ASTANA. KAZINFORM The International Opera Academy soloists, accompanied by the Astana Opera Symphony Orchestra and Choir, will perform for the first time a concert version of Tchaikovsky’s immortal opera Iolanta.
On February 28 and March 1, classical music aficionados will have a long-awaited meeting with the great composer’s last opera, which celebrates the healing power of love. The music director and conductor of the performance is Ruslan Baimurzin, the stage director is Yerenbak Toikenov, Kazinform quotes the Astana Opera’s Press Office.
While working on the musical drama Iolanta, inspired by Henrik Hertz’s play Kong Renés Datter, Tchaikovsky promised that the listeners would not be able to hold back their tears. Therefore, a difficult task has been set for young performers: to live out a story filled with the philosophical meaning of being.
As the conductor, holder of the Order of Qurmet Ruslan Baimurzin notes, all of the academy attendees are very talented, and most of them already have stage experience.
«This is not the first time I have worked with academy attendees: last year I prepared them for Mozart’s opera Don Giovanni. This time we decided to stage Tchaikovsky’s one-act opera Iolanta,» the Maestro notes. «It is important for us to involve all of the academy’s soloists in this production. As a result, exactly two casts were formed. Young performers are required not only to sing beautifully, but also to feel at ease onstage, so we often cast them in secondary roles in various opera productions from the opera house’s repertoire.»
Speaking about the preparation of the performance, Ruslan Baimurzin emphasized that the young singers are preparing their parts with great enthusiasm.
«The plot of Iolanta is enticing, and Tchaikovsky’s beautiful music will not leave anyone indifferent,» the conductor says.
According to the stage director Yerenbak Toikenov, the performance will use the technical potential of the opera house’s large stage, video projections, stage lighting and much more. At the same time, the performance will be in an avant-garde style with minimal sets, costumes and props, as it is planned to pay special attention to the content, revealing the main philosophical idea of the existence of another world, disputes about which have been going on for several centuries.
The plot of Iolanta tells the story of a blind girl. She is not aware of her blindness, but unexpected guests who accidentally find themselves in a palace hidden in the forest reveal to her a secret that her relatives hid from her. The apotheosis of the opera is the dispute between the main characters about light. The guest, Count Vaudémont, insists that it is possible to comprehend the world and the plans of the Almighty only with external vision, and the girl is convinced that internal vision is enough for this.
«For any stage director, Tchaikovsky’s Iolanta is of great interest,» the stage director emphasizes. «The genius of dramaturgy lies in its simplicity, if you consider the plot, but the idea has a deep meaning. I got acquainted with this opera 10 years ago, as a student of GITIS, and since then I have been thinking about it a lot, contemplating the idea of its staging. Now it is time to bring it to life with the International Opera Academy attendees.»
«The repertoire of our opera house includes the great composer’s immortal works: the ballet The Nutcracker, the opera Eugene Onegin, and now there will be Iolanta, which will be presented for our dear viewers,» Azat Malik, the performer of the main male part of Robert, the Duke of Burgundy, says. «Preparations for the opera are in full swing. There are daily rehearsals with conductor Ruslan Baimurzin, teachers: Honored Art Worker of Russia, artistic director of the Bolshoi Theatre Young Artists Opera Program Dmitry Vdovin and world-famous opera singer, People’s Artist of Armenia Barseg Tumanyan. I think that classes with eminent teachers will bear fruit, so I am happy to invite opera music connoisseurs to the upcoming performances.»