The Bolshoi Theater is rounding off the year 2001-the Verdi Centennial Year-with a production of the opera "La Forza del Destino." The production will premiere in Moscow on December 26, Bolshoi Musical Director Alexander Vedernikov told a press conference Tuesday. Giuseppe Verdi was commissioned to compose "La Forza del Destino" by the Directorate of Russia's Imperial Theaters. The opera premiered in St. Petersburg in 1862.Verdi revised it seven years later. It is this later, revised version that will now be presented to Moscow audiences. The Dec. 26 premiere performance at the Bolshoi will be a rather unusual one as the staging has been bought from the San Carlo theater of Naples, where this opera was put on twice, in 1982 and 1990 (first by Carlo Maestrini and then by his son, Pier Francesco Maestrini). The sets for the Moscow show will be delivered from Naples, while the costumes have been produced locally, at the famous workshops of the Bolshoi. The production is to run at the Bolshoi Theater eight times this performing season and eight more times, the next, said Vedernikov. Aleksandrs Vilumanis, who has worked with St. Petersburg's Mariinsky Theater for quite a long while, will be invited as a guest conductor. He has already interpreted nine of Verdi's operas. In the past nine years, Vilumanis has been the music director of the international opera festival at Sigulda, in Latvia. As for the performers, these will include singers of the Bolshoi, as well as guest vocalists from St. Petersburg, Yekaterinburg, and Germany. The Bolshoi's Yelena Zelenskaya, Badri Maisuradze, and Sergei Larin are to perform the lead parts. It will be remembered that the Bolshoi Theater opened the Verdi Centennial Year with an original production of "Nabucco."
As November 4 approaches (on this day, Russia and Belarus are to sign union programs), disputes between supporters and opponents of the integration become increasingly heated