Facts from the history

The building of the Musical theatre of the Republic of Karelia was erected in 1955 according to the project of Honored Arts Worker, architect Savva Grigoryevich Brodsky. On November 5th of the same year the theatre opened its first season with the first night of operetta «The Free Wind» by Isaak Dunaevsky. The company was composed mainly of the graduates of theatre and music institutions of higher education of Moscow and Leningrad. The theatre has always remained committed to the course aimed at combining works of all music-and-theatre genres in the repertoire: opera and ballet, musical comedies and musicals, classical and modern operetta. Many works by Karelian composers were put up for the first time on this stage.

The staging of the first Karelian ballet «Sampo» (1959) made the theatre famous. In 1987 its creators — composer Helmer Sinisalo, choreographer Igor Smirnov, leading ballet dancers — became laureates of the State Prize of Russia named after M.I. Glinka.

The Theatre today

From 2006 to 2009 the major reconstruction was carried out in the theatre building. In 2007-2009 a significant amount of work was done to form the vocal and ballet companies, chorus, orchestra.

Today the Musical theatre of the Republic of Karelia is the largest stage of the Republic. The repertoire is based on opera and ballet performances. The audience hall is designed for 607 spectator seats. The company of actors, creative professionals and technical staff amounts to more than 300 persons.

The People’s artist of Russia Yury Aleksandrov is the artistic director of the opera. And the artistic director of the ballet is the Honored Arts Worker of Karelia, laureate of the «Harlequin» prize Kirill Simonov. Mikhail Sinkevich  is the chief conductor of the theatre. The theatre is headed by the director Elena Larionova.

Large-scale performances, such as operas «La Traviata» by G.Verdi, «Eugene Onegin» by P.Tchaikovsky, "Carmen" by G.Bizet, "Madama Butterfly" by G.Puccini, "Il Barbiere di Siviglia" by G.Rossini,  ballets «The Nutcracker» by P.Tchaikovsky, «Romeo and Juliet» and "Cinderella" by S. Prokofyev, "Anna Karenina" by R.Shchedrin,  «Le Corsair» and "Giselle" by A.Adan, opera-musical for children «The Black Hen» by B. Lvovich, operettas «The Bat/Die Fledermaus» by J. Strauss and "The Csardas Princess" by I.Kalman , are very popular among the spectators. The work on these performances was carried out in difficult financial conditions. Under the conditions of insufficient budgetary financing of production costs the theatre managed to attract the necessary resources including internal funds of the theatre, grant support and sponsor assistance. This provided the necessary level of the repertoire fullness and the basis for further development of the theater. Since the opening of the new stage the number of theatre visitors has been growing constantly. Only in 2010 the Music Theater was visited by more than 45 thousand spectators — that means every ninth resident of Petrozavodsk.

Professional achievements

Participation in «The Golden Mask» national contest and festival became a significant event in the life of the theatre. Upon results of the 2008/09 season the expert committee included the «Romeo and Juliet» ballet (music by S. Prokofyev, choreography by K.Simonov) in the list of the best Russian performances. The ballet was successfully performed in Moscow on the stage of the Theater of Russian Army. The contest jury recognized Vladimir Varnava as the best ballet dancer. He became the youngest winner of «The Golden Mask» award in the history of the latter. Thanks to such an outstanding debut of the Music Theater of the Republic at the most prestigious Russian theatre festival Karelian professional art became widely known in Russian and foreign theater community.

Another successful achievement of the theater is the demonstration of «The Nutcracker» ballet at the «Harlequin» festival in the year  2011. Kirill Simonov production  is faery and amazing due to the beauty of dance, dynamics of performance, colorful costumes and scenery. It joined the list of the best Russian performances for children and youth upon the results of the 2009/10 season. The ballet master himself and the ballet dancer Vladimir Varnava became the laureates of the «Harlequin» national theatre award. The performance was also awarded the «Onega mask» prize of the Republic of Karelia as the best performance of the 2008/09 and 2009/10 seasons.

The «Black Hen» performance was highly appreciated by the professional community and included in the program of «The Golden Mask» in the 2010/11 season in five contest categories.

«The Rite of Spring» ballet by I. Stravinsky directed by Martin Forsberg (Denmark/Sweden) the first night of which in October 2011 opened the new season at the Musical theatre was also highly appreciated by the experts of «The Golden Mask» and included in the «Maska plus» festival program (the demonstration will take place in April 2012 in Moscow).

About the company

The ballet company of the Musical theatre  is one of the youngest in Russia. It consists of forty ballet-dancers, among them dancers from Japan and Romania, graduates of the Academy of Russian Ballet named after A. Vaganova and choreography colleges of Ulan-Ude and Perm cities. The actors work in various genres: from classical dance to contemporary dance. Nowadays the high level of professionalism of the theatre’s ballet company allows it to participate in prestigious international festivals and to compete with the leading Russian and world ballet companies. The soloists of the Mariinsky theatre and Lithuanian National Opera and Ballet Theatre with great pleasure participate in the ballet productions of the Musical theatre.

Honored artists of Karelia, laureates and award winners of All-Russian and international contests, creative young people are working in the opera company. No doubt, the most attractive factor for them is the opportunity to cooperate with such an outstanding opera director as Y.I. Aleksandrov. His creative personality and the highest level of professional mastery attracted a lot of best young singers of Russia to Petrozavodsk. Nowadays the company presents sophisticated musical performances, and it plans to continue mastering the world opera repertoire. The brilliance of talented young vocalists, freedom from erroneous genre cliches and originality that are inherent to the company make the opera performances of the Musical theatre of the Republic of Karelia modern and up-to-date.