THE ROSTOV STATE OPERA THEATER
Principal Conductor and Musical Director : Alexander Anissimov
has been a tradition of light opera and operetta performance in
Rostov-on-Don since the 19th century, and the Rostov State Opera
Theatre, originally founded in 1931, carried this on in the 20th
With the opening of the splendid new theatre in 1999 and the subsequent
growth in the size of the company, Rostov State Opera Theatre has been
able to plan more adventurous opera productions. Given the fact that
its audience had not previously had the opportunity to experience the
standard favourites by composers such as Mozart, Rossini, Verdi and
Puccini, such repertoire forms roughly two thirds of the productions,
while operas by Russian composers such as Rimsky-Korsakov, Tchaikovsky,
Shostakovich and Prokofiev form another third. Rostov State Opera
Theatre also performs new works, and in the 2004/5 season gave the
premiere of The Gipsy by the contemporary Russian composer Leonid
Klinichev, in the main auditorium.
In addition to Rostov State Opera’s musical director, Alexander Anissimov,
and house conductors, Alexander Goncharov, Svetlana Filippovich and
Alexei Shakuro, the company welcomes a number of distinguished guest
conductors from both Russia and elsewhere, such as Robert Lyall (New
Orleans), Mauruzio Dones (Italy), Marcello Mottadelli (Italy), Andrei
Galanov (Belarus), and Pavel Klinichev from the Bolshoi Theatre.
The company draws its singers from conservatoires throughout Russia,
and its youthful chorus, under their Chorus Master Elena Klinicheva, is
noted for its vigorous and enthusiastic performances.
Among the soloists are the soprano Irina Krikunova, who has twice been nominated for a Golden Mask (Russia’s prestigious national theatre award), first in 2003 for Madama Butterfly and subsequently in 2005 for Lady Macbeth. The mezzo-soprano Anna Markarova has given notable performances of Carmen, Rosina, Olga (Eugene Onegin) and the baritone Peter Makarov is a popular Figaro (Il Barbiere di Siviglia) Onegin and Marcello.
Younger soloists include Elena Razgulyaeva,
a dramatic soprano who made her UK debut as Mimi, and is about to make
her USA debut, Marianna Zakaryan who made her UK debut as Rosina in
2004, and Olga Romanenko, a young soprano who was operetta winner of the 2005 XXI – century Art International competition in Kiev.
A team of house directors is headed by Susanna Tsiryuk,
Principal Stage Director since 2001, who previously worked in the opera
house at Minsk and at the Mariinski Theatre. Guest Directors include
Yuri Alexandrov from St Petersburg Opera House, Georgy Isaakyan from
Perm’ Opera House, and Yuri Laptev, a former director of the
Mariinski Theatre and currently cultural adviser to President Putin.
Since 2002 the Principal Designer for the Rostov State Opera has been Ernst Heidebrecht,
and guest designers include Sergei Barkhin from Moscow’s Bolshoi
Theatre, Viatcheslav Okunev from S. Petersburg (winner of numerous
Golden Masks), and Zinoviy Margolin who won a Golden Mask award in 2005
for his designs for Rostov State Opera’s Lady Macbeth. The lighting designer for Lady Macbeth, Gleb Filshtinsky, was also awarded a Golden Mask.
Principal conductor and musical director
Alexander Anissimov is Principal Conductor and Musical Director of
Rostov State Musical Theatre, a post he has held since 2003. His work
with the company has included the 2005 production of Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk
which was awarded two Golden Masks in Moscow, and the world premiere of
The Gypsy by the contemporary Russian composer, Leonid Klinichev. Among
his other opera and ballet productions for the company are Eugene Onegin, Swan Lake and Don Quixote. In the 2005/6 season he will conduct premieres of new productions of the ballets Romeo and Juliet and Le Corsaire.
He studied orchestral and operatic conducting under Leo Ginzburg and
Gennady Roshdestvensky at Moscow Conservatory. After graduation, he
worked at the Maly Theatre in his home city of St Petersburg and from
1980-1995 he was principal conductor of the Bolshoi Theatre in Minsk,
where he conducted the Soviet Union première of Prokofiev's
Maddalena. He spent five years as principal conductor of the
Tchaikovsky Theatre in Perm, conducting the first performance in the
then Soviet Union of Prokofiev's The Firey Angel and Prokofiev's opera
War and Peace in the original version. After his work in Perm, the
President of Russia awarded him the title Honoured Musician of Russia.
Anissimov has been a regular guest at Moscow’s Bolshoi Theatre
and since 1993 has had a close contact with St Petersburg’s Kirov
Opera, particularly since Valery Gergiev became principal conductor. At
the Kirov he has conducted all the principal works in the repertoire of
opera and ballet, as well as concerts with the Symphony Orchestra. In
1996 he conducted Prince Igor for the company on tour in Korea. He also
assisted Gergiev in a production in San Francisco of Prokofiev's War
and Peace, and made his American début conducting the final
performance of the season.
During the years that he worked in St Petersburg, Minsk, and Perm, he
toured extensively as a guest conductor throughout the Soviet Union,
including Novosibirsk, Kazan, Novgorod, Vilnius and Riga.
Alexander Anissimov first became known outside Russia when he made his
début at the Wexford Festival in 1993 conducting Tchaikovsky's
Tcherevitchki, returning to conduct Rubinstein's Demon in 1994 (recorded live for NAXOS) and Fosca
by Gomez in 1998. Anissimov has since worked with many other major
companies, including La Fenice in Venice, Teatro Colon Buenos Aires,
Teatro del Liceu Barcelona, Paris Bastille Opera, Opera San Francisco,
Teatro Comunale Florence, Mannheim Opera, Hamburg Opera, Opera Ireland,
Houston Grand Opera, Berlin Komische Oper, Oslo Opera and the State
Opera of South Australia. He has worked with many of the world’s
great orchestras, including Leningrad Philharmonic, Orchestra of Santa
Cecilia, Rotterdam Philharmonic, Monte Carlo Symphony (including a
Spanish tour with Maxim Vengerov), Hong Kong Philharmonia, Braunschweig
Staatsoper Symphony, Nuremberg Symphony, National Symphony Orchestra of
Iceland, Ulster Orchestra, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic and City of
Birmingham Symphony Orchestra. Between 1994-1998 he recorded the nine
symphonies and all the ballets of Glazunov and Rakhmaninoff’s
choral symphony The Bells for NAXOS with the Moscow Symphony Orchestra.
He conducted Don Carlos at
Genoa, marking the 500th anniversary of the discovery of America by
Christopher Columbus, and Britten's War Requiem in Bilbao and Seville,
working with Mstislav Rostropovich.
He has conducted a vast range of opera, ballet and orchestral
repertoire. As well as the Russian repertoire mentioned above, he has
conducted Borodin's Prince Igor, Glinka's A Life for the Tsar, Musorgsky's Khovanshchina, Rimsky Korsakov's A Bride for the Tsar, Tchaikovsky's Iolanta and Queen of Spades, and the ballets of Tchaikovsky, Khatchaturian and Prokofiev. His opera repertoire also includes Bizet's Carmen, Donizetti's Lucia di Lammermoor, Mozart's The Marriage of Figaro, Don Giovanni and Die Zauberflöte, Puccini's Tosca and Turandot, Verdi's Rigoletto, Macbeth, La Traviata, Aida, Don Carlos, Un Ballo in Maschera, Otello and Nabucco and Bartok's Bluebeard's Castle.