On 23rd April Orenburg saw the opening of the Second Mstislav Rostropovich International Festival. In his welcome address region’s Governor, Yuri Berg, underscored that the Festival takes place within the Year of Culture, which is of special importance to the Orenburg region as it coincides with the 270th anniversary of the Orenburg gubernia (the name the region born when part of the Russian empire) and the 80th anniversary of the Orenburg region (oblast, the current administrative division). The first day of the Festival saw Boris Godunov by the Galina Vishnevskaya Opera Centre – the last performance staged under the great singer’s guidance – at the Gorky Orenburg Drama Theatre. It’s worth mentioning that Orenburg hadn’t seen a full-scale opera performance as long as from 1945, so the audience followed the show with bated breath. Alexey Tikhomirov, who took the audience’s breath away with his interpretation of Tsar Boris, trained the part under Galina Vishnevskaya, performing it later at the major theatres internationally. Also, the audience welcomed Maria Buynosova, originally from Orenburg, who performed Godunov’s daughter, Ksenia.
The Festival will continue with two symphony nights by the Svetlanov Symphony Orchestra. On 27th April, at the Festival’s closing, Mstislav Rostropovich Foundation’s stipend holders – Tatiana Kryachkova, Lizi Ramishvili, Alexander Malofeev and Nijat Mamedov – will step out onto the Orenburg Philharmonic Society’s stage.