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Culture news, 02.09.2010 06:03

Dmitry Hvorostovsky and Renee Fleming: duet in St.Petersburg

Dmitry Hvorostovsky and Renee Fleming

On September 1st the American PBS Channel aired the premiere of a documentary in which the Russian baritone Dmitry Hvorostovsky and the American soprano Renee Fleming show the sights of St.Petersburg to the accompaniment of arias and romances by Russian and foreign composers while Hvorostovsky and Fleming perform.

The scenes were filmed on the streets, squares, in the posh interiors of imperial palaces, in the Hermitage Theatre, against the backdrop of parks and fountains of the ‘Peterhoff’ Nature Reserve and during boat trips on rivers and waterways. According to Dmitry Hvorostovsky, views of “Russia’s Northern Capital” serve perfect settings for opera.

Petersburg is a city of breathtaking beauty, he says. Nothing compares to it, if only Paris. Along with providing the vocal background for the film, I act as a guide to my charming guest. Renee Fleming is a brilliant singer, a beautiful woman and a perfect partner on stage, Hvorostovsky says. The two celebrities make a perfect duet. One of the most spectacular chapters of their celebrity tandem was the opera “Eugene Onegin” in New York’s Metropolitan Opera, where both sang the leading parts. Hvorostovsky first introduced the “golden soprano” to the Russian public in his series “Dmitry Hvorostovsky and Friends”. Since then the brilliant soprano has been a darling in Russia. Hvorostovsky says he admires her talent and unparalleled repertoire which ranges from early to 20th century opera. She is a star at everything she does, - he raves.

How she sings Rachmaninoff’s romances would knock you off your feet, - Hvorostovsky says. At present, she is excited about this fairly ambitious project and I’ll be happy to lend her a helping hand.The so-called “musical odyssey” in St.Petersburg was the brainchild of the American conductor Konstantin Orbelyan. The first foreign national to stand at the helm of a Russian orchestra, the National Chamber Orchestra, in the 1990s, Orbelyan was the organizer of the “Palaces of St.Petersburg” Music Festival, which enjoyed tremendous popularity with the Russian musical community and ran for nearly two decades. By the current project he is intending to attract more foreign opera lovers to admire St.Petersburg in the company of opera celebrities. Orbelyan did the conducting for the film and acted as a producer, and the Gorky Film Studios stepped in from Russia.The documentary is an enticing alloy of history, architecture and music. Naturally, it features a fragment from Tchaikovsky’s “Eugene Onegin”, the last act of which takes place in St.Petersburg.

News source: Voice of Russia

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