This year the II Dmitri Hvorostovsky Festival will take place in Krasnoyarsk. The first one was originally hosted in 2019, when a whole echelon of renowned guests from all around the world arrived in our region. And according to the artistic director of the Festival, Anton Levakhin, the second time will be no less exciting and certainly no less star-spangled.
In 2021, Krasnoyarsk residents will welcome a musical masterpiece in the city – the Don Juan, or Don Giovanni (Italian version) opera by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. The premiere will be the highlight of the event, and will be prepared by an international team of world-acknowledged experts from Austria, Slovakia, the USA and Russia. On April 2, the team held a meeting at the Krasnoyarsk Opera and Ballet Theatre to share first news about the upcoming festival with the media.
Vocal teacher Bazhena Feraneс and accompanist Christian Koch
This year the festival should be a little longer, increasing from ten days to about two weeks. Several new formats will be introduced to the regular programme: concert operatic performances, a symphony concert, a gala concert, a chamber music evening, an evening of church music.
But the central place, of course, is reserved for 'Don Giovanni'. The opera is set to become the legacy of the Festival, the organisers state. Conductor Peter Feranets hopes that more than one generation of artists will grow up seeing this wonderful performance.
Maestro Peter Feranec
Dmitri Hvorostovsky's career is closely connected with the opera Don Giovanni. The 36-year-old opera singer performed it in 1999 at the international festival in Salzburg and then shone on world stages in this role for many years.
Specialists from different parts of the world have been invited to prepare the Mozart masterpiece to be presented in the regional centre: conductor Peter Feranec and vocal teacher Bazhena Feranec from Bratislava, production director Michael Sturminger, accompanist Christian Koch, set and costume designers Andreas Donhauser and Renate Martin from Vienna, lighting designer A.J. Weissbard from Washington. All processes will be coordinated by the artistic director Anton Levakhin. All of the aforementioned are world stars.
From left to right: Bazhena Feranec, Peter Feranec, theatre director Svetlana Guziy, Anton Levakhin, Christian Koch, Andreas Donhauser
A lot of fundamental work lies ahead of the team: everything will be done from scratch. At this point in time, sketches of costumes and scenery just about started being developed, and the artists are undergoing casting processes. The peculiarity of the selection for the main parts is that any performer can try to be chosen, from soloist to choir member, and they are chosen not only from members of the troupe of the Opera and Ballet Theatre, but also from students of the Institute of Arts.
— Don Giovanni is not just a shining diamond in the world of operas, it is a necklace made of shining diamonds. We are looking for diamonds in the rough that will later become part of this jewel. This is exactly what my job implies – discerning talents, — says accompanist and teacher Christian Koch.
Don Giovanni is an assortment of colours and intricacies. There are so many subtleties in it that you can and should go see it several times in different theatres. The Krasnoyarsk Opera and Ballet Theatre version will be no exception.
Production director Michael Sturminger and foundation director Natalia Agakhanova
According to director Michael Sturminger, the uniqueness of their version also lies in the fact that all of the characters are going to be real:
— They're just like you and me. We may or may not be bad or good people. In real life hardly anyone would call one another an 'evil character', when they do something wrong. The viewer must be the one to decide for themselves – «what are these heroes actually like?»
From left to right: Andreas Donhauser, Renate Martin, Michael Sturminger
This year's motto of the festival might as well be «Making way for the young». And not only because of the participation of youth. It is planned that the legacy of the event will become a new education-related programme. It will focus on developing potential and capabilities of young artists.
— We will work primarily with young people and students, but also with those who already work in theatre, or those who would like to, but for some reason haven't been able to. We must give impetus to their development. This is a new approach to education, so obviously there can be no immediate results. We will see the opera in six months and will certainly enjoy it, and the work on the international educational programme will continue even after the premiere, — assures Natalia Agakhanova, director of the Krasnoyarsk Art Development Foundation named after Dmitri Hvorostovsky.