Triumph in Baku
The tour of the St. Petersburg Opera in the frameworks of the “Year of the Theatre in Russia”ended on December 19, 2019 in Baku (Azerbaijan) on the stage of the Akhundov Azerbaijan State Academic Opera and Ballet Theater. Additionally, the St. Petersburg Opera begun anniversary celebrations for the 100th anniversary of the Azerbaijan State Russian Samed Vurgun Drama Theatre.
For three days, the audience applauded standing to the soloists, orchestra, conductors Maxim Valkov and Alexander Goikhman who brilliantly embodied the tasks of the artistic director of the theatre, people's artist of Russia Yuri Alexandrov.
The whole collective of the theatre thanks the ambassador of the Russian Federation in Azerbaijan, Mr. Mikhail Nikolaevich Bocharnikov, the Ministry of Culture of Azerbaijan, the Government of St. Petersburg, the Committee for Culture of St. Petersburg and the main director of the Russian Drama Theatre Alexander Sharovsky for organizing the tour.
On December 17, the opera “Les pêcheurs de perles” by Georges Bizet was shown on the stage of the Azerbaijan State Academic Opera and Ballet Theater. According to the director, “ Les pêcheurs de perles ” is an elegant oriental fairy tale for adults, in which viewers enjoy the melody and immerse themselves in a magical atmosphere. The performance amazed the audience with colorful costumes and decorations created by the People’s Artist of Russia Vyacheslav Okunev. “Les pêcheurs de perles” is a “rare guest” of Russian and foreign stages, however, some opera pieces are very popular. For example, Nadir’s aria “Je crois entendre encore” and an unusually beautiful male duet for tenor and baritone “Au fond du temple saint” are cited in films and are included in the repertoire of famous classical and rock musicians.
On December 18, the audience in Baku was able to see the opera “Faust” by Charles Gounod on the stage of the Azerbaijan State Academic Opera and Ballet Theater. In a modern expressive performance, Yuri Alexandrov raises eternal philosophical problems, reflects on the nature of love and the opposition of hell to heaven. This production awarded with the “Golden Sofit” in the nomination "The Best Musical Performance" has become one of the director’s most impressive works. “What is the Devil? No, this is not a fantastic character with red horns, but the evil that we accumulate in ourselves ... The worst thing in the modern world is indifference. Dostoevsky wrote that the tears of children are worse than any global catastrophe. However, today’s terrifying bombs, as well as hunger, diseases and natural disasters, kill thousands of children every day. Does a person of the 21st century care about this? Not until he can quietly switch the television channels. Think about it, doesn’t it scare you, Satan is already piercing us from within ... ”, Yuri Alexandrov reflects.
The tour ended with a gala concert of soloists and the orchestra of the theatre on December 19 at the Azerbaijan State Russian Samed Vurgun Drama Theatre. The concert program included arias and duets from the most popular operas of Russian and foreign composers: P. Tchaikovsky, N. Rimsky-Korsakov, R. Shchedrin, A. Alyabyev, G. Verdi, G. Rossini, G. Donizetti, C. Gounod, R. Leoncavallo and others.