Barihunk Kostas Smoriginas will be featured in the most famous of the three operas, Aleko. The piece was written in 1893 while Rachmaninov was still a student at the Moscow Conservatory and it became his first great success. Based on Pushkin's poem "The Gypsies" it tells the story of an outsider who has joined a band of gypsies who turns to murder when he discovers that his wife has betrayed him. The piece was greatly influenced by the music of Tchaikovsky and Borodin, as well as the operas Cavalleria Rusticana and Carmen.
Kostas Smoriginas sings the cavatina from Aleko:
Performances will run from June 16-30 at the Art Deco Marivaux cinema while the main opera house is under renovation. The other two operas are Skupoj rytsar (The covetous knight) and Francesca da Rimini. The three operas are linked in that they tell the story of fate following in the footsteps of sin, whether it be a matter of jealous murder, greed or illicit passion. Tickets and additional cast information are available online.
Smoringinas will next appear on July 19th at the Royal Albert Hall in London as one of the soloists in Beethoven's Symphony No.9 with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra under Andris Nelsons.