On March 15, 2013, in Chicago, IL, the Moscow Committee of Chicago Sister Cities International hosted a VIP reception for one of the most prominent Russian soprano Anna Netrebko at the Graham Room at the Lyric Opera House.
The reception was attended by over 70 esteemed guests who had a unique opportunity to meet Netrebko and other stars of the Lyric, while at the same time enjoying a variety of libations as well as gourmet hors d’oeuvres.
Celebrated Russian soprano Anna Netrebko was born in Krasnodar. In 1971 she enrolled in renown Mariinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg, where she studied with famed conductor Valery Gergiev. She made her operatic debut at a young age of 22. Quickly garnering reputation as a talented soprano, at the age of 24 she made her American debut at the San Francisco Opera, followed by the Metropolitan Opera in New York, The Royal Opera House in London, Milan’s La Scala, and the Vienna State Opera.
Her appearance in La Boheme marks her Chicago Lyric Opera debut. Her charming appearance and a hint of vulnerability makes it for a quite believable performance. She easily gathers all the attention, captivating the audience with her rich and silky-smooth voice.
Aleksandra Efimova, a chair of the Moscow Committee remarked that “[h]osting a reception for Ms. Netrebko has been my dream for years! Her vocal talent, beauty and artistic mastery make audiences love and applaud her on stage and off.” She further added that events such as this one enable to “share the richness of Russian culture with the residents and guests of Chicago.”
I had an opportunity to briefly chat with the Moscow Sister Cities Committee chair, Prince Piotr Galitzine. He and his company, TMK IPSCO were principal event sponsors. We spoke about his company’s aim to support children and the arts, among other things — a cause that is near to me as well, as an art admirer and a founder of Arts4Kids Foundation. He went on to say that “Anna Netrebko is a world-class diva. She both mesmerized and charmed the audience as Mimi at the showing of Puccini’s La Boheme…” He further added that his company was honored to sponsor this reception “because this event embodies the Russian-American exchanges and interactions which are the main goal of the Moscow Sister Cities Committee…”
Netrebko once remarked that ”Puccini’s magic never fails to cast its entrancing spell.” However, those that had a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to meet her, and hear her sing, were indeed under an “entrancing spell” of this opportunity for which, I’m certain many were genuinely appreciative. (To read my review of La Boheme, visit: http://kontinentusa.com/netrebko-enthralls-the-audience-in-lyric-debut-as-mimi-in-la-boheme/ )
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Photos by Alex Riemann
About Chicago Sister Cities International
Chicago Sister Cities International coordinates programs and projects with Chicago’s 28 sister cities and is committed to promoting Chicago as a global city, developing international partnerships and networks, and sharing best practices on a city-to-city basis.
Since its inception in 1960, Chicago Sister Cities International has built bridges between the people of Chicago and its international neighbors to achieve greater mutual understanding and to strengthen civic, economic, and cultural ties. Chicago has been a sister city with Moscow since 1997.