Sergei Rachmaninoff

Libretto by Vladimir Nemirovich-Danchenko, based on the poem «The Gypsies» by Alexander Pushkin.

Duration – 1 hour without intermission

Director: Rostislav Protasov
Musical Director: Valery Kiryanov
Set and costume designer: Valery Kungurov (Berlin)
Lighting Designer: Damir Ismagilov
Choreographer: Ilona Zinurova
Choirmaster: Yevgeny Ilyin

"And fatal passions everywhere,
And there is no protection from the fates"

Sometimes it can happen, that a diploma work of a young graduate of the Conservatory enters into the history of opera world along with masterpieces of recognized masters. But when the author of this work is Sergei Rachmaninoff, and the librettist is a great Nemirovich-Danchenko, who’s libretto is based on the text of our "sun of the poetry" – Alexander Sergeevich Pushkin, there is nothing to be surprise of!
Opera "Aleko" was written by 19 years old Rachmaninoff just for 17 days. Young author was obsessed with this work and his creation also impressed another Russian genius – Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky, so he desired to see "Aleko" along with his "Iolanta" in one program. In the letter to his brother, he wrote: "I really liked this lovely thing". It is on record that, Rachmaninoff was speechlessly amazed when he heard that, so he only could make some unreasonable gestures and Pyotr Ilyich cheered: "Thank you, coquettish young man, for you honor" In the beginning of the XX century the outstanding Russian bass Feodor Chaliapin was rehearsing with Sergei Vasilyevich Rachmaninoff in an old residence of Princess Shakhovskaya, in the same place where now Helikon opera is situated. Here in "Helikon" the history is treated very carefully, so not by an accident in the year of the 145th anniversary of the great Russian composer the theater prepares a production of the opera "Aleko", in which greatest Fyodor Chaliapin shone!

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