With a libretto based on the tragedy of Emperor Nero and Trotsky’s essays on Lenin, the opera unfolds against a giant laurelled head of the Soviet leader, which is being ‘trepanned’ as an army of beheaded terracotta sculptures dance around. Composer Dmitri Kourliandski has created the music by stretching several notes from the socialist revolutionary song Warszawianka and feeding them through live electronics. Metaphorically operating on the source of the bloody revolution, the authors of the opera ‘seal’ the idea of war forever inside the head. 
Staged for the centenary of the Russian Revolution, the opera premiered at Muziekgebouw, Amsterdam, as part of the Holland Festival in June 2017. For the Russian premiere, presented at the 14th Territory International Festival and Contemporary Art School, the authors have created a special version.  

‘Octavia. A Trepanning is a curious work filled with allusions, a multimedia theatre for the senses, a brilliant interplay of seriousness and irony, and a beautifully performed musical meditation on the relentless machines of power and violence.’

Regine Müller, Opernwelt  


  • 22/04/2019 — Premiere of "Oktavia. Trepanation" opera in Moscow will be held duting Territory festival
  • 22/04/2019 — Premiere of "Oktavia. Trepanation" opera in Moscow will be held duting Territory festival
  • 22/04/2019 — From Simon Stone to Eimuntas Nekrosius. Territory Festival has announced program
  • 08/07/2019 — Boris Yukhananov in Space and Time
  • 10/07/2019 —
  • 18/09/2019 — Stanislavsky Electrotheatre will release 11 premieres in the new season
  • 19/09/2019 — The first anniversary and 11 premieres. Stanislavsky Electrotheatre announces plans for the new season
  • 26/09/2019 — Dangerous communications, Time of Troubles and Vladimir Sorokin. 10 major theater premieres of the fall
  • 02/10/2019 —
  • 07/10/2019 — "Territory" of the fall - in the theater, museum and cinema
  • 08/10/2019 — Lenin-Putin, modern Medea and Yoko Ono. What is interesting in the program of the festival "Territory"
  • 08/10/2019 — What performances to watch at the festival "Territory"
  • 09/10/2019 — 7 most interesting performances of the festival "Territory"
  • 09/10/2019 — Guide: Territory 2019
  • 16/10/2019 — “Octavia. Trepanation"
  • 17/10/2019 — Premiere of the opera Octavia. Trepanation ”took place in an atmosphere of tyranny
  • 20/10/2019 — At the festival "Territory" was the premiere of the play "Octavia. Trepanation"
  • 20/10/2019 — "Octavia: Trepanation": how Lenin's skull was opened in the Electrotheatre
  • 22/10/2019 — LAMENTO OR BOSS NOVA
  • 23/10/2019 — And Seneca speaks with Trotsky
  • 24/10/2019 — Nero and other comrades at the Stanislavsky Electrotheatre
  • 26/10/2019 — “Octavia. Trepanation". 10 facts about the new play "Stanislavsky Electrotheatre"
  • 28/10/2019 — Ilyich’s head for everything: “Octavia. Trepanation ”by Boris Yukhananov
  • 05/11/2019 — HEAD JOY
  • 11/12/2019 — Octavia. Trepanation