Valentin Kolesnikov: “Opera is not boring for a long time”

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Today, March 24, the premiere of the 2021 premiere of the opera “Prince Igor” will take place on the stage of the Buryat Opera and Ballet Theater. Leading soloist of the Krasnoyarsk Opera and Ballet Theater named after DA Khvorostovsky, winner of international competitions Valentin Kolesnikov was invited to perform the part of Vladimir Igorevich.

The guest spoke about his acquaintance with the world of opera, the winning theme of love in the works of A. Borodin, as well as his impressions of Buryatia in an interview with Inform Polis.

– Valentin, is this your first performance in Buryatia?

– Yes, I am in your theater for the first time at the invitation of maestro Vladimir Alekseevich Rylov. It is a great happiness to work with a musician of such a high level.

– Why did you choose?

– It so happened that I performed the part of the Prisoner in the opera “Caucasian Prisoner”, which Maestro Rylov staged at our Krasnoyarsk Theater, in my opinion, in 2017. Artists spoke about him with great enthusiasm. I heard a lot of good words. He heard my recording and we called. Now I have seen from personal experience that this is really true.

– Is this your first time in Buryatia? What are your impressions?

– The fact is that I was already in Ulan-Ude nine years ago. The impression of the city is very good. I can say that the impressions are getting better and better every time, because in 2015 I came to your city as an athlete. I played in basketball competitions, played for the Omsk region. As I remember now, we lived in a hotel, the windows of which showed a steep climb up the mountain. It made a big impression on me, because the roads in Omsk are very smooth. It was sunny weather, comfortable air temperature. It was very nice to be here. And you have very good sports grounds. This time I was also welcomed. Awesome organization, awesome places. I was accompanied, everyone showed and told. It creates an impression of the theater, of the city, of the people, and it is the most positive.

“Would you come back again?”

– We are already planning to come to the international vocal competition named after Bazarsadayev, which will be held from 20 to 22 April. I will participate in the competition. In general, there are a lot of plans, in fact. I can’t open them all now. I hope that in the future I will have a very close creative relationship with the Buryat Theater.

– In what three words would you describe your first impression of the Buryat Opera and Ballet Theater?

– Probably monumental. This is the first thing I felt when I saw the theater. A national treasure that, as I see, people love very much. And artists are received with great enthusiasm, which is also very important for the theater. And, most likely, growth, because I see that the theater is growing, developing. The theater is interested in finding good voices, in raising the creative level of artists. This is great, because not everywhere there is such a desire for development.

– On March 23, you will perform the part of Vladimir Igorevich. Tell us about your hero.

– My hero, he is, of course, a lyrical character. This young man is very passionate, passionate, who, while in captivity, falls in love with the daughter of Khan Konchak. For me, this party is a manifestation of great passion, youth, love. This part is close to my temperament, so I am always very happy to perform it and to touch this wonderful music in general, because “Prince Igor” is, of course, a national treasure of Russian culture. This opera finds a warm audience everywhere.

– Can we say that the line of Vladimir Igorevich and the khan’s daughter differs from the line of Yaroslavna and the prince himself? In the first case, it is a story about a couple who love each other, and the wife keeps the hearth while he goes to war. And in the situation with the young prince it turns out – the line of love, which is above all political situations. That is, it goes beyond social norms. After all, in fact, he was a traitor, he had to hold his position, but his feelings overshadowed all political, cultural, religious conventions.

– So I say that this is youth, zeal, temperament, passion. The duet in the second act fully shows the whole palette of feelings that both Vladimir and Konchakovna have. The collision turned out to be a very bright spark, which eventually forced him to make such a difficult decision. He, so to speak, exchanged his homeland for love. Vladimir Igorevich is an example of an ardent young man who has a core and his own position, a great determination to go against his father and stay in the camp of the Polovtsians. Very contradictory image, but very interesting. And incredibly beautiful music tells about it, first of all.

“Could you do that?”

– You know, a very difficult question. If you look at it in the context of modern realities, I can say… maybe because I grew up… I love my country very much, although I have always had a dream to live in Europe, I love Italy very much. But I understand that I will not be able to betray my country, my state, my people. I can’t do that, although many people do it now for some reason. It is very important for me not to lose myself. And when I leave, I will lose myself.

– And the situation with Vladimir?

– The situation with Vladimir… I think his feeling was so strong…

“Can he be forgiven?” How to treat this from the position of the father and the state?

– This is a difficult question. Of course I thought about it. But I definitely can’t answer. Let the viewer answer this question himself: is it possible to forgive Vladimir for such an act.

“Now let’s talk about you.” As far as we know, you have a difficult fate…

– I was a professional athlete. At the age of 18, I accidentally auditioned for my teacher, Honored Artist Trusova. I was going to training, my aunt called me and said: “Please go to the institute. Now the teacher will come, she will just listen to you, because I feel that you have a voice. If not, you will continue to play basketball. ”

We start listening, and I’m far from opera. I didn’t even know about this genre. I only knew Nikolai Baskov… She told me to come tomorrow because I could do something. We practiced every day. And she told me to get into acting so we could practice there. And for some reason I enter the institute. The first six months we practiced, I sang. There was excitement, but nothing special. For me it was a wild forest. Six months later I managed to take a high note and from that moment my life was divided into before and after. And I got sick of opera. Absolutely from scratch, without studying anywhere, he began to develop and self-educate himself in this field. Three years later I was hired as a soloist at the Omsk Musical Theater. This also happened quite by accident. I came to the audition, where one out of ten people took me. It was a kind of will of fate. In three years I have performed almost the entire leading repertoire. Then he moved to Krasnoyarsk. In the year and a half that I have been here, I have managed to perform 10 leading parts.

– Have you performed in any other theaters? What is your dream as an opera singer?

– I had a dream to sing in “La Scala”. It was because now the situation is very difficult. I am very upset by the statements of many people I respected, listened to and watched. It is a pity that Europe is so angry with our country, with our people. What is written on the Internet is scary. I just can’t read it. And, of course, the attitude has completely changed. I am always for peace, but as Putin said, “if a fight is inevitable, you must always be the first to strike.” In this case, I support him. I say this openly because it is my position.

There are still certain parts that I would like to sing, there are a lot of them. Since I am a young singer, I perform mainly lyrical repertoire. I have a dream to sing Othello’s part. I keep thinking, how could I do that. I think in fifteen years I will do very well. I really like dramatic art. And when dramatic art is fully revealed in opera, it’s fantastic.

– To understand the opera, to fall in love and get sick can only be immersed in it, that is, all the time in contact with it. We see this in your example. If a person says that he does not like opera, it does not mean that the opera is bad. Maybe he just doesn’t know her well?

“Yes, you just don’t know her.” You have not encountered it as a result of any stereotypes imposed by society. Opera has not been boring for a long time. This is an interesting genre. At our Krasnoyarsk Theater, the younger generation loves opera. Even I am surprised by the sold-out theater. For example, there was the opera “Masquerade Ball”. This is a difficult opera with difficult music. We had two performances, and people were literally sitting on chandeliers. For me, it is a happiness that people go to the theater and mostly this young generation. I see young girls and guys who are involved, in the intermission discussing, arguing. For us, artists, this is the most important thing – to interest people to go and not pay attention to stereotypes. Yes, of course, due to the fact that now there is a very large variety of genres: musical, dramatic, etc. – The theater has receded into the background. The 19th and 20th centuries were a golden age for opera. Then there was a special attitude to opera singers. They were, so to speak, untouchables. It’s a little wrong now. And I’m not saying it’s bad. We are developing. Opera is also evolving. It used to be just static music on stage. Now opera is an absolutely interesting genre for the eye and the ear. They used to go to listen to the opera, now they go to the opera to listen and watch.

– An ambiguous question. Does the theater have a moral right to hold cultural events in the conditions of political reality?

– The fact is that I believe that culture is a layer that should be outside politics, outside the events that are happening now in the world. It is especially insulting for me when musicians and artists express an ambiguous position. Art has different effects on people. Instead of uniting all of us for the good and the beautiful, we have a very big cultural divide in the world. It’s very sad, but I think that at all times art, especially theatrical art, has always helped. At least for a couple of hours, but come and get aesthetic pleasure and forget about the harsh realities we are now. I believe that it is necessary to develop spiritually and get rich. Now it is doubly necessary. Theater must work, because it is the task of culture to bring people back to good.

– Is it possible to draw an analogy with “Prince Igor” and say that Vladimir Igorevich and Konchakovna were able to keep their feelings contrary to political realities?

– Yes, of course. This is a very relevant topic in this situation. And this feeling, which is outside politics, needs to be promoted to the masses. Feeling can defeat evil. And I am sure that they won this war. They fell in love with each other and spat on everyone. This is their right, I respect him.

Author: Press Service of the Buryat Opera and Ballet Theater

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