Austė Radžiūnaitė , 2010 06 22

M.Pitrėnas receives more and more offers to work abroad. Photo by the author

In brief: The 35-year-old principal conductor of Kaunas Symphony Orchestra Modestas Pitrėnas completed the first work season at the Latvian National Opera strikingly. He, the Latvian director Viesturs Kairiš and stage designer Ieva Jurjane created the triptych of one-act operas of Giacomo Puccini "The Coat" ("Il Tabarro"), "Sister Angelica" ("Suor Angelica") and "Gianni Schicchi" for Riga Opera Festival.

Three hours of stylistically different music, three stories of different moods, about 50 characters: the young team of creators of the triptych coped with the challenge well. One-act operas of G.Puccini were staged in Riga for the firts time.

The project was funded by the Latvian Ministry of Culture after M.Pitrėnas glinted by his first premiere in Riga theatre, the opera “Werther” of Jules Massenet created along with the director Andrejs Žagars.

No other performance of Riga Opera Festival enjoyed such abundant audience as evenings of one-act operas of G.Puccini. Only the lucky ones could see the triptych: heads and managers of the biggest Scandinavian theatres and London Covent Garden, many foreign critics. Opera admirers who saw the triptych assured that they did not remember such euphoria at Riga theatre as on those two evenings. 

The portal has noticed: "The new principal conductor of the theatre M.Pitrėnas created the tension on the Latvian National Opera Orchestra stand that hovered on during both breaks of the performance. He let some hope into the dark ballad, later he created an emotional shock by dipping into nuances of a lyrical tragedy and finally he satisfied the thirst of merriment".

Many influential guests of the evening expressed their admiration of the work of M.Pitrėnas and his partners as well as the wonderful team of creators of the triptych.

"It was very interesting to work with V.Kairiš; he is a charismatic man with a good sense of humour. He infected the collective with the creative spirit", M.Pitrėnas rejoiced for the partnership.

The Lithuanian soprano Asmik Grigorian contributed to the success of the work of the Lithuanian maestro in Riga. She received ovations while singing the mezzo soprano part of Charlotte in “Werther” and enjoyed many compliments after the triptych premieres.

She created three main female parts in the newest project of the Latvian National Opera: Giorgetta, Angelica, Lauretta. "Asmik created very diverse roles successfully, even though she was slightly ill. Her characters were outstanding in all respects," M.Pitrėnas evaluated the efforts of his partner. 

M.Pitrėnas will create the triptych of G.Puccini in Düsseldorf Opera in Germany next year. He has already signed a contract with the big Austrian art agency Hollaender-Cali. One more project offered by this agency is “The Magic Flute” by W.A.Mozart in Köln Opera Theatre. This performance awaits M.Pitrėnas in the first half of the next season.

In addition to new works in Riga, the Lithuanian will also stage “Carmen” in Warsaw Grand Theatre. At the moment M.Pitrėnas is rehearsing ballet works of four choreographers according to music of Johann Sebastian Bach in the capital of Poland. The premieres of this performance will be presented on the 25th and 27th of June.

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