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Home> Destinations> Europe> Moscow> Experience> Art Venues

The Helikon Opera

Updated: 2014-07-29 / (moscow.info)

[Photo from moscow.info]

The Helikon, like the New Opera, is an extremely young company, founded only in 1990 by Dmitry Bertman, then a 23-year-old student of theatre production, who remains Artistic Director. At the start there were only seven members in a company that has now grown to over 350, and established an international reputation along the way.

Bertman is a disciple of Stanislavsky and Meyerhold, and with Helikon he has brought to opera a uniquely intense brand of psychological realism, focusing on high-quality acting as much as the music, but with no detriment to the latter. The company has toured productions throughout Europe and the United States, garnering considerable critical praise and some controversy along the way. It's fair to say that the Helikon is one of the most innovative and exciting opera companies in the world.

The repertoire is a combination of new takes on 19th century classics, especially Verdi and Tchaikovsky - the Helikon is the only theatre in Moscow to have staged all the latter's operas, and their Onegin is particularly revered - and rarities like Mozart's Apollon et Hyacinthe, and Lampe's Pyramus and Thisbe. There are also "novelty" performances, for example of Bach's Coffee Cantata, which comes with free servings of coffee for the entire audience during the performance, or his Peasant Cantata, where the same goes for beer.

The theatre itself, situated in an 18th century nobleman's house, is tiny, with 250 seats crammed into the main hall and 70 in the second. Plans are afoot to build a larger and better equipped home for the company, but for now the crowded venue only adds to the power of the drama on stage.



Address: 19, Bolshaya Nikitskaya Ulitsa, Moscow, 103009, Russia

Telephone: +7 (495) 290-6592

Transport: Arbatskaya metro station

Box Office: Daily from 11:00 to 19:00 with a break from 15:00 to 16:00

Internet: www.helikon.ru is an excellent site with loads of information about the company, links to booking services and an English version "under construction".


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