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Helikon Opera Opera

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Helikon Opera

Founded in 1990 by director/producer, Dmitry Bertman, and conductor, Kiril Tikhonov, the Helikon Opera Theater takes its name from the mountain home of Apollo and his Muses. Helikon performs classic and avant garde operas in the former residence of Princess Shakhovskaya, an 18th century palace in the center of Moscow.

The Theater comprises a creative and staging group that includes artists; a ballet master and stage movement coach; an ensemble of soloists, many of whom are international contest prizewinners; and a symphony orchestra and choir which, in addition to their Helikon repertoire performances, give their own concerts on some of Moscow's most prominent stages. Helikon's core repertoire includes several dozen operas - performed in their original languages - that range from from rarely heard Baroque works and twentieth century masterpieces by Stravinsky, Prokofiev, and Hindemith - to the standard repertoire. The Theater's active repertoire comprises some twenty works, and some - Prokofiev's "Maddalena," Mozart's "Apollo et Hyacinthus," and Hindemith's "Hin und Zuruck" - have been national and world premieres.

In addition to its performances in its Moscow home (rechristened the "State Opera House" in 1993), Helikon has performed in the opera theaters of Great Britain, Holland, Belgium, Germany, Switzerland, Lebanon, Slovenia, and Israel, and has mounted productions throughout the United Russian territories. The Theater participated in international festivals in Switzerland (1990), France (1991), Great Britain (1992, 1995, 1996), Germany (1993), and Lebanon (1996). It recently performed "Carmen," "Tales of Hoffman," and "Pique Dame" at the Montpellier Festival and at the Théâtre des Champs Elysées, in Paris. The Helikon Theater Festival has released CDs both in Russia and abroad.

Dmitry Bertman, Artistic Director, Co-Founder - Born in Moscow in 1967, Bertman entered the Music Theater Faculty of the Russian Theatrical Arts Academy (GITIS) and concentrated on direction and production in the class of National Artist of Russia, Prof. G.P. Ansimov. While still a student at the GITIS, he staged performances in Moscow, Tver, and Syktyvkar, and worked as an assistant producer at the Bolshoi Theater.

Bertman did postgraduate study at the GITIS in the class of National Artist of the Ukraine, Prof. M.A. Osherovsky. As a graduate student, he taught at the GITIS, at the Finnish Studio, under the guidance of G.P. Ansimov and, in 1990, at the Salzburg Elizabet Buhne Theater.

Bertman co-founded the Helikon Opera Theater in 1990. Since 1994, he has supervised master classes at the Bern Opera Studio, where he trains future opera singers in the theatrical methods of Stanislavsky, Chekhov, and Chaliapin. Bertman is also the teacher of Meyerhold biomechanics. In 1995, Mr. Bertman became the first Russian opera producer invited to Ireland, where he directed Tchaikovsky's "Pique Dame" at the Wexford Festival. Since 1996, he has taught the course in musical theater production at the Russian Lunacharsky Theatrical Arts Academy.

Kirill K. Tikhonov, Principal Conductor, Co-Founder - A graduate of the Moscow Conservatory in 1947, and the St. Petersburg Conservatory in 1952, Kirill K. Tikhonov has devoted more than a half-century to the musical stage.

He has conducted at the St. Petersburg (Mariinsky) Academic Opera and Ballet Theater, St. Petersburg Comedy Theater, and the Perm Opera and Ballet Theater. Tikhonov was Chief Conductor of the Tartar Musa Dzhalil Opera and Ballet Theater, Sverdlovsk Academic Lunacharsky Opera and Ballet Theater, and the State Academic Bolshoi Theaters of Belorussia and of the former Soviet Union. Tikhonov led many of these ensembles in performances throughout the former Soviet Union, and in tours to Yugoslavia, Austria, Hungary, Canada, and the USA. Co-Founder of the Moscow Helikon Opera Theater and Chief Conductor since its inception, Kirill K. Tikhonov has led national and world premieres of 15 works from his repertoire of close to 100 operas and ballets. Tikhonov's many former students include orchestra members, noted singers, and conductors, many of whom hold the position of Chief Conductor of Russian musical theaters and symphony orchestras.

Tatiana Gromova, Choirmaster - Gromova graduated from Moscow's Gnessin Russian Music Academy in 1992. While still a student at the Academy, she founded the Tatiana Gromova Ensemble, which performed concerts that included such works as Protopopov's "Fantasy on Scriabin's Preliminary Action," Durufle's "Requiem," and French music from Lully to Messian. The Ensemble collaborated with the Bolshoi Theater Orchestra conducted by P. Sorokin in a recording of Merangulyan's opera, "Macbeth," and has also made a CD of Russian spiritual music.

Since 1992, Gromova's ensemble has worked with the Helikon Opera Theater and has participated in its productions of Rimsky-Korsakov's "Kaschey the Immortal" and "Mozart and Salieri;" Leoncavallo's "I Pagliacci;" Bizet's "Carmen;" Verdi's "La Traviata" and "Aida;" Tchaikovsky's "Pique Dame" and "Undine;" and Strauss' "Die Fledermaus."


"The interpretation (of Tchaikovsky's "Pique Dame") took us to the heart of Helikon's concept of 'chamber musical theater.' The singers gave performances of extraordinary concentration, and related to each other, and to the audiences, with a flair rarely seen on the opera stage.

In Helikon's production of "Mavra," the acting was irresistibly witty, with a flavor of improvisation that made everyone feel party to the conspiracy."

The Financial Times

"From beginning to end, this was a remarkable performance (Carmen)!"

Le Monde

"Like other Bertman productions, this one (Shostakovich's "Lady Macbeth") was inventive and executed with pinpoint precision."

Herald Tribune

Helikon Opera
19 Bolshaya Nikitskaya
Moscow 103009 Russia

Helikon Opera Founded in 1990 by director/producer, Dmitry Bertman, and conductor, Kiril Tikhonov, the Helikon Opera Theater takes its name from the... More
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