OPERA APRIORI International Festival

ART-BRAND presents the OPERA APRIORI International Festival of Vocal Music.

2nd Festival will be held from February to June 2015 at the Great Hall of Moscow State Conservatory presenting three concerts-dedications. The first one is dedicated to 330th anniversary of J.S. Bach with one of the greatest countertenors of today - Andreas Scholl starring and Musica Viva Chamber Orchestra under Alexander Rudin to accompany him. The second concert is dedicated to the tragic date in the world history - the centennial of the Armenian genocide featuring the opera singers of Armenian origin - Hasmik Papian, Liana Aleksanyan, Nina Minasyan, Hovhannes Ayvazyan, and Arsen Soghomonyan to take solo parts in the Requiem by Vyacheslav Artemov conducted by Eduard Topchjan and the Russian National Orchestra playing. The choir of 100 singers will be formed from the Yurlov State Academic Choir-Capella and the Boys Choir of the Sveshnikov choir college. The closing concert of the Festival called "The Beloved Friend" is dedicated to the 175th anniversary of Tchaikovsky. The Russian National Orchestra will be led by its chief conducter Mikhail Pletnev supporting the voices of Anna Samuil, Zoryana Kushpler and Sergei Skorokhodov. The famous actors - Alla Demidova and Danila Kozlovsky - will be reading extracts from renowned letters of Nadezhda von Mekk and composer in between the arias and duets from all Tchaikovsky's operas.

The 1st Festival caused an immense resonance being called by the media "one of the brightest and most important musical events of the season". It has been held at the Great Hall of the Moscow State Conservatory from February to June 2014 featuring five unique programmes and voices rarely or never before heard in Russia:

One of the brightest opera stars, the best dramatic tenor in the world Jonas Kaufmann along with the legendary pianist to accompany him, Helmut Deutsch, presented for the first time in Moscow the chamber programme - "Winterreise" song cycle by Schubert composed upon the verses of Mueller, the music and poetic masterpiece of the Romantic epoque.

Another unique voice belongs to the one of the best baroque music singers in France - Stephanie D'Oustrac. The great-niece of Poulenc came to Russia for the first time to sing Berlioz's "La Mort de Cleopatre" cantata and "Les nuits d'ete" song cycle accompanied by the Musica Viva Chamber Orchestra under Alexander Rudin (supproted by the French Institute and the Embassy of France in Russia).

The crucial event of the Festival was the opera night called "Intellectual Opera: beyond the limits of imagination" featured by two operas - Bartok's "The Duke Bluebeard's Castle" (supprorted by the Balassi Institute) with starring Hungarians Ildiko Komlosi (Judith) and Balint Szabo (Duke) and a world premiere of "The Black Monk" by Kurbatov set on Tchekhov's novel with the Bolshoi Theatre's singers.

"From the Baroque to Mozart" long-anticipated programme featuring arias and motets from the operas and oratories has been be performed by the raising opera star Julia Lezhneva (soprano) along with the Musica Viva Chamber Orchestra under Alexander Rudin.

Sumi Jo with her technically perfect coloratura soprano has "sung from the Heart" at the closing concert of the Festival. Such a programme included Handel, Vivaldi, Verdi, Donizetti, Offenbach, J. Strauss, and Lehar arias sung by the Grammy winner accompanied by the Tatarstan State Symphony Orchestra under Alexander Sladkovsky. The joint grant of Sumi Jo and the general partner of the concert Kia Quoris has been shared between the Moscow Conservatory students and one of the music schools of Moscow as a part of educational programme of the OPERA APRIORI.

Because of its sophisticated and well-thought-out programmes featuring the most interesting operatic voices of the day and because of its coherent concept and the meticulous preparation of each concert, this Festival should be regarded as truly original and completely distinct from other annual events. It is bound to find its own special audience.

Furthermore, Festival goes far beyong a presentation of the entire range of vocal music - chamber, oratorical, and operatic pieces from the very birth of the genre to the most contemporary pieces. It presents "meet the artist" programmes, round tables, and master classes.

To read about each concert of the Festival in detail please click one of the posters below. A press-release (currently available only in Russian) will open in a new tab of your browser.

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