Пьетро Метастазио – поэт среди музыкантов и музыкант среди поэтов.
F. Werfel about G. Verdi (based on the composition «Verdi. Novel of the opera») (by Zusman V. G., Zusman N. D.). In this paper the cultural opposition «Verdi - Wagner» is discussed. The opposition is described by the Austrian writer Franz Werfel in his «Verdi. Novel of the opera». Werfel compares the artistic world and the personality of the Italian composer Giuseppe Verdi with the German composer Richard Wagner. The author comes to conclusion, that the principle of melody, the power of an individual human voice expressed in the music of Verdi are much more important than the combined force of the instruments in the orchestra of Wagner.
The article is devoted to the almost unknown Russian opera event - staged at the Сourt Theater play, libretto of which was written by a young officer Boris Blanc. The article is accompanied by the publication of the text of this forgotten at present time theatrical work.
An interview with Jan Latham-Koenig, the outstanding conductor from Flanders, who works in Bruges and the Novaya Opera Theatre in Moscow, is devoted to the modern inter-pretations of classical opera pieces. The issue is revealed in a comparative analysis of his conduc-tion in Russia and in theaters of Western countries. One of the main problems is foreign languages, which are very difficult for Russian performers, especially German and even more so French, not only for soloists, but also for the choir. The second problem is twofold: dedication and discipline, which are inextricably linked. This is what Latham-Koenig is trying to achieve in his work. Another challenge is interpretation, which is most evident in the performance of Italian operas by Russian singers—too “heavy” and free interpretation music by Verdi and Puccini. At the same time, this heaviness comes from the fact that Russian singers sing all parts in an aria-like way, even recitatives that need to be almost pronounced, maintaining a conversational rhythm. Using the example of Monteverdi, the conductor shows that for this composer, the secret is to comprehend recitative as conversation during singing, and arias as singing during conversation. An important challenge is creation of an artistic image and conveying it to the public. Despite the tendency to “modernize” classical works, Latham-Koenig does not support this trend of the present-day productions, considering that the music itself was already an interpretation of the libretto, so introducing any additional interpretation into it is excessive. In addition to the questions related to his profession, a special place in the interview is given to the role of politics, which in Russia, in contrast to Western countries, has always been tightly bound with art.