On 12 May 2015, the Novosibirsk Opera and Ballet Theatre celebrated its seventieth anniversary. The theatre company and audiences paid tribute to the ‘Siberian Coliseum’ with a Theatre of Victory showcase, as well as several special events to mark this wonderful occasion.
The large-scale festivities in honour of the theatre’s anniversary featured all of the theatre’s leading performers, the Siberian Russian Folk Chorus, members of performing arts centre Apelsin, and the Mikhailovsky Theatre Ballet.
A two-part concert brought the history of the theatre to life, from the moment the first stone of the building was laid up to its latest triumphant decade. Stars of the opera and ballet company graced the stage: Anna Zharova, Oleg Videman, Natalia Ershova, Anna Odintsova, Irina Churilova, Pavel Yankovsky, Roman Polkovnikov, and others. The theatre’s choir and orchestra were conducted by Yevgeny Volynsky. The grand ceremony was hosted by People’s Artist of Russia Nikolai Tsiskaridze, and the Siberian company and guests in the audience were treated to a performance by the Mikhailovsky Theatre of an extract from Boris Asafiev’s The Flames of Paris.
In honour of the occasion, the Siberian Cadet Corps paraded around the square in front of the theatre, accompanied by a military band. And a few minutes before the start of the anniversary concert, grateful theatre-goers and performers gathered in the theatre courtyard to release balloons into the sky — a symbol of the continued longevity and success of the Novosibirsk Opera.
Among those in the auditorium were veterans of the theatre who had given it their best creative years, including People’s Artist of the USSR Lydia Krupenina, who works at the theatre to this day, passing her craft on to the next generation. Appreciative members of the audience, some of whom had been at the theatre’s first performance in 1945, gave the performers flowers and shared treasured memories of the opera and ballet company’s early years. Many of those who were once a source of pride and glory for the theatre are no longer with us, but the theatre remembers and values their priceless contribution to its life and art.
On this special day, the theatre also received congratulations from Russian Minister for Culture Vladimir Medinsky, Presidential Envoy to the Siberian Federal District Nikolai Rogozhkin, Governor of Novosibirsk Region Vladimir Gorodetsky, and Mayor of Novosibirsk Anatoly Lokot. The hall was dignified by the honoured guests.