On August 19, Ruskeala Symphony Music Festival was held for the first time
in the Ruskeala Mountain Park. Italian quarry became a venue for musicians
and listeners, where Italian music was heard through marble rocks.
The festival program was prepared by Karelian State Philharmonic Society
and one of its ensembles – the Symphony Orchestra conducted by Anatoly
Rybalko, the artistic director and chief batonist.
The program included popular Italian classics - arias and symphonic
intermezzos from operas by Rossini, Donizetti, Mascagni, Puccini, Verdi and
other composers, which are well known to general public, as well as the
world-famous Neapolitan songs. The program also included fragments of opera
music from the era when the opera in any country was Italian - with Italian
tradition, aesthetics and in the Italian language. So, in the first act,
Mozart's music from the operas Don Giovanni and The Marriage of Figaro was performed.
The stage starred famous guests: Nikolay Efremov, baritone from Bolshoi
Theater, Evgeniy Yuzhin, “the golden tenor of Russia,” countertenor Timur
Slanov, the finalist of All-Russian Open Contest Blue Bird and the owner of
a rare male voice, soprano Anastasia Averina and bass Vadim Mokin, both
stars of the Musical Theater of Karelia.
Ruskeala Symphony Festival was organized appeared upon an initiative of
Artur Parfenchikov, the Acting Head of Karelia, who, in his welcoming
words, congratulated everyone on this historic occasion - the first music
festival in Ruskeala.
“I want to thank the like-minded fellows, peers, sponsors, those who
rekindled dreams of it. This is an example of how to accomplish a great
feat by joint efforts,” said the Head of the region.
The format of conducting a major musical event under the open sky has
proved successful throughout the world, including Russia. However, large
musical events under the open sky are still new for Karelia. Despite the
unfavorable weather forecast, nature was kind to the festival: the evening
was clear and warm, so nothing prevented viewers from enjoying the music.
The festival aroused great interest not only in Karelia. There were
particularly many guests from St. Petersburg. About 2700 listeners gathered
in the Italian quarry. People came to the festival as part of tourist
groups and independently. A spacious venue made it possible to sit
comfortably, and any spectator could choose a convenient point for viewing
At the very end of the festival night, a pleasant surprise was made for the
listeners: a colorful firework splashed the sky over Ruskeala.
The festival is planned to become annual. While summing up the event, Artur
Parfenchikov thanked all those who made the festival possible, and said
that preparations for the second Music Festival in Ruskeala have already