"Helikon-Opera" tour to Baku


"Helikon-Opera" tour to Baku

From 12th till 16th January 2007 "Helikon-Opera" was touring in Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan.

The performances took place on stage of UNS private theatre, which was built under the patronage of the Nargis Pashaeva, its Artistic Director and sister of the First lady of the state.

The building of UNS theatre

The theatre exists for one year, but it has already welcomed The First studio of "Helikon-Opera", "Satirikon" theatre, Peter Fomenko's theatre. On the 14th and 15th January the soloists of "Helikon-Opera" together with the State Philarmonic orchestra of Azerbaijan under the leadership of Yalcin Adigezalov presented "Carmen" opera. By the way, Yalcin Adigezalov, a big friend of "Helikon-Opera" and personally of Dmitry Bertman, initiated this tour.

On the 12th January artists arrived to Azerbaijan, which met them with beautiful sunny weather and perfect organisation from partner's side. In the airport named after Heydar Aliev Helikon people were met by Atesz Rzayev and VIP-hall employees. In 15 minutes after the plane landed everybody was already going to "Apsheron" hotel, which is situated at The Caspian sea shore. After setlling all artists were invited to the festive dinner.

On the 13th January there were rehearsals. As the UNS theatre doesn't have an orchestra pit, Yalcin Adigezalov proposed an interesting idea: the orchestra was situated in the balcony under the stalls, which allowed spectators to watch the happening on stage in full measure. 


On the 14th of January there was a first performance of "Carmen". It was very exciting for everybody, as the hall was loaded, the cost of tickets was up to 100 Euros, and there were many important guests like the members of the family of Ilham Aliev, The President of Azerbaijan, ministers of the state, members of the government, the Ambassador of Azerbaijan in Russia Polad Bul-Bul Ogly and others. "Helikon-Opera" soloists Larisa Kostiuk, Nikolay Dorozhkin, Peter Morozov, Irina Samoilova, Marina Karpechenko, Ekaterina Oblezova, Oles' Paritskiy, Mikhail Seryshev, Andrey Vylegzhanin, Oxana Kholeva, Ilya Ilin were very nervous, because there were no applauses between the parts. As it turned out later, here the audience never applauds during the performance not to ruin its intergrity.

After the first act the ovation and bravos showed that spectators liked the performance. The public hadn't been releasing the artists for about twenty minutes after performance ended. Larisa Kostiuk won the hearts of spectators with her voice and brilliant dramatic play. The spectators had their own understanding of "Carmen" by "Helikon-Opera". Here is what one of the guests said: "The main character of the performance is Micaela. She is a mean and double-faced person. She killed Carmen, dropped the dagger and hid behind the column to trip up her brother Jose". 

Scene from the performance. Frasqita - Marina Karpechenko, Mercedes - Ekaterina Oblezova


Micaela – Irina Samoilova, Jose – Nikolay Dorozhkin

After the performance all artists were invited to dinner in national Azerbaijan restaraunt, where all colours of national food were presented. Toasts didn't grow silent until midnight.

On the 15th of January, during second day of the performance, the excursion around Baku was organised for the artists. Helikon people visited famous Girls Tower, Caravan-saray, they were at the sight venue above The Caspian sea, they saw the narrow streets, where the character of Andrey Mironov from the famous film "Brilliantovaya ruka" got lost, and a lot of other interesting places.

Maria Liepa and Alexey Solomatin are taking photos in narrow Baku streets

Helikon people in front of the Girls Tower

In the second performance the part of Carmen was played by Ksenia Viaznikova. She also won the hearts of Azerbaijan public. The long ovations were heard after this performance as well. The festive dinner was held for the artists in "Retro" club, which is situated in elite district of Baku at Caspian sea shore. The rich menu was surprising. Minister of Youth and Sports Azer Ragimov was the toast master. He skilfully led the feast toasting for the artists and organizers of the tour, for friendship between peoples and for Dmitry Bertman, who, unfortunately couldn't come to Baku, as he was in Germany staging "Rusalka" opera.

Scene from the performance



Carmen – Ksenia Viaznikova, artists of the choir

The feast finished with Russian and Azerbaijan songs, photo session and farewell hugs. "Helikon" said "goodbye" to Baku. Next year the theatre is invited here again.

"Helikon-Opera" thanks its friends Nargiz Pashayeva, Yalcin Adigezalov, Atesh Rzayev and everybody, who organized such a cordial and emotional reception in Baku.



Photos by Vladimir Gorokhov, Denis Eniukov and Rostislav Protasov

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