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Tchaikovsky Opera Theatre
Tchaikovsky Opera Theatre

The P. Tchaikovsky Opera and Ballet Theatre of Russia is one of Russia’s oldest and most distinguished companies apart from the Bolshoi of Moscow and Mariinsky (Kirov) of St. Petersburg. The Tchaikovsky House, as the theatre is often called, is an establishment of impeccable cultural credentials, brimming with old musical traditions, which has produced an ever increasing number of works with particular emphasis on the operas and ballets of Pyotr Tchaikovsky who was born near Perm and whose name the theatre bears. The Tchaikovsky Opera is the only company that has performed all ten of Tchaikovsky operas.

As a result, the first opera performance of Mikhail Glinka’s Life for the Tsar took place in 1870, heralding the birth of a new company.

Further increasing public interest in opera and the support and guidance of the citizens made it possible to open in 1878 a new stone building of the city theatre, which gradually became the soul part of the growing city, a real opera venue.

Over the years the Theatre has maintained strong historical and cultural ties with the Mariinsky (Kirov) Theatre stemming from the World War II time; when the Kirov Opera and Ballet sought refuge in Perm.

Even at Cold War time Perm remained a major cultural center in the easternmost region of European Russia. In the 1980s the The Tchaikovsky Opera gave scenic life to Sergei Prokofiev's Fire Angel, War and Peace and was the only company that presented the original version (after the French one) of Edison Denisov's Wrath of the Days. Later Perm premieres included S. Prokofiev's Maddalena and one-act operas by F. Poulenk and M. de Falla, R. Wagner's The Flying Dutchman, Aleksandr Tchaikovsky's Three Prozorov Sisters, based on Anton Chekhov, Rimsky-Korsakov's Kaschey the Immortal, Tchaikovsky's Pique Dame, to name but a few.

George Isaakyan, a State Prize winner, honored for his services to the arts, brought his artistic directorship to the The Tchaikovsky Opera and Ballet in 2001. In the period since, he has created opportunities for developing a major highly acclaimed company and has shaped the repertoire by constantly renovating and carefully preserving the highlights of the Russian classics: Borodin's Prince Igor, Rimsky-Korsakov’s Tsar's Bride and Snowmaiden, Mussorgsky’s Boris Godunov. Popular operas by Verdi, Puccini, Mozart, Leoncavallo, combined with lesser-known works provide an opportunity to Perm audiences to further their knowledge of opera within as broad a range as possible. We are proud to have launched the operatic Russian and world premieres of J. Massenet's Cleopatra and Cinderella, Rodion Schedrin's Lolita, G. Handel's Alcina, which is a breakthrough in the field of early music so rarely performed in Russia, a modern production of Bizet's Carmen, Dvorak's Rusalka, along with Tchaikovsky's magnificent Mazeppa, which has not been performed in Perm since 1983.

The Tchaikovsky Opera is a winner of the prestigious national Golden Mask Award for Donizetti's Don Pasquale (1996) and Tchaikovsky's Pique Dame (1998).

In 1999 the Tchaikovsky Opera production team won the highest State Award of Russia for mounting a cycle of operas based on Pushkin lyrics and called Pushkin in Opera.

The company recently marked the 400th anniversary of C. Monteverdi's L'Orfeo and revitalized Anton Rubenstein's Christus with the first Russian staging of these operas. These originally created productions have once again earned G. Isaakyan a reputation of innovative director. The major Russian newspaper Kultura named him “Stage Director of the Year” (December 2007).

Embodying the best of past traditions we establish ourselves as the premiere opera company, producing new original works, nurturing promising young talent, engaging world-renowned artists and having ambitious plans, thus bringing opera to new diverse audiences and raising the musical profile of the House.

Isaakyan's new production of One Day in GULAG based on Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn's story “One Day of Ivan Denisovich” is the company's homage to all victims of political repressions. Its Perm and world premiere is part of the 2009 Diaghilev Festival devoted to the centenary of the Diaghilev Russian Seasons in Paris.

The company's tours have included engagements in Germany, Switzerland, Spain, the USA, as well as in Moscow, Saint Petersburg and other Russian cities.


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