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Festival “May Opera Evenings”, Skopje, Macedonia

Festival “May Opera Evenings”, Skopje, Macedonia

On May 22, the soloists of the Opera Centre came back to Moscow after a successful tour within the framework of the festival “May Opera Evenings” that took place in Skopje, the capital of Macedonia.

The long history of the festival (that has been held for more than 34 years now) includes more than 50 operas of the world repertoire and singers from various countries. Such names as Gena Dimitrova, Irina Arkhipova, Vladislav Pjavko, Nikola Guzelev, and Bruno Sebastian confirm the high status of this musical forum.

“May Opera Evenings” takes place in the National Opera and Ballet Theatre – the biggest stage in Macedonia – that was built instead of the previous building that was destroyed by an earthquake. This year the soloists and theatre collectives from Argentine, Austria, Great Britain, Iceland, Italy, Mexico, Russia, Serbia, USA, Ukraine, Montenegro, and Japan took part in the festival. In the playbill, there was “Aida”, “Traviata”, “Nabukko”, “Turandot”, and other masterpieces.

Galina Vishnevskaya’s Opera Centre performed successfully the operas “The Tsar’s Bride” by Rimsky-Korsakov and “Rigoletto” by Verdi in the staging version by Ivan Popovsky, Macedonian director. Skopje looked forward for the Russian singers to come: Galina Vishnevskaya and Mstislav Rostropovich visited Macedonia and performed there more than once. In the 60-s Galina Vishnevskaya sang “Aida” on the stage of the old theatre in Skopje. According to her, “Macedonian audience is wonderful, it is very deep, vigorous, and it received the performance marvelously.” This fact made Galina Vishnevskaya’s students feel special responsibility before the audience and their teachers; however, the natural anxiety served then only good. In “The Tsar’s Bride” Oksana Kornievskaya (Lubasha) and Oksana Lesnichaya (Marfa) – the leading soloists of the Centre – were brilliant and along with them – Sergei Sheremet, the soloists of “New Opera” (Gryaznoy) and Georgy Protsenko, the young student of Galina Vishnevskaya (Lykov). The true discovery in “Rigoletto” was Irina Dubrovskaya, who, along with Yury Baranov (Rigoletto) and Nurlan Bekmukhambetov, the soloist of “New Opera” (The Duke) – two professional singers specially invited to the festival, created a bright and touching image of Gilda.

Yaroslav Tkalenko, whose professionalism and mastery were highly appreciated by Macedonian public that applauded upright to the artistes, conducted both “The Tsar’s Bride and Rigoletto”.

According to Blago Stephanovsky, Macedonian Culture Secretary, during his meeting with Elena Oporkova, the director of the Opera centre, “culture demands the exchange of energy and it is an All-European tendency. The cultural links between Macedonia and Russia have existed for a long time. The two performances of Galina Vishnevskaya’s Opera Centre shown in “May Opera Evenings” for the first time is a great achievement. The connections between our countries and our cultures are very deep. They are kindred, close cultures that are clear and necessary to one another.”