03rd March 2016
What makes you jump out of your bed every morning?
My schedule! I always have a plan. Sometimes it is a super busy schedule, sometimes it is every day things I have to do and sometimes the plan is to rest so I then don’t have to get up. I love doing planned things and that’s what makes me get up in the mornings, so I can finish them and make some more plans!
What is your favourite role to sing at the moment?
I always try to enjoy every single role that I sing. I make sure that I do my best so that my heroine becomes alive on stage.
Cio-Cio San in Madam Butterfly
I like a lot of Opera’s. A lot. I love Verdi Opera’s and Puccini. I really admire composers like Berg, Strauss and Weinberg. I love bright heroines. I enjoy singing roles of villains, its always interesting and deep.You can make up a whole story as to why your character is so evil. Maybe she is in pain or sad. The one Opera that stands out for me is Pucccini’s Opera – Turandot. In time I would love to sing both women’s roles in Opera.
If you could sing anywhere in the world (not just in theatre) where would it be?
I can’t name a particular place in the world. I really like Saint Petersburg and Russia. I love Italy. I like England more and more ;-). When I start thinking where I would like to sing it’s not a place but the professional people around me that I think of. I imagine the highest quality around me and my constant development and maybe imposable goals that I would like to achieve on stage.
Cio-Cio San and Suzuki
Best bits about England?
Open spaces, sheep, fields, boundless sky which reminds me of Russia.I have not seen enough of London as I had an important performance there but I felt that London is a special city with it’s own particular atmosphere.
Tell us something about yourself that no one knows.
No one knows that I am a small coward inside. How I get nervous before the performance. If anyone had a chance to hear some of my thought, they would not understand me.
How do you relax after an important performance?
I like to be with my colleagues and people who were involved in the performance. I like to reflect on a good performance and move on to the next performance and plan new targets and goals.
Favourite Opera singer?
My answer will be ordinary. It is Maria Callas. She is not just a singer but an actor as well. I admire her not only for her voice but how she lived on stage and acted the role of her character.
If you could take anyone to dinner who would you take?
I would invite Joseph Brodsky. I think with him it will be a very interesting evening. We would have had a great time in one of the restaurants in Venice. However, he is dead so that would not be possible.
What’s your life motto?
‘Love life in all its manifestations’. ‘Live and let others live as well’.
‘Live and enjoy every minute.’
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
09th January 2015
RIGOLETTO – A tragic tale of misunderstanding, revenge and sacrifice
Rigoletto is an opera in three acts by Giuseppe Verdi, set to an Italian libretto by Francesco Maria Piave, and based on the play “Le Roi s’amuse” by Victor Hugo.
Verdi was commissioned to write a new opera by La Fenice opera house in Venice in 1850.
By this time he was already a well-known composer and had a degree of freedom in choosing the works he would prefer to set to music.
Verdi enthused over Victor Hugo’s play.
Often described as Verdi’s first work of complete genius, Rigoletto is particularly noted for its subtle and highly original characterisation, especially in the case of the tragic court jester, Rigoletto himself.
Verdi, who felt a special sympathy for any sort of social outcast, was particularly moved by the idea of a clown outwardly ugly and ridiculous, but inwardly full of passion and love for his young daughter who has been seduced by a callous nobleman.
It was a highly controversial subject, and Hugo himself had already had trouble with censorship in France, which had banned production of his play after its first performance nearly twenty years earlier.
From the beginning Verdi was aware of the risks, as was Piave.
At the beginning of the summer of 1850, rumours started to spread that Austrian censorship was going to forbid the production. The censors considered the Hugo work to verge on lèse majesté and would never permit such a scandalous work to be performed in Venice.
In August, Verdi and Piave prudently retired to Busseto, Verdi’s hometown, to continue the composition and prepare a defensive scheme. They wrote to the theatre, assuring that the censors’ doubts about the morality of the work were not justified, but since very little time was left, very little could be done. At the time, Piave and Verdi has titled the opera La Maledizione (The Curse) and this unofficial title was used by Austrian censor in an emphatic letter written in December 1850 in which he definitely denied consent to its production.
Verdi then decided to have direct negotiations with censors, arguing over each and every point of the work. By January 1851 the parties were able to agree that the action of the opera would be moved from the royal court of France to a duchy of France or Italy and some of the characters would have to be renamed. By January, the opera’s definitive title had become Rigoletto.
Verdi finally completed the composition of the opera on 5 February 1851, a little more than a month before the premiere.
When Verdi wrote Rigoletto, the composer, singers and conductor were in charge of the production and a scenic artist created the sets and costumes – there was no such thing as an opera producer.
The singers were given some of their music to learn on 7 February. However, Verdi kept at least a third of the score at Busseto. He brought it with him when he arrived in Venice for the rehearsals on 19 February and would continue to refine the orchestration during the rehearsal period.
Composers often ‘borrowed’ tunes from earlier operas to fit their current works, but this practice had to be employed judiciously. If the same tune was heard twice in the same town, the audience made their objections known vociferously.
Verdi was very conscious, therefore, while rehearsing the premiere of Rigoletto that the catchiest tune might be spread around the town before the performance and Verdi would be derided as a cheat. So he kept his tenor who was to sing the tune in suspense until the last minute before letting him see it. The composer also demanded maximum secrecy from the rest of the cast, orchestra and theatre staff . La donna è mobile thus went on to be the hit of the opera !
Rigoletto was a great box-office success for La Fenice and Verdi’s first major Italian triumph since the 1847 premiere of Macbeth in Florence.
To find where we are performing, please follow this link http://amande-concerts.co.uk/rigoletto/tickets/