Moscow Bolshoi to visit Savonlinna Opera Festival in 2007
The Moscow Bolshoi Theatre has been engaged as the main visiting opera company at the 2007 Savonlinna Opera Festival
The Bolshoi will be bringing two operas to Savonlinna. One will be Modest Mussorgsky's Boris Godunov, in an established production, and the other is a contemporary work that was first performed only last year, entitled Rosenthal's Children, by Leonid Desyatnikov.
This latter work has a libretto by the avant-garde author Vladimir Sorokin, a controversial figure well-known in Russia and Europe. Sorokin has been the subject of protests among members of a youth movement supporting Russian President Vladimir Putin .
The group staged noisy demonstrations outside the Bolshoi Theatre at the time of the work's première in March 2005. The publicity did ticket sales no harm at all.
For some time it was believed that 2007 would see a visit to Savonlinna by the Washington National Opera under the direction of Plácido Domingo.
However, no contract was signed with Domingo within the deadline, and it was also by no means certain that agreement with the company could have been reached for next summer.
Next year's Savonlinna will also have a brand-new Finnish production in the shape of Olli Kortekangas's Daddy's Girl, with a libretto written jointly by the composer and Michael Baran. The new work looks at the 90 years of Finnish independence through the eyes of one family.
The Savonlinna programme will also see another new opera in the form of an exchange deal with the Latvian National Opera, who are giving their production of Gaetano Donizetti's Lucia di Lammermoor in exchange for an older Savonlinna production of Giuseppe Verdi's Rigoletto.
The exchange will not mean a Latvian cast on the Olavinlinna Castle stage, but the two companies instead swap direction, staging, and costumes, and use their own singers. In this case the lead will be probably taken by the Finnish soprano Anna-Kristiina Kaappola.
This year's visiting company will be the Bologna Opera, who are bringing to Olavinlinna Donizetti's La Fille du régiment and Verdi's Nabucco.
The 2006 Savonlinna Opera Festival runs from June 30th to July 29th.
Savonlinna Opera Festival