Autumn Marathon: from Bach to Julio Iglesias
An important event has taken place in Moscow’s cultural life – this fall marked the opening of the unique Zaryadye concert hall. On City Day (September 8), the hall’s audience members heard a magnificent concert by the Mariinsky Theater Symphony Orchestra, led by conductor Valery Gergiev. The technology this concert venue is equipped with is being used for the first time in Russia.
This fall’s event list for the Zaryadye concert hall is already packed with surprises for music fans. Zaryadye is, essentially, several venues in one place. The thing is that the stage can easily be transformed with the help of a special mechanism hidden underground. There’s no longer any need to move chairs around, because the whole thing is done with a remote control. Press just one button, and the concert hall changes. The incredible acoustics, which were developed by experts from Japan, will soon be tested out by stars from all over the world. For example, the famous American singer and conductor Bobby McFerrin, who’s known worldwide for his hit “Don’t Worry, Be Happy,” will be giving two concerts there in the beginning of November. His remarkable ability to improvise without accompaniment, using only his voice, impresses everybody and is beyond any kind of scientific explanation. Bobby McFerrin uses his whole body when he sings, so that the audience gets the impression they’re listening to several different voices and instruments. Zaryadye won’t forget about fans of classical music either. In November, there will be an interesting event for people who enjoy Johann Sebastian Bach’s work. The organizers jokingly point out that the genius composer never took part in marathons and wasn’t the most athletic person of his time. But on November 10, the two Zaryadye concert halls will host a marathon named after him. “You don’t have to come wearing sneakers or be in good shape for it,” the event description says, “The only thing guests have to do is listen. Bach’s genius music infects people with energy and has a positive effect on their cognitive abilities.” On December 11, Zaryadye will host a performance by Take 6 – a world-famous American vocal sextet that performs gospel, spiritual, R&B, jazz, and pop music. They have 10 Grammys under their belt, along with a whole collection of other prestigious awards.
From October to February, the Tretyakov Gallery will be hosting an interesting exhibition of works by Arkhip Kuindzhi – a prominent landscape painter, and one of the most famous Russian painters of the second half of the 19th century. This artist created a special kind of romantic landscape. Kuindzhi experimented a lot with light, color, and coloring pigments. The project will present over 120 works by Kuindzhi from collections of the Tretyakov Gallery, the State Russian Museum, and several regional museums that have works of exceptional quality. Special attention will be paid to the artist’s sketches.
In the fall and winter, there will be a lot of surprises for fans of all kinds of music in Moscow. On October 16, the main State Kremlin Palace will host an evening in memory of the opera singer Dmitri Hvorostovsky. He passed away on November 22 at the age of 55, following a battle with a brain tumor that lasted several years. His talent and incredibly beautiful voice was appreciated all over the world. He has performed at the Bolshoi Theatre, La Scala, the Metropolitan Opera in New York, and many other well-known international venues. The singer’s colleagues – Ildar Abdrazakov, Aida Garifullina, Marcelo Álvarez, Angela Gheorghiu, and the “Novaya Opera” theatre chorus and orchestra – will be performing to honor his memory.
On October 17, the same stage at the Kremlin Palace will be celebrating two events – the one and only Julio Iglesias will be celebrating his 75th birthday and the 50th anniversary of his career in music. The show will take place within the scope of a large-scale international tour by the famous artist, whom the press has long ago dubbed “the great Spaniard.” He’s one of the top-selling singers in history. As of today, his albums have sold over 300 million copies. Overall, he has released 82 albums over his 50 years on stage, starting in 1968. Iglesias is on the list of the top 5 most successful musicians in the world.
Another singer who is loved by Russians, the Italian Al Bano Power, is also celebrating his 75th birthday this year. On October 25, the Kremlin Palace will be holding a big concert in his honor. Those who were around in the 80s still remember how Italian performers blew up in the USSR back then. Their incredibly melodic songs became household favorites for millions of Russian fans. The memorable Al Bano & Romina Power duet is especially well remembered. The future stars of Italy met during a film shoot in 1968. This is when their creative union began, which soon turned into a family union as well. They got married in 1970, and five years later co-released their joint album “Dialogo.” One of the most famous hits by the duet was the song ‘Felicita,” which the singers performed at a prestigious Italian music festival in San Remo. This contest played a significant role in the duet’s creative career. They won it several times, which is what happened in 1984 with their hit “Ci Sara.” But the singers were in for tough time. On January 6, 1994, the family’s oldest daughter Ylenia disappeared. It happened in the US, in New Orleans, while the young woman was on her winter break. Both US and Italian police efforts have so far been futile. Moreover, rumors started circulating after Ylenia’s disappearance. According to one version, she was kidnapped, though it’s not clear who kidnapped her and why. But some media sources insist that the young woman simply ended up around hippies and decided to join them. In any case, according to people who were close to Al Bano & Romina, their relationship took a nosedive after this incident. They started to argue a lot, blaming what happened on each other. Finally, they got divorced. This is why their performance in Moscow is special. Al Bano & Romina Power, the most beautiful duet in Italy, will perform their greatest hits one more time. On November 3, 2018, the New Stage of the Bolshoi Theatre will be showing a new version of “The Barber of Seville.” The production was directed by Evgeniy Pisarev, who already directed Mozart’s “The Marriage of Figaro” at the Bolshoi Theatre back in 2015. Italian Pierre Giorgio Morandi, a guest conductor from the Helsingborg Symphony Orchestra (Sweden) will be the conductor. He regularly directs Italian operas all over the world.
November 6 will be a real treat for all fans of Ivan Vasiliev. Not so long ago, the famous dancer celebrated the 10-year anniversary of his creative career. It may not seem like that big of a deal, if it weren’t for the fact that Ivan has managed to accomplish more in his 28 years than most people can do over the course of their entire lives. In 2006, he joined the Bolshoi Theatre at the age of 17. Over the next few years, he performed at the the La Scala Theater, the American Ballet Theater, the Mariinsky Theater, and the Novosibirsk Opera and Ballet Theater. In 2010, he became a principal dancer at the Bolshoi, but soon after left the theatre and became a principal dancer at the Mikhailovsky Theatre, as well as a regular guest principal at the American Ballet Theatre. Tickets to see Ivan Vasiliev dance have been highly valued by fans of ballet for a very long time. He has received all sorts of praise from critics, who have called him “virtuosic,” “flying,” “jumping,” “artistic,” “passionate,” “demonic,” and “elastic.” The big gala performance at the Moscow International House of Music will be a real treat for Ivan’s fans. He used Mikhail Fokin’s ballet “Scheherazade” and Maurice Ravel’s “Bolero” for his production, “Ballet No.1.” The show will feature Bolshoi Theatre soloists: Maria Vinogradova (Ivan’s wife), Denis Savin, Angelina Karpova, Anton Savichev, Alexander Smolyaninov and others.
On December 9, the classic rock legend Uriah Heep is coming to Moscow. The band will be performing all of their top hits at Crocus City Hall. Several generations of Russians grew up on their music. The dinosaurs of rock continue to surprise the public with their performances, even though the band has rotated between members, broke up, and came back together several times. Incidentally, Uriah Heep was the first rock band that performed in the USSR back in 1987. They gave 10 historical concerts at the Olimpiyskiy Sports Complex, all of which were completely sold out.
This year would have been writer Alexander Solzhenitsyn’s 100th birthday. There are several events planned in his honor in December. There will be an unveiling ceremony of the monument to the writer in Moscow, an opening of a memorial museum-apartment dedicated to him, an international conference “Alexander Solzhenitsyn: a 21st Century Perspective” in the Bolshoi Hall of the Pashkov House of the Russian State Library, a literary and musical evening for the writer’s birthday on December 11th in the Moscow Art Theatre, and much more.
At the end of the year, holiday season is coming to the capital. A lot of venues will be hosting special New Year performances for children. For example, the Olimpiyskiy Sports Complex will hold a water circus show with pirates for kids.
Famous figure skater and two-time Olympic champion Tatiana Navka is preparing another surprise for her fans – a new ice show “Scarlet Flower,” based on the famous fairy tale. Famous world-class ice skaters, the latest special effects, music specially written for the play – the combination of all of these elements ensures that this show will be exciting. The dizzying tricks, bright costumes, and dramatic lighting won’t leave any viewers indifferent. Of course, Tatiana will be skating in the show as well.
Producer Yana Rudkovskaya and figure skater Evgeni Plushenko, who are also a married couple, are putting together a unique ice show called “Swan Lake.” Famous figure skaters and world-class ballet dancers will perform on a stage that combines an ice rink with a ballet floor. Tchaikovsky’s famous ballet “Swan Lake” is the foundation of the play, which will combine the classical story with modern technology. The producer herself has said that the show is a combination of two genres. Figure skater Evgeni Plushenko has appeared on the ice with his son Alexander several times, who regularly participates in various shows and competitions. Gnom Gnomych, as his parents lovingly call him, already appeared in “The Nutcracker” a year ago, and “Swan Lake” is next in line. For now, the role five-year-old Sasha will play in the show is a secret. This time around, Plushenko Senior will leave the ice rink to dance as well. The names of the dancers and ice skaters playing the lead roles have yet to be disclosed. Adelina Sotnikova, who was a 2014 Olympic Champion, will definitely play the Black Swan.
The show will be directed by Sergei Filin – a former dancer who is now one of the directors of the Bolshoi Theatre.