Celtic Cossack Connections
Performances arising from this collaboration have included:
- Prokofiev’s Love for Three Oranges, in collaboration with Scottish Opera, was staged in Glasgow and Edinburgh in January 2009, and involved students from the Royal Conservatoire (then RSAMD) and the Rostov State Rachmaninov Conservatoire.
- Five lead-role students from the Opera School of the Royal Conservatoire performed in Richard Strauss’ Ariadne auf Naxos and Benjamin Britten’s cantata Phaedra, together with singers and orchestra from the Rostov State Rakhmaninov Conservatoire, in Rostov and Taganrog, in April 2009.
Praise for Richard Strauss’ Ariadne auf Naxos and Benjamin Britten’s cantata Phaedra
Star rating: ****
Richard Strauss, it used to be said, was God's gift to the soprano voice, and in Ariadne auf Naxos he wrote for three different sorts. It was to the RSAMD's credit that its opera department on Saturday had the resources to fulfil the work's contrasted demands, and that this was achieved, moreover, in spades, with alternating singers for the remainder of the four-night run.
With Bohae Kim and Sung Eun Seo, a pair of talented Koreans, as the frustrated Composer and frivolous Zerbinetta, we entered a world the Germanic Strauss may never have dreamed of, but the result, more often than not, was an entrancing example of student opera at its best. Though not the flightiest of Zerbinettas - and none the worse for that - Seo sustained her vast showpiece aria with real aplomb, and Kim delivered her hymn to the power of music with ample eloquence. As for the Icelandic Margret Einarsdottir in the title-role, here, it seemed, was a fine nordic Wagnerian in the making. With the prologue set in a clinical corridor of a modern theatre, where the toilets doubled as dressing rooms, opportunities for high-speed comedy were seized by the artful director Ashley Dean.
Timothy Dean drew spirited playing from the student orchestra, and the prologue on this occasion had its own prologue in the form of a static staging of Britten's cantata Phaedra, sung by Louise Collett inside a matchbox, destined to reappear as Ariadne's Dali-esque bed recess, designed by Cordelia Chisholm.
The Herald, Monday 23 March 2009
Further activities included
- Jazz mini-festival performances with young students from the Rostov Jazz School joining students from RSAMD Junior Academy for performances, masterclasses and schools tours, as part of the Russian Cultural Centre's education programme, in September 2009
- The premiere of the original version of Prokofiev’s epic opera War and Peace, staged in Theatre Royal Glasgow and Festival Theatre Edinburgh in January 2010 in collaboration with Scottish Opera, with a large cast of students from the Royal Conservatoire (then RSAMD) and the Rostov State Conservatoire.
- Concert performances of the original version of Prokofiev’s War and Peace, complete and uncut, took place in Rostov in Spring 2010, again with a mixed cast of Royal Conservatoire and Rostov students and with choir and orchestra from the Rostov State Conservatoire.