The Russian embassy in Washington, DC hopes the young artist exchange program between the Bolshoi Theatre and the Washington National Opera will expand, Russia's Ambassador to the United States Sergey Kislyak told Sputnik.
On Monday night, ten participants of Bolshoi’s Young Artist Opera Program and WNO’s Domingo-Cafritz Young Artist performed together at the Russian embassy following a week-long joint training. The rising stars sang pieces from Rimsky-Korsakov, Tchaikovsky, Mozart and Leoncavallo.
"I hope very much that we would be able to expand it [the program] in the future because such programs not only help to develop understanding, which is good in itself, but it also helps the singers to gain experience, to feel a different audience," Kislyak said after the concert.
The ambassador noted that the Russian embassy was one of the main initiators of the program, and despite hurdles, sponsors have stood by the program and are helping develop it.
"The beauty of the program is that it unites young opera singers from Russia and the United States. But you can see that it is more than just Russia and the United States, which is remarkable. Now it also includes artists from Ukraine and China; the main criterion is talent," he added.
The joint US-Russian program has a lot of benefits and helps Americans polish their singing techniques in performing Russian opera as well as helps Russian artists improve western opera techniques.
"It was amazing how they were singing [the final piece] together, I think they enjoyed the performance not less than we did," Kislyak said.
He further noted that all Bolshoi-WNO program participants recall how memorable the experience was.
"The program has put down roots, I think it will grow a big and strong tree," the ambassador concluded.
Monday’s concert marked the sixth anniversary of the collaboration between the Bolshoi Theatre and the Washington National Opera, which is an affiliate of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.
The two institutions have regular artist exchanges on alternating years as part of the program. In 2016, four musicians from the Bolshoi came to train and practice with American singers at the Washington National Opera. Next, WNO’s Domingo-Cafritz young artists will travel to Russia in the summer of 2017.