The Bolshoi Theatre’s Historic stage hosted the central event of Galina Vishnevskaya’s, the founder of the Opera Centre and People’s Artist of the USSR, 90th birthday anniversary celebrations on November 8th. The Gala concert featured performances by world opera stars: René Pape, Makvala Kasrashvili, Maria Guleghina, Badri Maisuradze, Yulia Gertseva, Fabio Sartori, Zeljko Lucic. Galina Vishnevskaya’s students and graduates who have become soloists at the Bolshoi – Agunda Kulaeva, Oleg Dolgov, Elchin Azizov and Irina Moreva (soloist at the Novaya Opera) have performed in honor of the great singer on the stage to which she had dedicated 30 years of her artistic career. The orchestra of the Bolshoi performed under the baton of Tugan Sukhiev – its Music Director and Principal Conductor.

The night opened with a video, accompanied by Tchaikovsky’s Polonaise from Eugene Onegin,  which has brought to life the characters impersonated by Galina Vishnevskaya in Aida and Tosca, Traviata and Madama Butterfly, Eugene Onegin and Queen of Spades, War and Peace; a video-chronicle of the concerts with Mstislav Rostropovich at a piano, rehearsals, master-classes, pictures from personal archive.

The program has been composed of arias and scenes from Vishnevskaya’s repertoire and her favorite composers – Tchaikovsky, Mussorgsky, Borodin, Puccini, Verdi, Leoncavallo.

The II Act finale from Verdi’s Aida has concluded the concert: Yurlov Russian State Academic Choir (Artistic Director – Gennady Dmitryak) joined the orchestra and soloists on the stage, while the stalls passages were filling with ‘Helikon-Opera’ Moscow Music Theatre Choir; that has created a stereo effect, making it a grand finale of the anniversary celebration night.

The bronze portrait sculpture of Galina Vishnevskaya, created by Alexander Rukavishnikov, was gifted to the Bolshoi Theatre during the intermission at the Museum foyer, which currently hosts “Galina Vishnevskaya. Greatness and simplicity…” exhibition. Rukavishnikov has also created a monument to Msilav Rostropovich in Moscow, as well as he will work on a monument to Galina Vishnevskaya, having won the corresponding competition.

Svetlana Medvedeva, President of the Socio-cultural Initiatives Foundation, has become a guest of honor at the concert, exhibition and gift ceremony, to whom Olga Rostropovich, the Artistic Director of the Opera Centre, has personally showed the exhibition.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has sent greetings to participants, organizers and guests of the Gala concert.