By The Nation
Globally acclaimed opera troupes from Russia’s Ekaterinburg Opera Theatre performed the impressive classical opera, “Turandot”.
Ekaterinburg Opera Theatre performed two classical works -- “Turandot” and “Rusalka” -- as part of the dance and music festival.
The first offering on September 11 was the two-act “Turandot”. Giacomo Puccini’s opera, sung in Italian, is set in China. The story revolves around Prince Calaf, who has fallen in love with the man-hating Princess Turandot of Peking. Her intention is to kill anyone who wants to marry her. Calaf passes the test, but Turandot still refuses to marry him. This was Puccini’s final opera and unfinished at his death. It is also considered his most adventurous. Gongs and xylophones in the score give it an Asian touch.
Leading Italian tenor Paolo Lardinzzone plays Prince Calaf. A veteran of the stage, Lardinzzone has performed in leading opera theatres including La Scala of Milan and has been recognised with several awards. Singing Turandot was accomplished soprano Zoya Tsererina from St Petersburg.
On Friday night (September 13), Ekaterinburg Theatre performed Antonin Dvorak’s “Rusalka”, an opera in three acts, sung in Czech, based on a Slavic fairy tale.
Of Dvorak’s 10 operas, “Rusalka” is the most popular. Based on the Little Mermaid, it tells the simple story of a mermaid who falls in love with a prince and yearns to become human. It’s a dark but romantic tale of love. “Rusalka” was performed perfectly by Elena Pavlova while the prince was played by Ilgam Valiev, an honoured artist of the Republic of Tatarstan and winner of the Golden Mask jury Special Award.
For both operas the orchestra was conducted by Konstantin Chudovsky.
More shows are scheduled at the festival. The highlights on Monday (September 16) and Tuesday (September 17) are ballet as satire, as espoused by the storied Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo from New York. This company of professional male dancers, performing classical ballet and modern dance, has enjoyed decades of success thanks to its satirical take on the dance form.
On September 21 and 22, Switzerland’s Compagnia Finzi Pasca brings to the Bangkok stage La Verita, an electrifying performance that has been developed over 35 years. Inspired by surrealism, the performance is a combination of acrobatics, theatre, dance and music with multi-talented singers, dancers, and acrobats. On September 26 and 27, the Imperial Ice Stars from the United Kingdom will take to their massive frozen stage at the Thailand Cultural Centre for Swan Lake on Ice, while on September 28 and 29 it will be the turn of Cinderella on Ice.
The festival continues until October 23. Tickets are priced from Bt1,500 to Bt5,000 and are now on sale at Thai Ticket Major counters, online at www.thaiticketmajor.com and by calling the hotline at (02) 262 3191. Find out more at www.bangkokfestivals.com