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Faust singing

Julia Obolenskaya

10 November 2005

The only place in Moscow where you could see the “Faust” opera is Galina Vishnevskaya Centre for Opera. A brand-new production of Gounaud’s chef-d’oeuvre was presented here on the 10th of November. It was realized by Nikilay Androsov who is more famous for his work in choreography. Androsov is the leader of the “Russian Seasons” ballet company. And recently he has tried stage director’s path of what “Faust” is an example.

The production is perfectly in academic keys, it is exciting and dynamic. It reflects the authors’ principal task: opera is to be rather opera, than a music performance reflecting the director’s unique style.

Galina Vishnevskaya’s students all participated in this complicated performance which is besides in the original – in French. The young debutante Maria Pakhar’ with her silvery soprano contributed to the tender and harmonious character of Marguerite. Alexey Tikhomirov as Mephistopheles with his unusual manner of execution and magnificent bass perfectly demonstrated the classic tradition. He looked even more convincing almost without make-up. It is worth praising the leading man. Georgiy Protsenko is only twenty-two years old. Faust’s character is so intricate in its philosophic facets, that usually only adult performers try to approach it. But Protsenko, young and handsome (absolutely suitable for Hollywood!) performed such a difficult part so naturally as if proving that for Vishnevskaya’s pupils there are no obstacles in either techniques or in anything else.

Diva attended the first night performance of course. During her career Galina Vishnevskaya starred almost in all of the greatest theatres of the world. Probably now that she is sharing her experience, time and efforts with her pupils, she is as excited as she was when she was performing herself. The soloists of her centre follow the same guiding light as Vishnevskaya does all the time everywhere, that is the motto “To be the best”. Since the moment when the centre opened three years ago, there have been five new opera productions and numerous concerts. Tchaikovsky’s last opera “Yolanta” is being prepared for a first night fixed for January 2006. It is clear why Galina Vishnevskaya works so hard on the eve of her anniversary. When there is much to be done – to rest on her laurels is a waste of time for her.