Russian Seasons opened in Brazilia

On 17 June, the Grand opening of the International project of the Government of the Russian Federation and the Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation Russian Seasons in the Federative Republic of Brazil took place on stage of the Municipal Theater of Rio de Janeiro (Teatro Municipal do Rio de Janeiro).

The international cultural project Russian Seasons is carried out at a high state level. The Minister of Culture of the Russian Federation Olga Lyubimova and the Deputy Minister of Culture of the Republic of Brazil Márcio Tavares dos Santos delivered welcoming speeches at the opening ceremony.

Olga Lyubimova noted: “Russian Seasons” of modern times, taking a historical idea as a basis, were able to significantly expand the general principle of the project: now in the countries that are key partners of Russia, large-scale events of world-famous musical and theater companies, thematic exhibitions, film premieres, as well as master-classes by outstanding cultural figures are held. Brazil is the first Latin American country to be visited by “Russian Seasons”. This is happening in a year when our countries simultaneously chair the largest international economic associations – BRICS and the G20. This is the evidence of the level of mutual understanding and respect between Russia and Brazil that has formed over more than two centuries of history, and, I am convinced, will become an important milestone in the development of relations between the two countries.”

Márcio Tavares dos Santos passed greetings from the Minister of Culture of Brazil, Margaret Menezes, to all participants in the Russian Seasons project. He also emphasized: “Russian Seasons” in Brazil is a unique opportunity for our audience to get acquainted with the culture of a country that is geographically distant, but is known for its very rich culture. “…” The Ministry of Culture of Brazil supports the “Russian Seasons” project. We believe that culture can change the world. It promotes new ideas and friendships and inspires people.”

The world famous Russian opera singer, Honored Artist of Russia, Ildar Abdrazakov (bass) performed for a Brazilian audience. Together with him, the laureates of the International Tchaikovsky Competition entered the stage – mezzo-soprano Zinaida Tsarenko, pianist Sergei Davydchenko, violinist Daniil Kogan. The Symphony Orchestra of the city of Barra Mansa (ORQUESTRA SINFÔNICA DE BARRA MANSA) under the direction of Russian conductor Denis Vlasenko took part in creating the musical atmosphere of this ceremonial event.

The orchestra performed M. Glinka’s Overture to the opera Ruslan and Lyudmila, Ildar Abdrazakov – Gremin’s Aria from Eugene Onegin by P. Tchaikovsky and Mephistopheles’ couplets from Faust by C. Gounod. Daniil Kogan – Waltz-Scherzo and 3rd movement from Violin Concerto by ⁠P. Tchaikovsky. Zinaida Tsarenko – the Lel’s Third Song from the opera The Snow Maiden and Aria of Lyubasha from the opera The Tsar’s Bride by N. Rimsky-Korsakov, as well as the Delilah’s Third Aria (Mon cœur s’ouvre à ta voix) from Samson and Delilah by  ⁠C. Saint-Saens. Sergey Davydchenko played the 3rd movement of Piano Concerto No. 2 by S. Rachmaninov and the composition Cordoba from the cyclus Chants d’Espagne by I. Albeniz.

At the finale of the concert, Ildar Abdrazakov sang the famous Russian romance Black Eyes and, in a duet with Zinaida Tsarenko, the world-famous lyrical song Moscow Nights.

On the same day, the exhibition Art Masquerade of the “Russian Seasons” by the famous Russian theater artist Nika Velegzhaninova opened in the foyer of the theater. The exhibition displayed theatrical costumes by the most famous artists of the early 20th century: Leon Bakst, Alexander Golovin, Mikhail Larionov and Sergei Sudeikin for the theater productions of Orpheus, Masquerade, Midnight Sun, The Venetian Madcaps, Sleeping Beauty – a visible embodiment of their creative fantasies.

Not all of the costumes designed by these artists were made and used in theater at the beginning of the twentieth century; the implementation of such luxurious artistic ideas was too expensive. So many costumes found their physical embodiment only nowadays. In 2020 Velegzhaninova and the artists of her theater workshop Nika and Partners recreated 12 amazing costumes according to the surviving detailed descriptions. The costumes were made of velvet, satin, methanin and repp, using historical techniques and modern equipment.

At the same time, two more art exhibitions opened in Rio de Janeiro as part of the Russian Seasons project (official opening on June 18). They are displayed in the Casa de Cultura Laura Alvim residence, for many years a meeting point for creative people in Rio de Janeiro, located on the famous Ipanema beach.

The exhibition Novodevichy Convent. Towards the 500th Anniversary of its Foundation presents replicas of ancient icons painted by famous masters of the Armory for the altar screens of the the Novodevichy Convent temples, images of unique frescoes of the 16th century, objects related to the life of famous nuns of the convent, for example, the first abbess of the monastery, schema nun Elena, Princess Sofia Alekseevna, who contributed greatly to the prosperity of the convent, as well as photographs of temples and tombstones from the necropolis of the convent. All exhibits are from the collection of the State Historical Museum.

The exhibition of arts and crafts introduces the Brazilian public to amazing traditional Russian handicrafts – ancient Skopinskaya Pottery, joyful Filimonovskaya Toy, the finest technique of the Orenburg Downy Shawls, traditional blue and white Gzhel ceramics, unusual Mikhailovsky lace, fabulous Palekh miniatures, dazzling Zhostovo and Khokhloma paintings.

Russian Seasons in Brazil will continue throughout the year.

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