Galina Vishnevskaya awarded with Puccini Prize in Italy

Russian singer Galina Vishnevskaya was awarded with the Puccini Prize in Italy. This prestigious prize was established by the Puccini festival and is conferred on the best performers of Puccini's compositions. The repertoire of Galina Vishnevskaya has always included arias from "Tosca", "Turandot", "Boheme" and other operas by the great composer.

The award presentation ceremony was held in Torre del Lago, Puccini's native town. The festival's art director Alberto Veronese and president Manrico Nicolai presented the singer with a bronze figurine.

Galina Vishnevskaya was accompanied by her husband, the famous conductor and cellist Mstislav Rostropovich.

The star couple has been holding Christmas Parties in Italy for several years. Last year Galina Vishnevskaya and Mstislav Rostropovich spent Christmas in Rome. Shostakovich's opera "Katerina Izmailova", conducted by Mstislav Rostropovich, premiered in the Italian capital. Russian singers, trained by Galina Vishnevskaya, sang the solo parts. Two years ago children's ensemble "Galina Vishnevskaya's Theatre" toured Italy on Christmas.

Rostropovich and Vishnevskaya love Italy and are grateful to this country. When they were deprived of the Soviet citizenship in the 1970s, they went to Rome. Since then Rostropovich and Vishnevskaya became frequent guests in Italy.

Galina Vishnevskaya performed in the best Italian opera theatres, for instance Milan's famous La Scala. Mstislav Rostropovich often tours Italy. His last concert there was held a month ago.