A fallen angel, the Demon is banished from heaven and is condemned to spend eternity alone. Angel appears and warns Demon not to destroy God’s creation and try to reconcile with heaven. Rebellious Demon rejects the idea. Enamored with Tamara, Demon woos her. "Tamara, love me! ... you will be the queen of the universe, my eternal companion," he whispers into her soul. Feeling fear and powerful temptation, Tamara succumbs to his seduction. Demon's kiss kills her and in the moment of conquest, he is defeated by the Angel who saves Tamara's soul. Alone again, Demon curses the universe. (Synopsis by Russian Opera Workshop)
King René’s daughter Iolanta is blind from early childhood. Anguished and determined to find a cure, René creates a sheltered world where Iolanta is not to know of her blindness and no one is to reveal the truth for fear of execution. The great Moorish healer advises René that Iolanta must know of her misfortune and have desire to see light, only then the cure is possible. Lost in the woods, Count Vaudemont enters a beautiful palace garden where he meets Iolanta. He falls in love, discovers that she is blind and is the first person to explain the virtues of light. Furious king condemns Vaudemont to death. The event awakens Iolanta's desire to see light, to be cured and to save her beloved. (Synopsis by Russian Opera Workshop)
As BroadwayWorld notes, Meirson is “perhaps the preeminent expositor of the Russian vocal repertoire in America, and he does that through the annual Russian Opera Workshop programs."
A long-time faculty member at both the Academy of Vocal Arts and Curtis Institute of Music, “Ghenady Meirson has been the go to-master for two decades in Philadelphia for authentic Russian operatic repertoire” (Huffington Post).
Founded in 2011 by Ghenady Meirson, Russian Opera Workshop is a privately operated, independent program in summer residency at the Academy of Vocal Arts (AVA), and “has become one of the treasures of the Philadelphia summer season” (Broad Street Review).
Selected by a competitive audition process, artists have come from across the United States, Canada, Mexico, and Europe to participate in the program. All artists receive Russian language training, vocal coaching, and vocal and professional development master classes. Some of the master class faculty have included Metropolitan Opera stars Angela Meade, Benita Valente, and Florence Quivar, among others. At the end of each training session all artists perform complete Russian operas and Russian Romances concerts.
Russian Opera Workshop repertoire includes Tchaikovsky's Eugene Onegin, Iolanta, The Queen of Spades (Pique Dame), Romeo & Juliet (Fragment), The Maid of Orleans, and Mazepa; Rachmaninoff's Aleko and Francesca da Rimini; Anton Rubinstein's The Demon, and Rusalka by Alexander Dargomyzhsky.
Born in Odessa, Ukraine, Ghenady Meirson graduated from the Santa Cecilia Conservatory in Rome and the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, where he studied piano with Seymour Lipkin and Mieczyslaw Horszowski, and accompanying with Vladimir Sokoloff.
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Russian Opera Workshop