Galina Vishnevskaya I International Opera Festival was opened in Sochi on September 22 at the Zimny Theatre. Established by the Galina Vishnevskaya Opera Centre supported by the Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation, Krasnodarsky Region Government and Sochi City Mayor, the Festival has continued the celebrations in honor of Great Russian Singer’s 90th birth anniversary held in many cities of Russia.
A special prayer in the name of the Festival success has been given at the Iviron Icon of Our Lady Church in Sochi on the opening day. Then, a press-conference has taken place: Olga Rostropovich (the Artistic Director of the Festival), Anatoly Pakhomov (Sochi City Mayor), Ivan Popovski (Macedonian opera director), Marco Boemi (conductor, Italy) and Daniel Montane (conductor, Spain) have spoken to the mass media representatives.
The Festival opened at the Zimny Theatre, where the audience was presented with several surprises. Young singers dressed in Rigoletto and Iolanta productions costumes greeted the spectators, gifting them souvenirs – fans and badges with the Festival symbols. The theatre lobby hosted an exhibition dedicated to Galina Vishnevskaya’s artistic career brought by the Centre from Moscow to Sochi.
The opening night started with greetings by Olga Rostropovich (the Artistic Director of the Festival) and Anatoly Pakhomov (Sochi City Mayor), who has emphasized the lack of opera in the city’s culture map and has promised to support the future festivals. Olga Rostropovich has warmly greeted the Festival’s participants and audience of the Sochi City, which is according to her is almost intentionally created for a large opera festival; she has also thanked the Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation, Department for Culture of the Moscow City, Krasnodar Region and Sochi city governments, all partners and sponsors for their support. She has then read a greeting letter to the Festival from the President of the Russian Federation – Vladimir Putin. The President has stressed that the Festival “fulfills an important mission in demand – to promote and conserve the memory and the rich artistic heritage of Galina Vishnevskaya – an outstanding representative of the Russian and world music culture, a talented teacher and mentor.”
Putin has expressed confidence that the Festival will become a significant event in the cultural life of the country, as well as will attract public attention, and will contribute to the professional development of young opera singers.
Svetlana Medvedeva has also sent a greeting letter to the Festival, wishing a successful performance to the artists and unforgettable moments to the audience.
The Gala Concert featured the graduates of the Opera Centre, soloists of the Novaya Opera — Irina Moreva and Sergey Polyakov, a soloists of the Bolshoi Theatre – Alexander Kasianov, young Italian opera singers – Daniela Cappiello, Angelo Fiore, Lara Rotili. Yulia Gertseva, one of the best world mezzo-sopranos, performed on stage as a special guest of the Festival. Daniel Montane conducted the Opera Centre’s Orchestra.
The audience enthusiastically greeted each performer, concluding the concert with standing ovation. The final surprise was the moment when the colorful balloons flew down the audience, accompanied by the Radetzky March.
The Festival’s program will be continued with the productions of Rigoletto and Iolanta (Zimny Theatre) as well as with a charity concert (at the Organ and Chamber Music Hall).