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The Lviv Opera Returns from Its Tour. First Impressions

“Subotnia poshta”, Lviv, Ukraine | May 17, 1996
“My dream became reality. Maybe this sounds somewhat “patetique”, however, I didn’t feel embarassed in expressing myself this way even with the correspondent from the BBC in Rome. This was our first big tour in the West. I am glad and proud that I was able to make a significant contribution to this project.”

“The successful “Aida” tour is the climax in my and my colleagues’ two year endeavour. In the first place, it is the end result of the cooperation between those who understood and believed in what I proposed to do. I bow my head before them.”

“During the tour, there were many enjoyable and emotional moments, all of them tied to the high rating we received from our audiences and, in many ways, this gave me great satisfaction. One example of a very emotional moment was when we “conquered” our audience -- people, who came to the performance with musical scores and piano parts, which they illuminated with pen-flashlights, while listening to the performance. As I approached the conductor’s podium and saw this, I understood: This is serious!”

“Often the way to the conductor’s podium was through the audience (not all the theatre’s had an orchestra pit). It was wonderful to observe the metamorphosis of the audience some time after Act II. By then, there was almost noone, who was stretching their legs out, observing me with a somewhat cynical expression. Instead, they were yelling “Bravi!”, some even grabbing me by my coat tails and I thought “There you go!” Yes, this is not a snobbish, innert audience that claps as if programmed to do so. These are demanding, knowledgeable, but very honest people, who have paid from $40-70 per ticket and have a right to demand. How I love them!...It was emotions like these that I experienced during our final performance in Ferrari. After the spectacle scene (Act II), the audience practically stopped the performance. What an ovation! “

“Another unforgettable memory was the meeting with Nino Bonavolonta, principal conductor of the Rome Opera and professor of the academy “Santa Cecilia”. I was “called out” into the lobby and I listened as this elderly maestro (Riccardo Muti’s teacher) praised my work and our troupe. From the reactions of others who were present, I understood that his words carry weight in the musical world.”