22nd February 2016
So we have just started week 4 of the tour #RussianStateOperaonTour2016 and as you can imagine it has flown by. Everyday the cast travels to different theatres, the technical crew prepare the stage for the performance, then home made lunch and rehearsals for the orchestra and the singers. Some might say the touring schedule is too much and too full on for the artists but they LOVE it. They absolutely LOVE being on tour and perform in front of the full house every night. It is their passion and they cannot live with out the stage, singing music, performing and travelling. Yes of course it is hard and challenging but you as an artist learn to embrace it and get used to any situations, it is after all part of the game.
Here are a few #backstage snap shots
Producer Alexej Ignatow, of Amande Concerts Ltd, who has co-ordinated the UK tour, said: “We are constantly on the lookout for new challenges, to ensure that our opera and ballet audiences get a chance to experience a wide spectrum of various classic pieces”.
With extensive national tours that get our productions seen the length and breadth of the country, we are able to offer national audiences in various theatres an unforgettable experience at a fraction of the price, all without sacrificing quality. So, it is very close to my heart to continue working with theatres all over the UK to deliver top quality productions every year and make new converts wherever we go.
Please have a look at our brand new video of Madam Butterfly here
We have 2 weeks left of this wonderful production don’t miss out on the opportunity to see a one of the most watched Opera in the world on your door step – Russian State Opera
Bye for now!
05th February 2016
Madam Butterfly – one of the most colourful & exotic operas
So we are well in 2016 now which means our annual Opera tour has begun on Monday night in Guildford. After months and months of preparation, organisation and hard work the cast is finally here in England, performing at different theatres each night. This year we have decided to bring back the ever famous Madam Butterfly Opera. This exquisite production, with its beautiful new set and costumes, intensifies the emotion in an already heart-breaking opera.
Our wonderful soloist Olga Georgieva as a Cio-Cio San
Music by Giacomo Puccini
Set in Japan at the turn of the century, Madam Butterfly is among the most colourful and exotic of all operas, and from its theme of noble self-sacrifice spring melodies that grips your heart.It tells the story of a doomed love affair between an American naval officer and his young Japanese bride, whose self-sacrifice and defiance of her family leads to heartbreak and tragedy.
Madam Butterfly remained close to Puccini’s heart, for he never tired of hearing it or of seeing it performed. Fortunately, today’s opera-lovers agree wholeheartedly with him!
Suzuki (Cio-Cio San’s Servant) and Madam Butterfly waiting for Lieutenant Pinkerton
Alexej Ignatow producer of Russian State Opera said ‘No experience is needed to enjoy these classics. Our sets and costume designs, as well as the informative programmes make the productions very accessible and most of all, enjoyable. For opera, English surtitles make it easy to follow the story as you listen to the performance sung in its original language.’
We look forward to seeing you at one of our venues for a wonderful evening out!
For more information and where to buy tickets please visit our Website
23rd October 2015
The Autumn Ballet season 2015 is well under way and our local audiences have had the joy of watching Swan Lake Ballet, Nutcracker and Don Quixote all performed to a large live orchestra.
From the rich and ancient culture of Astrakhan on the banks of the Volga River, the renowned and highly acclaimed Russian State Ballet and Opera House returns with three new vibrant, stunning and enchanting ballets productions which will captivate and delight the whole family.
Swan Lake – the greatest of all romantic ballets
The Nutcracker – an eternal seasonal favourite
Don Quixote – a wonderfully entertaining ballet
Directed and choreographed by Konstantin Uralsky
Former Bolshoi Theatre Ballet Dancer, Director of the New York Ballet Company and Ballet Artistic Director of the Glinka State Opera and Ballet Theatre in Chelyabinsk, and Artistic Director of the Russian State Ballet & Opera Theatre of Astrakhan, Konstantin URALSKY has been creating ballets for more than twenty years and toured world-wide with the Company.
He is a classic Russian artist and his work is a phenomenon in Russian national culture, renowned for its creative expression.
A number of ballet productions choreographed by Uralsky are exceptional in their depth of philosophical conceptual thinking and valuable creative discoveries in the field of music and choreographic drama. His creative experience deserves attention and study of young, novice choreographers.
Uralsky never puts on stage frivolous, senseless, entertaining or purely formal performances. He is concerned about the problems of the modern world, especially the tragic conflict, to which he devoted most of his work. But he sees the world not from its one side only, not darkly pessimistic, but in its entirety with everything wonderful, positive and bright in life.
This all-around position seems to me the most efficient nowadays.
Producer Alexej Ignatow, who has co-ordinated the UK tour, said: “It’s fantastic to bring such a talented and inspiring Russian ballet company to the UK to offer local audiences the opportunity to experience world class ballet performances. We want to make ballet much more accessible and with such a renowned Bolshoi star as Konstantin Uralsky, as director, audiences know that these performances promise to be both stunning and magical.”
“Ballet is often thought to be “difficult” and elitist, but this is not so. Both forms are timeless and, like any art, they need to be presented in an accessible and attractive way to the audience. This is why we feel it is so important to present our productions in a classical, traditional style that is familiar to all.”
For more information and how to book tickets please visit our website
See you soon at one of our local theatres.
22nd September 2015
Irina Bozhenko, who has starred in operas across the globe, and will be making guest appearances in the leading role of Violetta, for performances in Harrogate, Llandudno, Blackburn, Darlington, Stockport and York.
|Mon||28-Sep||Harrogate, Royal Hall||01423 502 116|
|Tue||29-Sep||Llandudno, Venue Cymru||01492 872 000|
|Fri||02-Oct||Stockport, The Plaza||01614 777 779|
|Sun||04-Oct||Blackburn, King Georges Hall||0844 847 1664|
|Tue||06-Oct||Darlington, Civic Theatre||01325 486 555|
|Wed||07-Oct||York, Barbican||0844 854 2757|
How old were you when you realised that you wanted to be an Opera singer?
I used to sing in kinder garden and then in school where I was part of the school choir. I went through a stage of trying to be like Whitney Huston. Especially, I used to love singing when I did chores at home.
What do you do after a performance?
We have a tradition with the cast – After any premiere we get together to celebrate and discuss the performance. We are all together in it, rehearsals, stress, and performances, so it’s important to share the feelings with each other and get it out of your chest.
I have met some Opera singers that would wake up in the middle of the night to go through their lines. How do you separate work from home?
I never bring my work home. Although sometimes if I can’t get things right I moan to my husband. He is a good musician so he understands what I am talking about.
What do you like doing in your free time?
I like to cook and being outside. Nothing extraordinary. Being surrounded by nature calms me down. It’s important for me to switch off at the right moment. We give so much emotion on stage it’s vital to recharge.
If you could, what message will you give to the audience?
Don’t be shy to show your emotions, it is really important for us. At the end of the day we are singing for you!
The opera is being performed by The Russian State Opera as part of the company’s UK wide opera tour from September to mid October 2015.
For information and tickets for La Traviata, please visit amande-concerts.co.uk/la-traviata
01st October 2013
For the first time this year Russian State Ballet and Opera House will be bringing the mesmerising ballet, Romeo and Juliet to a theatre near you.
The world’s greatest love story “for never was a story of more woe, than this of Juliet and Romeo”. (William Shakespeare)
For more information about Romeo and Juliet, about the history and where we will be performing please go to Romeo and Juliet Ballet
William Shakespeare’s story of Romeo and Juliet was one of the first works of literature to inspire ballet choreographers – so perfectly suited to dance are its drama, romance and tragedy.
Set to one of Prokofiev’s most evocative scores, this production is filled with beautiful dance, riveting battles, and compelling drama, all amidst stunning production designs.
Romeo and Juliet has become one of the most beloved ballets, captured the imagination of many generations over the years, and continues to attract audiences worldwide, full of mystery and romance. The Ballet is known for its breathless ‘Pas de Deux’, dramatic emotions and tragic tale, and is considered by many to be one of the greatest classical ballets of all time!
Most people will be familiar with the story of Romeo and Juliet, however, we would like to take the opportunity and tell you the story in our own words. I hope you will enjoy reading it as much as we have enjoyed writing it!
If you would like to read the history of the ballet and how it developed and changed.
As Romeo is daydreaming about romantic love the citizens of Verona are having a party in the main square of the town. Even maids, salesmen and florists are having a good time. Sadly, however, for decades the two wealthy families of Verona, Capulet and Montague have been fighting with each other.
Another quarrel is happening at the square while other people are enjoying the party. Mothers and wives are begging the men to stop fighting. Right in the middle of the fight Tybalt (the favourite nephew of Capulet) appears, Tybalt is known for his famous fights on the streets. The Prince of Escalus, ruler of Verona, appears and stops the fight.
In Juliet’s room her nurse is getting Juliet’s dress ready as she is going to a ball today for the first time. The nurse decides to try on the dress and pretends she is at the ball. Juliet is peeking through the door and quietly laughing to herself.
At the same time 4 young men are also getting ready for the ball. Mercutio and Benvolio trying to distract Romeo from daydreaming. The boys are trying to persuade Romeo to sneak to the ball in disguised masks as Capulet family holds the ball and Romeo is the son of Montague.
Back in the square of Verona everyone is doing their usual daily things. Mercution and Benvolio are at the square. A pretty girl is flirting with Mercutio and suddenly she sprays a bit of water from the fountain on Mercutio but he quickly ducks away and the water lands on the new outfit of Tybalt. Everyone is laughing at him. Mercutio does not waste an opportunity to say a few jokes towards his enemy, Tybalt. As you can imagine Tybalt gets angry straight away and there is no stopping him. Romeo appears and tries to calm him down by saying he loves Tybalt like his friend, which angers Tybalt even more, as he knows it’s not true.
Mercution and Tybalt start fighting. Romeo tries to stop the fight and gets right in the middle of them. This encourages Tybalt to stab Mercutio. Mercutio dies.
The fight continues as Romeo becomes angry with pain and kills Tybalt. The pain takes over the square of Verona.
Back in Juliet’s room Romeo and Juliet are together. But he cannot stay in town after he killed Tybalt. At the sunset Romeo leaves and the couple say good-bye to each other.
Juliet’s parents introduce her to Count Paris. He is in love with her and asks her parents to marry the lovely Juliet. This sounds like an arranged marriage and of course Juliet refuses to marry as she is in love with Romeo. Juliet is unable to tell her parents the truth, as they hate Romeo. Juliet’s father is puzzled by Juliet’s behaviour but doesn’t take any notice of her sadness and agrees for her to marry Count Paris. Juliet is heartbroken. Only Father Larenzo is now able to help.
Father Lorenzo decides to give Juliet a ‘special’ drug that will put her to sleep, it will be ‘death like coma’. Everyone will think Juliet killed herself, apart from Romeo. Laurence will make sure Romeo will know that it is all an act.
When Juliet returns home, she drinks the drug and falls asleep.
Romeo finds out about Juliet death and he is heartbroken. Friar Laurence did not have enough time to tell Romeo the truth. How irresponsible of him! Romeo visits Juliet in Capulet’s crypt, where Juliet is lying peacefully.
Romeo sees Juliet and starts to sob. He does not want to live without her. He takes out a poison from his pocket and drinks it. Moments later, Juliet wakes up and sees Romeo. She is happy to see him only to find out he is dead! She also does not want to live without him. Juliet sees Romeo’s knife and kills herself with it, this time it’s not a ‘death like coma’.
Romeo and Juliet will now be together, forever.
21st September 2012
I thought it would be useful to write a post about the story of Swan Lake just in time for the weekend reading. I am not afraid to say that Swan Lake is one of the most popular ballet of all times. Most people familiar with the story of the beautiful lady who turns into Swan by an evil curse. Not many people know that the ballet actually has two endings. The ‘happy’ ending and the ‘sad’ ending. I will tell you the story of ‘happy’ ending.
The legendary composer Tchaikovsky wrote the music for Swan Lake from 1875-1876. Most of the original work about the Swan Lake story has not survived so we can only assume that the story came from the Russian folktale.
The very first production of Swan Lake was performed on 4 March 1877. Unfortunately, the premie was not well received. Despite the criticism the ballet continued to be performed . A few years later Petipa decided to modify the choreography of Swan Lake and since then many other choreographers infused their own thoughts into the ballet. Slowly, Swan Lake became the world’s favourite ballet.
I won’t repeat myself in writing the Swan Lake synopsis in detail as it is already written on our website under the ‘Swan Lake performance’. I cannot help but mention the wonderful love story that Swan Lake has brought into our lives.
The Story in my words….
The ballet starts with Prince Siegfried’s birthday in his castle. As in most parties the guests are having a lovely time dancing. Siegfried’s mother reminds the Prince that there will be a ball tomorrow where he must choose the bride for himself. Of course, the young Prince is not happy about it as he is not in love and doesn’t even have a girlfriend. To take his mind of things he goes hunting. In the forest he notices swans flying in the skies. Prince Siegfried follows them to the lake. At the lake Prince sees the beautiful white swans swimming near the shore of the lake. The swans are cursed by an evil spell and only power of selfless love can break this evil spell.
Prince Siegfried notices the beautiful Swan (Odette) and is dazzled by her beauty. Later, she reviles to him that only everlasting love can break her spell. Siegfried promises to love Odette forever.
The next day the ball takes place in the queen’s castle. Prince is nowhere to be seen. When he eventually arrives he is presented with the young girls from who he is to make a choice to be his bride. He dances with them only to satisfy his mother but his thoughts are all about Odette.
Suddenly an unknown knight arrives (disguised as the evil curse) and his beautiful daughter Odile. The Prince is confused as Odilie looks very much like Odette. Siegfried is fascinated by Odile and his doubts disappear. The father of Odile (evil curse) requests the Prince to prove the love for his daughter by swearing to love her eternally. As soon as he does that he sees a white swan in the window.
*Editor note- Odette has told the Prince when they met that she can only become a human again if a man falls in love with her and chooses to be with her forever. The Prince to me is quite foolish not to question this when he sees Odilie.
Siegfried realises that he became a victim of the evil curse. In despair, he rushes to the lake to see Odette.
The Prince appears at the lake and begs Odette’s forgiveness. He assures her of his strong and lasting feelings for her.
Suddenly Rothbart appears in a fury and recognises that the two of them realised what is going on. Siegfried invited Rothbart to fight him and he wins. The evil spell is broken straightaway and all the swans are changed into young girls.
LOVE wins over EVIL.
Stay with us and next week you can enjoy reading the story of Sleeping Beauty.