The Latvian National Opera and Ballet presents, as part of its May online programme, older recordings of classical and contemporary operas acclaimed by critics, professionals, and the general public alike: the contemporary opera-lecture Mikhail and Mikhail Play Chess (2014) by Kristaps Pētersons, the 2007 production of Bizet’s Carmen with the Latvian opera stars Elīna Garanča and Kristīne Opolais, and the 2003 production of Wagner’s The Flying Dutchman with Egils Siliņš in the title role. The creative solutions, innovative ideas, and high-quality interpretations of these roles have left lasting imprints in the history of the Latvian National Opera, as testified by critical acclaim and the awards received. The recordings, however, are too much like memories – the deeper we delve into the past, the blurrier they get. But let’s not allow this to spoil our enjoyment. Let’s remember well!
Recordings are shown in collaboration with the Archive of Latvian Television.
Recordings will be available online at different time:
MIKHAIL AND MIKHAIL PLAY CHESS – 07.05.2021.-31.05.2021.
CARMEN – 14.05.2021.-31.05.2021.
THE FLYING DUTCHMAN – 21.05.2021.-31.05.2021.
When purchasing the ticket, you’ll receive an e-mail with a link to the recordings and an access code. In the set time frame each recording will be available an unlimited number of times.
Each recording may be purchased separately as well.
MIKHAIL AND MIKHAIL PLAY CHESS
Recording of the opera-lecture “Mikhail and Mikhail Play Chess” by Kristaps Pētersons (21.04.2014.) with Latvian subtitles.
Recording will be available online from 7 until 31 May 2021. When purchasing the ticket, you’ll receive an e-mail with a link to the recording and an access code. In the set time frame each recording will be available an unlimited number of times.
The unusual phenomenon behind the popularity of chess during the Cold War is at the centre of this opera, brought to audiences by young composer Kristaps Pētersons. The so-called Wizard of Riga – the multi-award winner and Grandmaster of chess, Mikhail Tal – plays a significant role in the opera. The opera’s musical dramaturgy is precisely based on the 1960 Moscow World Championship match, in which Tal won against the seemingly unbeatable Soviet Union chess master Mikhail Botvinnik. This legendary match will be replayed in a multimedia-lecture format, emphasizing both the ideological meaning of chess in the Soviet Union, and Tal’s intuition and improvisation-based tactics, which helped him defeat the rational and academic Botvinnik. The creative team for this project will consist of bright young Latvian artists who are accomplished both in Latvia and abroad. The opera-lecture is performed in Russian.
This production received the Latvijas Gāze Annual Award for the outstanding artistic achievements, Spēlmaņu Nakts Award for the original dramaturgy, The Great Music Award 2014 in the category Production of the Year, Diena Annual Culture Award, and was nominated for the Kilogram of Culture Award in the category Surprise. Opera was created in collaboration with Rīga 2014.
Soloists: Dana Bramane, Armands Siliņš, Juris Ādamsons, Ieva Parša, Andris Lapiņš, Baiba Berķe, Kalvis Kalniņš, Gunta Gelgote.
Musicians from the Latvian National Opera orchestra and extras.
Conductors Ainārs Rubiķis and Atvars Lakstīgala, composer Kristaps Pētersons, stage director Viesturs Meikšāns, libretto by Sergejs Timofejevs, set design by Reinis Suhanovs, costumes by MAREUNROL’S, video by Carlos Franklin and choreography by Kirill Burlov.
Recording of the opera “Carmen” by Georges Bizet (05.10.2007.) with Latvian subtitles.
Recording will be available online from 14 until 31 May 2021. When purchasing the ticket, you’ll receive an e-mail with a link to the recording and an access code. In the set time frame each recording will be available an unlimited number of times.
The sergeant Jose is obsessed with Carmen, a tobacco factory worker who values nothing so much as her freedom. When she gets tired of him and their relationship falls apart, Jose refuses to give her up... with fatal consequences. Georges Bizet’s masterpiece is one of the most performed operas of all time. The production is set in present-day Cuba.
In this production of 2007, created by the conductor Karel Mark Chichon and stage director Andrejs Žagars, the role of Carmen for the first time in her career was sang by Elīna Garanča, know often referred to as the best interpreter of this role worldwide. In this production you can also see the outstanding Latvian opera singers Kristīne Opolais and Egils Siliņš.
Cast: Carmen – Elīna Garanča, Don José – Valter Borin, Escamillo – Egils Siliņš, Micaëla – Kristīne Opolais, Frasquita – Kristīne Gailīte, Mercédès – Andžella Goba, Dancaïre – Nauris Puntulis, Remendado – Andris Lapiņš, Zuniga – Krišjānis Norvelis, Moralès – Rihards Mačanovskis
LNO orchestra and choir, pupils of Riga Cathedral Choir School
Conductor – Karel Mark Chichon, Stage Director – Andrejs Žagars, Set Designer – Monika Pormale, Costume Designer – Kristīne Jurjāne, Lighting Artist – Kevin Win-Jones, Choreographer – Elita Bukovska, Dramaturge – Jochen Breiholz
THE FLYING DUTCHMAN
Recording of the opera “The Flying Dutchman”/”Der Fliegende Holländer” by Richard Wagner (20.04.2008.) with Latvian subtitles.
Recording will be available online from 21 until 31 May 2021. When purchasing the ticket, you’ll receive an e-mail with a link to the recording and an access code. In the set time frame each recording will be available an unlimited number of times.
"The Flying Dutchman", one of Wagner's most popular works, is closely connected with Riga where the composer worked as Music Director from 1837 to 1839. Escaping his creditors in Riga by ship to London, Wagner was nearly shipwrecked. It was this frightening experience that inspired him to write “The Flying Dutchman”. The ocean as a violent, relentless force is omnipresent in this romantic opera about a man cursed to roam the seas forever - until he finds a woman who will love him more than life itself.
This production of 2003 was the debut in opera directing for Andrejs Žagars. It gained wide international resonance and began Žagars successful career in directing. For the artistic achievements in “The Flying Dutchman” Andris Freibergs received the Spēlmaņu Nakts 2003 Annual Award as the Best Set Designer, but Egils Siliņš was awarded in the category Best in Opera Art.
Cast: The Dutchman – Egils Siliņš, Senta – Mlada Khudoley, Daland – Krišjānis Norvelis, Mary – Dace Volfarte, Steersman – Guntars Ruņģis
LNO chorus and orchestra, State Choir “Latvija”
Conductor – Modestas Pitrenas, Stage Director – Andrejs Žagars, Set Designer – Andris Freibergs, Costume Designer – Kristīne Pasternaka, Lighting Artist – Kevin Win-Jones, Choreographer – Elita Bukovska, Video Artist – Katrīna Neiburga.