On June 21-23, 2016 the premiere of “Pagliacci” by R. Leoncavallo (Pagliacci, Ruggero Leoncavallo) took place at Moscow Chamber theater named after B. A. Pokrovsky, which kindly provided its stage to a project called “New World Opera” (NewOperaWorld). In the words of the inspirer and director of the project Anna Selivanova, a clear-headed and responsive director of the theatre readily accepted the project.
The project, which idea has been long realized globally, is a month of summer training for the young (and not only) professionals of opera, which allows them to try themselves in a large play and take opera lessons. A result of participation in this “lab” is often the appearance of brilliant talents on the biggest world stages.
With that, the vocalists pay 40’000 rubles for the course, transit and accommodation, whereas the instrumentalists of the orchestra participate in the project for free.
The original play of “Pagliacci” was made by Andrey Tsvetkov-Tolbin, who has put heart into it and demanded the same from the performers: “give the audience a piece of your soul, so that the audience came away not empty, so that we helped them in some way…”.
Andrew says that the idea was congenial to him, the creator: “It was providence… At that moment, I had a dramatic, similar situation in my life “.
The director conceived it would be “not opera, but the opera performance”, and, I must say, that he managed to achieve it. The scene lived to the fullest, breathed freely and conveyed the emotions to the audience. In general, the play was very dynamic and I wanted to say about the acting “I believe it!”.
An orchestra prepared by Francesco Massimi from the La Scala Academy sounded decent under the guidance of a director Andrew Shlyachkov (Helikon Opera).
The opera actors stole the audience. It froze motionless sometimes, in the other moments it revived, depending on the conveyed emotion. If distrust of the new project was felt at the beginning of the play, it completely disappeared at the end. The premiere happened.
The arias of “Pagliacci” were different. Those who remember the great singers, such as Ivan Kozlovsky or Placido Domingo, they could be a bit disappointed in the new singers. At the same time, the performance at the award-winning scenes is more disappointing sometimes.
Many things were done well. It is important that the new voices have been heard: Columbine (Valery Zelensky), Silvio (Ilyas Batchaev) and Tonio (Anton Dorokhov).
Anna Selivanova was pleased with the play, a first premiere of their project. “Easy to say, that it could have been better if we had one week more. But here we had a tight time frame, which you should meet and do the work.” The main goal she sees is not the performance itself, but its preparation, which gives the project participants the practice and experience resulting from working with professionals. That is what they come for.
The foreign participants highly appreciated the New Opera World project and its success, as well as the Russian school of music as a whole. Although, they noted some weaknesses (easily fixable). “Russia has very good voices, schools, techniques. But Russia lacks knowledge of languages. This limits a repertoire for the Russian singers… The knowledge of languages gives more expression, the ability to play with words.
“In addition, the young Russian singers often choose a hard, unsuitable repertoire” – said Robert Kerner about project participants (Robert Kerner, the casting Director of the Lyon national Opera). During the interview to “E Vesti”, Anna Selivanova said that Mr. Kerner took a few resumes of the project participants.
On June 24, 2016 the New Opera World gave a gala concert of the project participants. On July 28-30, 2016, the project will present “Eugene Onegin” by P. I. Tchaikovsky at the same theater named after B. A. Pokrovsky.