UPDATE - New Russian Cultural Center In Genoa To Enrich Existing Russia-Italy Ties - Conductor

UPDATE - New Russian Cultural Center in Genoa to Enrich Existing Russia-Italy Ties - Conductor

ST. PETERSBURG (UrduPoint News / Sputnik - 26th March, 2021) A creation of the Center of the Russian Culture in Teatro Carlo Felice opera house in Italy's Genoa will enable enrichment of existing network of collaborative experience between the two countries through the exchange of guest appearances of renowned instrumentalists and hosting of history-making productions originating from prestigious Russian theaters, Fabio Mastrangelo, who is often referred to as Russia's most famous Italian-born conductor, told Sputnik on Friday.

Mastrangelo, who was one of the architects of the project's concept, was appointed to a post of the chief guest conductor of Teatro Carlo Felice.

"Exchange and co-productions of operatic titles, reciprocal visits of the artistic ensembles of the two theatres (orchestras, choirs, soloists). But also an extended program of guest appearances of renowned instrumentalists and hosting of history-making productions originating from prestigious Russian theatres. An ambitious set of goals which will enrich an existing network of collaborative experiences," Mastrangelo said.

The maestro shared with Sputnik insights into the impetus for creating the center, highlighting that ties between Russia and Italy go back a long time in history.

According to Mastrangelo, while living in Russia a significant portion of his life, he has taken a deep interest in learning about the plethora of Italian composers who lived and created music in Russia, noting that as far as music goes, Russia is immersed in Italian opera while Italy often presents Russian symphonic and instrumental music. However, he pointed out that there were details missing in this cultural exchange such as not enough Russian opera was performed in Italy and a limited repertoire of Italian orchestral music got played in Russia.

"Having championed Italian symphonists in the last 20 years all over Russia, I felt it was time to popularize the rich and colorful Russian operatic repertoire in Italy. Genoa is the perfect city to realize this goal. The idea of Creating a Center of Russian Culture in the Carlo Felice opera theater found an enthusiastic ally in its intellectual Director Claudio Orazi," he said.

He expressed a strong desire to bring this project to fruition calling it "a sort of musical Sputnik V."

Since its announcement, the project has received high praises from Italian and Russian diplomats, who stressed its importance for strengthening bilateral ties.

Italian Ambassador to Russia Pasquale Terracciano thanked the cultural center's organizers and said that the initiative could become an integral part of the existing rich cultural exchange between Italy and Russia.

"We are defining a rich program. It's the Year of Museum Collaboration between Italy and Russia as well: concerts, exhibitions, in particular in Yekaterinburg," Terracciano noted.

The center can additionally promote closer ties between Liguria region in Italy and Leningrad region in Russia, Vladimir Zapevalov, the Russian Foreign Ministry's representative in St. Petersburg, added.

"We are expecting that in addition to famous Italian brands in automotive and electrical engineering fields and high fashion brands, we will discover new niches of the Italian industry and culture," he commented to Sputnik.

Russian Ambassador to Italy and San Marino Sergey Razov also thanked the organizers for the idea and expressed confidence that the project would further strengthen both cultural and business ties between the two countries.

The two main actors of this enterprise are Genoa's Foundation Theatre Carlo Felice and St. Petersburg's Music Hall Theatre which, incidentally, is in the process of changing its name to become the Feodor Chaliapin Musical Theatre.

Mastrangelo was one of the pioneers of cultural immigration to Russia. He was born in the southern Italian city of Bari, where relics of Russia's most beloved Saint Nicholas the Miracle-Worker have been kept for the last 930 years. At the age of five, he became fond of Russian music and got interested in the Russian alphabet while learning how to read.

Currently, he is the artistic director of the St. Petersburg Music Hall. He is also the principal conductor of the Moscow City Symphony Orchestra "Russian Philharmonic" and the Yakutsk State Philharmonic Orchestra, the artistic director of the Camerata chamber orchestra of the Novosibirsk State Philharmonic and a principal guest conductor of its Symphony Orchestra.

In addition, Mastrangelo also heads several annual music festivals.

After years of dedicated work for his historical and second homeland, he was twice awarded the Order of the Star of Italy for the preservation and promotion of national prestige and friendly relations between Russia and Italy.