Music Aeterna

MusicAeterna will be performing as part of Rite of Spring from 14th-19th July. For further details, please visit the event page by following the link in the left hand panel.

The MusicAeterna Orchestra of the Tchaikovsky Perm Academic Opera and Ballet Theatre


The MusicAeterna Orchestra is one of the most in-demand Russian orchestras in the field of period performance, and works just as successfully with 20th-century music. It was founded in 2004 in Novosibirsk by Teodor Currentzis. The orchestra has appeared with Currentzis in Vienna, Amsterdam, London, Baden-Baden, Moscow, St. Petersburg, and Perm. The orchestra released three CDs between 2008 and 2010: Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas, Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 14, and Mozart’s Requiem. The orchestra records exclusively on the Sony Classical label. During the 2012/2013 season the orchestra, under Teodor Currentzis, is recording a programme of works for Sony by French baroque composer Jean-Philippe Rameau and two Mozart operas – Le nozze di Figaro and Cosi fan tutte – featuring international star soloists. Future plans include a recording of another Mozart masterpiece: the opera Don Giovanni.

The Tchaikovsky Perm Academic Opera and Ballet Theatre

The theatre is one of the oldest in Russia, and is a major centre of music. Its official history goes back as far as 1870 and the date of its first première: Glinka’s opera A Life for the Tsar. In 1926, the theatre staged its first ballet première, Adolphe Adam’s Giselle. The Perm Opera and Ballet Theatre was founded using charitable donations from the citizens of Perm. A large contribution was made by the grandfather of famous impresario Sergey Diaghilev.

The theatre bears the name of Pyotr Tchaikovsky, and over the years it has staged productions of all of the composer’s operas and ballets. The theatre’s rich repertoire also includes classic works by Borodin, Mussorgsky, Rimsky-Korsakov, Prokofiev, and Stravinsky. The theatre’s experimental productions and its work with both classical and contemporary material since the mid-20th century have won it renown as an ‘opera laboratory’. The theatre has staged the Russian premières of such operas as Edison Denisov’s The Foam of Days, Jules Massenet’s Cléopâtre, Rodion Shchedrin’s Lolita, George Handel’s Alcina, Claudio Monteverdi’s Orfeo, Alexander Tchaikovsky’s One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich, and Pascal Dusapin’s Medeamaterial.

The heyday of the Perm Opera is associated with leading opera directors such as Nikolay Bogolyubov, Iosif Keller, Emil Pasynkov, and Georgy Isaakian.

Perm is known as Russia’s third ballet Mecca, after Moscow and St. Petersburg. A renowned school of choreography operates alongside the theatre’s academic ballet company. A great influence on the development of Perm as a centre of opera and ballet was the evacuation of the Kirov Theatre (now the Mariinsky Theatre) to the city from 1941 to 1944. The arrival of the Leningrad Choreographic School led to the opening of the Perm Ballet School, which has earned international repute. For over 50 years, the Perm Ballet has been the focus of constant attention from a wide audience. The uniform performance style of the soloists and the corps de ballet is a characteristic of the Perm company.

The Perm Opera and Ballet Theatre has won the Russian Golden Mask National Theatre Award on several occasions. In 2013, the theatre garnered a record 17 nominations for Russia’s most important national theatre prize.

The theatre organizes the International Diaghilev Festival (named after the famous impresario Sergei Diaghilev, founder of the Ballets Russes, who was a native of Perm) and the Ekaterina Maximova Arabesque Ballet Competition.

Since 2009, the ballet company has been directed by choreographer Alexey Miroshnichenko. Under his guidance, the Perm dancers’ repertoire has included a successful blend of classical productions and ballets by contemporary choreographers.

In 2011, Teodor Currentzis, whose musical projects have once again put Perm in the spotlight, was appointed as the theatre’s Artistic Director. Audiences in Perm have the opportunity of seeing ballets by William Forsythe, Jiří Kylián, and Kenneth MacMillan, and opera productions by Philipp Himmelmann and Andrejs Žagars. New works composed specially for the Perm Theatre include Vladimir Nikolayev’s ballet Gereven and the opera Nosferatu by Dmitry Kurlyandsky, which is due to première in 2014.

As part of one of the theatre’s major projects, A Mozart Trilogy – Da Ponte in Perm, director Matthias Remus staged his version of Cosi fan tutte in 2011; in 2012 Philipp Himmelmann directed Le nozze di Figaro (a joint production with the Festspielhaus in Baden-Baden); and in 2014, Peter Sellars will stage Don Giovanni (in conjunction with the Madrid Opera). All three of these renowned operas, co-created by a great composer and a great librettist, will be staged in the same theatre for the first time in Russia, and feature top international soloists.

During the 2012/2013 season, Teodor Currentzis will conduct recordings of two Mozart operas for the Sony Classical label, the leading European recording studio. Cosi fan tutte and Le nozze di Figaro will feature the MusicAeterna Orchestra and Choir and an international line-up of soloists led by opera star Simone Kermes.

The Perm Theatre remains a major Russian centre of opera and ballet, where the quality of the musical performance takes precedence.

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