The weekend of April 15-16, 2016 is a red-letter day for opera lovers in the Bay Area. Two Russian operas – BORIS GODUNOV and IOLANTA will be performed by the New Opera NYC at San Francisco’s Cowell Theater, Fort Mason Center.
The evening opens with a new production of M.Mussorgsky’s masterpiece opera BORIS GODUNOV. This one-act version captures pivotal moments of the tragic rise and fall of Russian Tsar Boris Godunov.
Mussorgsky’s masterly BORIS GODUNOV is partly based on the text by Russia’s national poet Pushkin. Singing the part of Tsar Godunov is legendary Russian bass Mikhail Svetlov, one of the most prominent interpreters of this role. In the tradition of famous bass Feodor Chaliapin, Mr.Svetlov will take on the role of Tsar Boris as well as the role of drunkard monk Varlaam in the same performance.
After intermission, the evening concludes with New Opera NYC’s staging of IOLANTA, Tchaikovsky’s final opera, a one-act originally composed to play on the same bill with The Nutcracker. It tells the story of a blind princess whose disability has been kept from her by the King. She learns of her condition along with the love that gives her the strength to overcome it.
The production is directed by New Opera NYC’s Igor Konyukhov starring Grammy Award nominee Mikhail Svetlov (Metropolitan Opera, New York City Opera, Bolshoi Opera) as the King with soprano Julia Lima in the title role. The New York Times says Ms. Lima “has the right noble temperament for her slow arias.” Ms. Lima was also awarded the 1st prize of the NY District Metropolitan National Council in 2011.
The dress for IOLANTA is designed by Sausalito-based, Russian fashion designer Vasily Vein. Mr. Vein has designed gowns for Russian socialites (Sonya Molodetskaya, Brenda Zarate, Rumiko McCarthy) attending San Francisco Opera Galas.
BORIS GODUNOV and IOLANTA will be conducted by Lidiya Yankovskaya, featuring a full orchestra with set design by Julian Hoyos and costumes by Olga Maslova, who has worked with Bill T. Jones among other choreographers. Ms. Maslova’s recent projects include costume design for The Shape of All Things by Neil LaBute (Teatro Nacional, Bogota). And lighting design by Greg Mitchell. The cast of IOLANTA stars Mikhail Svetlov, David Salsbery Fry, Viktor Antipenko, Julia Lima, Patrick McNally, Dmitry Gishpling-Chernov, and Gennady Vysotsky.
WHO: New Opera NYC, the New York-based opera company dedicated to presenting classical, first rate opera productions
WHAT: An Evening of Russian Opera featuring two masterpiece operas: BORIS GODUNOV and IOLANTA
WHEN: Friday April 15 and Saturday, April 16, 7:30 pm
WHERE: Cowell Theater, Fort Mason Center, Marina Blvd and Buchanan Street, San Francisco