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Astana Opera to host festival dedicated to a classic

13 March 2023, 10:50
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ASTANA. KAZINFORM Famous performers from the USA, Europe and Kazakhstan will participate in the Rachmaninoff Tribute music festival, dedicated to the great classic’s 150th anniversary. From April 4 to 7, four unforgettable evenings of the eminent composer’s immortal music await the residents and guests of the capital at Astana Opera.

The festival’s creative mastermind and organizer is Astana Opera’s deputy principal conductor, Honored Worker of Kazakhstan Abzal Mukhitdin, Kazinform refers to the Astana Opera’s Press Office.

«This year, the global musical community is celebrating the 150th anniversary of the outstanding composer Sergei Rachmaninoff. Our opera house decided to make its contribution and mark this important date,» the Maestro says.

A vocal music concert, which will take place on April 4 at the Kulyash Baiseitova Chamber Hall, will open the Rachmaninoff Tribute festival. Astana Opera’s principal soloists Bibigul Zhanuzak, Tatyana Vitsinskaya, Azamat Zheltyrguzov together with instrumentalists Makpal Bekmagambetova (violin), Askar Mukanov (cello), Raushan Beskembirova (piano) and others will perform Rachmaninoff’s art songs and chamber music.

Next day, a concert featuring the Astana Opera Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Abzal Mukhindin will continue the festival. Rachmaninoff’s famous Piano Concerto No. 3 with participation of the guest pianist from Serbia Maja Rajković and Symphony No. 2 will be performed at the opera house’s Grand Hall.

The composer wrote Symphony No. 2 after the criticism that the Symphony No. 1 was subjected to. This work restored his belief in himself. The successful premiere took place in 1908. Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 3 is one of the author’s most popular works. It was first performed on tour in the United States with the New York Symphony Orchestra and remains world-famous and frequently performed over 100 years later.

The Rachmaninoff Tribute festival will conclude on April 6 and 7 with the premiere of the opera Aleko, performed as a concert version at the Marble Hall, and the Vocalise for viola and orchestra. Astana Opera’s soloists and guest artists and musicians will take the stage.

«One of them, Denis Krasnokutsky (viola), will come from New York (USA). There are also musicians from Russia – two soloists of Helikon-Opera’s Youth Opera Program in Moscow: baritone Vasily Uporov as Aleko and tenor Vladislav Chizhov as the Young Gypsy. Bass from St. Petersburg Ilya Markov will perform the Old Gypsy,» Abzal Mukhitdin said.

Aleko is Rachmaninoff’s first opera. It was based on Alexander Pushkin’s poem The Gypsies. The famous theatrical figure Vladimir Nemirovich-Danchenko became the author of the libretto. The graduation work of the 19-year-old composer was written in just 17 days, which was a confirmation of his boundless talent. Outstanding opera singers took part in the productions of Aleko, including Feodor Chaliapin, with whom the composer was friends. The great success of the one-act opera inspired Sergei Rachmaninoff to continue writing music and revealed to the world one of the greatest composers of all times and peoples.

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