Iolanta and Eugene Onegin go to Savonlinna


In the history of the Savonlinna Opera Festival, 2017 year marks several important events and anniversaries: the centenary of Finland independence and the he Festival will also be looking back over its past 50 years - 1967 considered the year of the second birth of the festival. Since 1987 it has also been acting host foreign opera companies, thanks to which the festival has gained international acclaim. Over thirty years Savonlinna has welcomed the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, the Mariinsky Theatre, the Mikhailovsky Theatre, the Dresden Semperoper, The Vienna Volksoper, the Turin Theatro Reggio, Teatro Comunale di Bologna, the Teatro Massimo (Palermo), the Welsh National Opera, the Hungarian State Opera and other world leading troupes.

This year, the Bolshoi Theatre shares the role of the festival guests with the Teatro Real Madrid, which will perform Bellini’s I puritani and Sibelius’s Kullervo Symphony, the latter in collaboration with the Savonlinna Opera Festival Choir.

Finnish national opera will present the same title (Kullervo is the revered hero from the Finnish Kalevala epic), but belonging to modern composer Aulis Sallinen (his opera The Horseman in the production of SOF was shown on the New Stage of the Bolshoi Theatre in 2006). Another work of Sallinen will be premiered in honour of the jubilee year, The Castle in the Water /A chronicle for speaker, four singers, orchestra and Olavinlinna. SOF will present its new productions - Abduction from the Seraglio by W.A. Mozart and Rigoletto by G. Verdi.

The Savonlinna Opera Festival is one of the oldest opera festivals in Europe (it dates back to 1912), attractive, among other things, also due to its unique natural landscape. It is not only one of the most prestigious, but also the most picturesque opera venues. Each summer, once inaccessible castle-fortress of St. Olaf (Olavinlinna), perched on a rocky island, turns into a real opera house surrounded by lakes: in the courtyard are built a stage and a spacious auditorium, which is covered by the unique canopy design.

In the natural scenery of the ancient walls with their gloomy romantic atmosphere, the Bolshoi will show four performances of the opera Iolanta by P. Tchaikovsky, which united with a symphonic suite from the ballet Nutcracker (it was premiered in October 2016, stage director - Sergey Zhenovach). Eugene Onegin will be shown in concert performance also in the castle of St. Olaf - the main stage of the SOF, famous for its magnificent acoustics. The cast included soloists of the Bolshoi Opera Company Anna Nechaeva, Ekaterina Morozova, Svetlana Shilova, Olga Seliverstova, Julia Mazurova, Maria Gavrilova, Mikhail Kazakov, Igor Golovatenko, Elchin Azizov, Oleg Dolgov, Konstantin Shushakov, Bogdan Volkov, Alexander Naumenko, Vyacheslav Pochapsky, Pavel Valuzhin, Stanislav Mostovoi, Goderdzi Janelidze, the artist of the Bolshoi’s Young Artist Opera Program Evgenia Asanova and invited soloists Pyotr Migunov, Dmitry Popov, Alexander Kasyanov. Maestro Tugan Sokhiev will conduct for all nights without exception.

The audience of the festival is constantly increasing; its program becomes more intense: this year it will present twenty-five opera performances for a month! For young spectators SOF offers an opera for children, the concert program is extremely diverse and includes classical music and jazz. Traditionally, the festival hosts famous International Timo Mustakallio Competition. This year the managment decided to experiment: after the final curtain, the ancient walls of Olavinlinna will be filled with the sounds of Finnish rock bands.

Ekaterina Morozova as Iolanta. Photo by Damir Yusupov

Tour’s Programme

July 25, 27 & 28 (19:00),
July 29 (15:00)

Pyotr Tchaikovsky

Opera in two acts
Symphonic suite Nutcracker is performed as part of production

Rene, King of Provance: Mikhail Kazakov, Pyotr Migunov
Robert, Duke of Burgundy: Igor Golovatenko, Konstantin Shushakov
Count Vaudemont: Dmitry Popov, Oleg Dolgov
Ibn-Hakia, a Moorish physician: Elchin Azizov, Alexander Kasyanov
Almerik, King Rene`s armour-bearer: Taras Prisyazhnyuk, Bogdan Volkov
Bertrand, a castle gate-keeper: Alexander Naumenko
Iolanta. Blind dauther of Kong Rene: Anna Nechaeva, Ekaterina Morozova
Marta, Iolanta`s nurse: Svetlana Shilova
Brigitta, a friend to Iolanta: Olga Seliverstova
Laura, a friend to Iolanta: Julia Mazurova

The Bolshoi Chorus and Orchestra
Conductor — Tugan Sokhiev

July 29, 19:00

Pyotr Tchaikovsky

Opera in a concert performance

The Chorus and Bolshoi Orchestra
Eugene Onegin: Igor Golovatenko
Tatiana: Anna Nechaeva
Olga: Evgenia Asanova
Filippievna, the nurse: Svetlana Shilova
Madame Larina: Maria Gavrilova
Vladimir Lensky: Bogdan Volkov
Triquet: Stanislav Mostovoy
Prince Gremin: Ain Anger
Zaretsky, Captain: Goderdzi Janelidze

The Bolshoi Chorus and Orchestra
Conductor — Tugan Sokhiev