To celebrate its three hundredth anniversary, the city of Saint Petersburg offered itself the greatest gift in June 2003: a star-studded billing with as its brightest star was, Anna Netrebko.
Filmed in the Philharmonic concert hall, the event was impressive. Around the Saint Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra and its conductor, Yuri Temirkanov, were gathered some of the finest Russian musicians. After an intense and luminous Rondo Capriccioso by Saint-Saëns performed by violinist Victor Tretiakov came the legendary Georgian pianist, Elisso Virssaladze, who conquered the audience with a performance of Ravel's Concerto for the Left Hand full of panache.
There was also Anna Netrebko, the diva of Saint-Petersburg. She studied at the conservatory and was part of the troupe of the Mariinsky Theatre where she made her debut. With her warm, colorful, powerful voice, she offered her audience two arias, one by Donizetti (from Lucia di Lammermoor) and the other by Puccini (from La Bohème). Then it was the turn of baritone Dmitri Hvorostovski with Tchaikovsky (The Queen of Spades) and Verdi (Don Carlo) who was followed by the cellist Mischa Maisky for an Adiagio con variazoniby Respighi and Kol Nidrei, a brilliantly lyrical piece by Max Bruch. Lastly, a duo with Netrebko and Hvorostovski in Pagliacci by Leoncavallo, was the cherry on the birthday cake!
Agnès Letestu (Odette), José Martinez (Siegfried) – Corps de Ballet de l'Opéra national de Paris
Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra
Bolshoi Theatre, 1945-1977
New Philharmonia Orchestra, Orchestre et Choeurs de l'ORTF