Minsk’s Don Juan, also known as Eugene Onegin
Vladimir Petrov celebrates 30 years on Bolshoi Theatre stage
According to Swiss musical critics, Vladimir Petrov is the best Don Juan in the history of opera. He recently celebrated his 60th birthday, and 30 years on the stage. Having graduated from the Conservatoire in Sverdlovsk, he arrived in Minsk, at the National Academic Bolshoi Opera and Ballet Theatre, and has worked there ever since.
Theatre celebrates birthday of its ‘golden baritone’
His first role was immediately ‘aristocratic’, playing Onegin. “It was Fate,” admits the singer. “I’ve toured many countries worldwide in that role, including Israel, France and Germany, and have always been welcomed with enthusiasm and excitement. This opera remains relevant in theme always, dealing with love, jealousy and life’s struggles.”
Mr. Petrov has worked with Gérard Depardieu, who is loved dearly by Belarusians. The duo performed in Paris, in an opera by Hungarian composer Zoltán Kodály, called Hari Janos.
The singer calls promoter Dino Arici his creative teacher. Due to him, the Bolshoi Theatre of Belarus has performed at the most prestigious festivals, together with leading world soloists.
“We’ve performed wonderful works: Mussorgsky’s Boris Godunov, Bizet’s Carmen, Leoncavallo’s Pagliacci and Verdi’a Aida,” notes Mr. Petrov.
In 2015, Mr. Petrov was awarded the highest award of the Union of Theatrical Figures of Belarus — the Crystal Paulinka, and was given the Frantsisk Skorina Oder on the eve of his birthday.
The opera maître has many times been offered an American or European passport but, to the joy of Minskers, the ‘golden baritone’ won’t think of leaving the Bolshoi Theatre. He has celebrated his creative jubilee as a leading soloist with three performances at world level, as Duke Yeletsky in the Queen of Spades, as Gryazny in The Tsar’s Bride, and in Rigoletto.
“Each performance is for a definite audience; it’s a complex matter,” Mr. Petrov notes. “I’m a happy man. In the morning, I walk and think ‘Thank God, this is my native theatre!’; it’s a wonderful feeling.”
By Kristina Khilko