed because they have to meet predefined criteria and potential candidates lookup is conducted in a bit different music spheres. Requirements on children on such a castings are set really high.
But I'm not a music manager or a well-known musical star and I'm not going through the hard way of a music show-business.
I have been creating, composing, playing and singing always with my heart, so I have stacked and accumulated so many texts over the years that I could now fulfill my life dream and create a musical story according to my own feelings.
I have been working with children for a long time, and I have always had the most music with them as a connection.
Children love and feel music, and therefore I have created a musical for children ... ..not for the purpose and the pleasure of music business
Then I can afford to take children without the high set demands and the aim is to prepare children properly to the musical.
I am looking for children who are natural, sensitive, receptive, and especially children who will have fun and it will be their pleasure just like mine.
In it's own way this won't be easy, but if we enjoy it and we will do it with joy, then we may end up with perhaps better results than if we took it as a drill for glory purposes.
So the pre-class is nothing but a period of musical creativity without pressure and enough time for the children to choose their own feelings for the roles they will be happy with, which they naturally sit down and learn to interpret the roles perfectly in both singing, expression, and movements.
It's just turned around ... what the children choose, they will learn ... not the way as if they are given the role and then they will be pressured to meet the director's ideas.
So the preparation classes are basically the preparation and creation of the musical ..... so the children have the opportunity to be creative themselves?
This is a good point. The musical project is being prepared and it is in creation stage, there can still be a lot of things to change, remodel, shape according to the fantasy of the children.
The project is for them, not for an ego of the composer who only uses children to achieve his imagination and tortures them by the way actors has to do exactly what they are said to achieve composer´s glory.
The project is, of course, completely ready as a story, including texts and basic music, but it can still be modified by children. Of course, you can not move the basics of the script, the story is just given, but there's a lot to be added to fantasies, and I'm looking forward to the fantasies of those kids, so I'm looking for children who are receptive to feel the story.
Can you tell me something about yourself Michaela?
How could that happen to suddenly make such a big decision that one will devote to such a big and demanding project as a children's musical, when one does not live in this commercial music business at all?
That's correct, I am outside of the musical commercial sphere, mainstream, but on the other hand, through my life I was gifted with a lot of diverse experiences and the gifts I can now use.
Those gifts are also in the form of people who help me with the production of the musical.
I have been in music field since my early childhood, and I think that every person who has the gift of making music does not distinguish between what is great and demanding and what is small and unpretentious.
I just need to feel music with entire soul and if I feel that, then it's GREAT to me and it does not matter whether I'm making a musical or just singing and playing guitar and sitting on a grass.
I love music that has power. In my youth, there was a transverse flute that had the strength for me ... ..but singing with a guitar ..... then singing with a band ...... then singing with a piano ... etc.
Nowadays the strength lies in children to sing. There is nothing more beautyfull than when you hear children singing. What you are composing, whether musically or textually, and children can express that by themselves.
Just play and sing for them once and they absorb that in seconds like mushrooms and then they show their feelings off right away to you. Such a creative work is just amazing, and yet with the theme of help to Earth.
But how did you arrive into the decision to make a children's musical on the subject of saving Earth?
It's just that I have not reached any decision at all. My only decision was that I wanted to focus on the music and dedicate it to to the children.
Everything else came somehow naturally. First, they were ideas, and then these began to realize and materialize. Then came the lyrics, thoughts, music, everything began to connect in the story that began to flourish.
Nothing was like sitting down and planning a musical on a given topic about Earth for a few years.
Everything came at a certain moment in itself, and when I had enough material, then I just gave it the practical reality and name.
The fact that it is a theme about Earth, it came naturally in itself, because even though I was playing with the idea of creating a musical for a long time, my ideas were that it would be just about love. I've always been singing about love, whether to people or to nature or to life ... and that's how it has spontaneously got the direction to be a story about Earth's salvation and thus about life on Earth and all kinds of love and misery, good as well as bad both creates life.
What attitude do you personally have to Earth?
Probably like most of people. I enjoy nature, animals, forests, fields, meadows and water.
Perhaps I do not even know anyone who says I'm not happy in nature and I do not like it.
But I'm not an extremist in this. I live as I am given to live.
I grew up in the countryside in beautiful Macha area. Part of my life were forests, fields, meadows, water, and so on for a long time.
My life fate has led me to Prague, where, fortunately, I live only on its edge and even at the fields, ponds and mini-woods. Now people, friends, children, creation and music are part of my life.
I am quite surprised at how, as just now, when I dedicate myself to the creation of a musical about the Earth, as information suddenly flows to me from all possible directions, just as this theme is actual, alarming and supportive.
It looks as if the humanity has finally started realizing that Earth really suffers ... it dies ... and if attitude to the Earth's is not changed, it will not go well with her neither with us.
In my opinion, every generation has the Earth only borrowed for its lifetime. When the older generation leaves the Earth, then it’s children - the next generation - inherits it ... and once the next generation leaves Earth ... it is taken over by the next generation after them ... etc.
Actually, it does not come to me humane handing over to our children the Earth, which is almost plundered and drained, and is so much devastated that it self-defend through the natural extreme disasters.
The fact that it’s not thought about the others that will be here after us - that shows we do not really think at our children at all. We still somehow enjoy our lives, but what about our children?
What conditions shall they have to live in?
So I'm thankful for the opportunity to work on this topic and working with kids who will be singing on this subject. It is their Earth and they will live on it for a long time, and after them their children will live here and therefore they have the right to express what they feel.
Now I will ask you straight, is this not some kind of your internal rebellion against the world you want to project over children?
I certainly do not belong amongst the rebellious revolts invoking people, neither do I belong to those who fight against something or for something.
All the more so for the children to use for it.
I'm more like a person who perceives the life as it is, I'm very receptive, and I see things as they are. I do not look at the world through the black, but neither through the pink glasses.
Things are just as they are, and I certainly do not think I should change the world by some my inner rebellion. Many times before were people trying to push the change for a better world through the rebellion, but somehow the world still remains imperfect.
I rather think the way like if everyone would have started with themselves, it might be much more beneficial to the world ...
That's why I only do just what I love and feel as right, natural and good, which often brings joy not only to me but also to the others. I live my life the way so that I do not have to be ashamed.
Musical creation is not supported by anger neither rebellion against the world; musical creation is encouraged by the pleasure of music, singing, dancing and expression.
How do the children comment the scenario describing that the Earth is doing unwell and needing help, are they even connecting this with reality?
I'm giving the children a great deal of space to express themselves how do they feel what are they doing. We talk together a lot and kids are literally hungry to talk about the Earth.
Sometimes I can’t stop wondering how they are informed about the issues of the Earth. They tell me how people are ridiculously killing animals, how people cut the elephant tusks, how many trees fall, how the rainforests disappear ... what they solve the most is what they perceive everyday in their lives and that they are overburdened with garbage. One little girl even looks forward to grow up to fight the garbage issue. Children themselves feel a natural fervor for good things, both for the protection of defenseless animals and for the protection of the Earth as such.
It's their nature. They do not like evil.
They even mentioned that there are people who prevent the killing of animals, or they fight to keep the trees out and ask me if it is possible that these people could save the planet and whether there will be more and more of people like these. Finally, they realized that it is mostly about the change of way of thinking, and this musical project goes this way.
I can’t stop wondering - none of this have they from me - they just walk in already carrying all these informations. I do not need to say anything to them, they are telling themselves, and then we all just project these informations into the story of fairytale via musical and motion style describing good and evil.
On one hand there is evil that wants to hurt and destroy ….. and on the other hand there is the good that wants to protect and love ..... like in every fairytale
If this is rebellion then every other fairytale pointing for example to laziness, anger, selfishness, envy, and other negative human qualities would have to be considered as a rebellion too.
Every fairytale is actually a true story about human life in its own way, and what makes the story fairy-tale is the fact that one knows that everything will end up well at the end.
Good will be rewarded, and evil will be punished. The fairytale is fairytale because in real life it doesn’t use to be the same ... isn’t it?
I think that in reality we are more aware of the fact that Earth will not go well.
We still need to live our lives, but what about our children and their children?
So why not have a happy end at least in the fairytale. If everyone lived in a fairytale and believed that everything would go well and did something for it themselves, then the world would actually become a fairytale.
What reaction do you expect from the audience of this musical story?
Every person is different and every person looks at things from their perspective so it is nonsense for everyone to feel the same.
As I said in the beginning .... “It is about the free inner perception of each person.”
So far, I find that this project appeals to the sensitive people sensitive as well as those having their feets firmly on ground. The singing of children about expression of love to the Earth touches even the people of harder natures.
But I certainly can not prevent someone from being able to evaluate this work negatively.
It's the same as if someone looking at the fairytale about devil and daemons and would condemn it because of being scared of hell.
The fact that there is also goodness and love would not be perceived in such a case ... only the fear and hell.
On other side, other people can perceive the storyline of love and perceive the great sensitivity of this fairy-tale story.
The one and only important thing to me is to be sure that what I'm doing, I'm doing right .....and proof of that are the children I'm doing all this for.
Children are a very sensitive indicator of my work.
The children really love it, they are joyful and looking forward the next lesson. They like to talk about the lyrics and about the musical story in general, they sing and dance with pleasure and try to participate in the creation themselves. These children are perceptive, smart, and I think they would recognize if they would have been doing something they were pushed into and what is not joyful to them. They are asking on everything and I’m explaining everything very carefully to them so that they realize that we are creating a FAIRYTALE.
In every fairytale is EVIL and carries, unfortunately, signs of negative human qualities and this musical fairytale is not different.
So, if anyone takes the fact that evil represents the human qualities that are not thriving the Earth as a rebellion, then let that man feel it like the rebellion ... maybe once they would start thinking about the reason why this part of the fairytale touches them. Someone, on the other hand, perceives good attributes and gets touched just by the part where the goodness is manifested through the love and protection of Earth.
Who is involved in the creation and realization of this musical?
More and more people are getting involved in the realization of the musical.
I started completely alone and today I see it as a miracle, how many other people are starting to find joy and their place in the creation and realization of this children's musical.
In terms of creation, more other people are involved in texts and music; there are also people dedicated to choreography, organization, sponsorship, production, future medialization, etc.
These people are coming in somehow naturally, and everyone who gets excited and appealed by the musical adds and applies what he can into it.
As I say, the people who surround me are a living gift to me. They are people with real life values and I am delighted to see more and more new people in this work sphere.
Anyway, those who are the most participating on the creation and thus in the realization of the whole musical, and without whom it would not really work even if millions of people would have worked on the musical, are just THE CHILDREN.
They are the main engine, who make it all and growing and standing on the feets, who realize the plot of the whole story.
It is not always easy for them, they also have the days when there is visible fatigue, yet they try and rehearse to the last breath .... they always end filled with joy, and are coming with pleasure and smile to the next lesson again.
Well, we wish you all good and we are looking forward seeing the musical Anastasis on stage.
Thank you and I wish it to the children with all my heart because they are very excited about the theater and I am very excited when the children enjoy their first applause of their great musical premiere because they really deserve it for their diligence and hard work.