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The Tsar's Bride Opera by Rimsky-Korsakov reappers on the Bolshoi's stage

February 22, 2014, 7:25 UTC+3 MOSCOW
1 pages in this article
The Bolshoi Theatre

The Bolshoi Theatre

© Itar-Tass/ Vladimir Astapkovich

MOSCOW, February 22, 7:14 /ITAR-TASS/. - The Tsar's Bride, the most popular opera written by Russian composer Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, will reappear on the Bolshoi Theatre's stage on February, 22.

Conductor Gennady Rozhdestvensky, People's Artist of Russia, directed the first dress rehearsal last Friday. The audience’s reaction to what they saw and heard left no doubt the opera would have a stunning success. They met conductor Gennady Rozhdestvensky with an ovation: it was he who saved the production which was under a threat of being disrupted in the end of 2013. On December 2 last year, Vasiliy Sinaiskiy, the theatre's former musical director and chief conductor, submitted his resignation which was accepted on December 3.

The Tsar's Bride was one of Sinaiskiy's unfinished projects. It was decided that the opera should reappear on the Bolshoi’s stage with stage sets designed by Fyodor Fyodorovsky that are considered to be part of the Bolshoi’s “golden fund”. The project had to be saved, and Bolshoi's newly-appointed Director-General Vladimir Urin rushed to search for a new conductor. He found maestro Gennady Rozhdestvenskiy during a guest tour in Paris on January 4.

He will conduct the orchestra during the first night performances in Moscow and during guest tours in Vienna and New York where the opera will be performed in the form of a concert.

At Friday’s dress rehearsal Sinaisky was given a hero’s welcome. The first sounds of the overture made the audience calm.

They had a good chance to see the stage sets designed by theatre artist Fyodor Fyodorovsky. His sketches to the opera dated 1955 formed the basis for the opera’s renovated 7th version in the Bolshoi. The current production has been staged by Israeli stage director Yulia Pevzner who shared her thoughts about her work with journalists at a press briefing held prior to the dress rehearsal.

“This wonderful opera tells a moving story of a young woman who becomes a victim of her entourage,” Pevzner said.

”I hope that we are all going to sympathize with the main characters with our eyes full of tears. They yielded to evil passions which led to their imminent death,” she emphasised.

The Tsar's Bride is one of the most popular and frequently performed operas by Rimsky-Korsakov. He wrote it in 1898. The composer had a very special feeling for it.

"Out of many of my operas I love 'The Snow Maiden' and 'The Tsar's Bride' more than others," Rimsky-Korsakov used to say. He started it in February 1898 and finished the music scores ten months later.

The Tsar's Bride saw the first night at the Private Opera of Sava Mamontov on October 22, 1899.

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