5 Minutes with soloist Olga Georgieva

03rd March 2016

PAGE 11&12 - Olga Georgieva

Olga Georgieva

What makes you jump out of your bed every morning?

My schedule! I always have a plan. Sometimes it is a super busy schedule, sometimes it is every day things I have to do and sometimes the plan is to rest so I then don’t have to get up. I love doing planned things and that’s what makes me get up in the mornings, so I can finish them and make some more plans!

What is your favourite role to sing at the moment? 

I always try to enjoy every single role that I sing. I make sure that I do my best so that my heroine becomes alive on stage.

Madam Butterfly Current 1

Cio-Cio San in Madam Butterfly

Favourite Opera?

I like a lot of Opera’s. A lot. I love Verdi Opera’s and Puccini. I really admire composers like Berg, Strauss and Weinberg. I love bright heroines. I enjoy singing roles of villains, its always interesting and deep.You can make up a whole story as to why your character is so evil. Maybe she is in pain or sad. The one Opera that stands out for me is Pucccini’s Opera – Turandot. In time I would love to sing both women’s roles in Opera.

If you could sing anywhere in the world (not just in theatre) where would it be?

I can’t name a particular place in the world. I really like Saint Petersburg and Russia. I love Italy. I like England more and more ;-). When I start thinking where I would like to sing it’s not a place but the professional people around me that I think of. I imagine the highest quality around me and my constant development and maybe imposable goals that  I would like to achieve on stage.

Madam Butterfly - Current 2 

Cio-Cio San and Suzuki

Best bits about England?

Open spaces, sheep, fields, boundless sky which reminds me of Russia.I have not seen enough of London as I had an important performance there but I felt that London is a special city with it’s own particular atmosphere.

Tell us something about yourself that no one knows.

No one knows that I am a small coward inside. How I get nervous before the performance. If anyone had a chance to hear some of my thought, they would not understand me.

How do you relax after an important performance?

I like to be with my colleagues and people who were involved in the performance. I like to reflect on a good performance and move on to the next performance and plan new targets and goals.



Favourite Opera singer? 

My answer will be ordinary. It is Maria Callas. She is not just a singer but an actor as well. I admire her not only for her voice but how she lived on stage and acted the role of her character.


Maria Callas

If you could take anyone to dinner who would you take? 

I would invite Joseph Brodsky.  I think with him it will be a very interesting evening. We would have had a great time in one of the restaurants in Venice. However, he is dead so that would not be possible.


Joseph Brodsky

What’s your life motto?

‘Love life in all its manifestations’. ‘Live and let others live as well’.

‘Live and enjoy every minute.’

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#Russian State Opera on Tour 2016

22nd February 2016

So we have just started week 4 of the tour #RussianStateOperaonTour2016 and as you can imagine it has flown by. Everyday the cast travels to different theatres,  the technical crew prepare the stage for the performance, then home made lunch and rehearsals for the orchestra and the singers. Some might say the touring schedule is too much and too full on for the artists but they LOVE it. They absolutely LOVE being on tour and perform in front of the full house every night. It is their passion and they cannot live with out the stage, singing music, performing and travelling. Yes of course it is hard and challenging but you as an artist learn to embrace it and get used to any situations, it is after all part of the game.

Here are a few #backstage snap shots


Producer Alexej Ignatow, of Amande Concerts Ltd, who has co-ordinated the UK tour, said:  “We are constantly on the lookout for new challenges, to ensure that our opera and ballet audiences get a chance to experience a wide spectrum of various classic pieces”.

With extensive national tours that get our productions seen the length and breadth of the country, we are able to offer national audiences in various theatres an unforgettable experience at a fraction of the price, all without sacrificing quality. So, it is very close to my heart to continue working with theatres all over the UK to deliver top quality productions every year and make new converts wherever we go.


Please have a look at our brand new video of Madam Butterfly here

We have 2 weeks left of this wonderful production don’t miss out on the opportunity to see a one of the most watched Opera in the world on your door step – Russian State Opera  

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Bye for now!


Madama Butterfly Opera premiers in 2016

05th February 2016

Madam Butterfly – one of the most colourful & exotic operas 

So we are well in 2016 now which means our annual Opera tour has begun on Monday night in Guildford. After months and months of preparation, organisation and hard work the cast is finally here in England, performing at different theatres each night. This year we have decided to bring back the ever famous Madam Butterfly Opera. This exquisite production, with its beautiful new set and costumes, intensifies the emotion in an already heart-breaking opera.

Madam Butterlfy - Current

Our wonderful soloist  Olga Georgieva as a Cio-Cio San

Music by Giacomo Puccini

Madam Butterfly Current 1

Set in Japan at the turn of the century, Madam Butterfly is among the most colourful and exotic of all operas, and from its theme of noble self-sacrifice spring melodies that grips your heart.It tells the story of a doomed love affair between an American naval officer and his young Japanese bride, whose self-sacrifice and defiance of her family leads to heartbreak and tragedy.

Madam Butterfly remained close to Puccini’s heart, for he never tired of hearing it or of seeing it performed. Fortunately, today’s opera-lovers agree wholeheartedly with him!

Madam Butterfly - Current 2

Suzuki (Cio-Cio San’s Servant) and Madam Butterfly waiting for Lieutenant Pinkerton

Alexej Ignatow producer of Russian State Opera said ‘No experience is needed to enjoy these classics. Our sets and costume designs, as well as the informative programmes make the productions very accessible and most of all, enjoyable. For opera, English surtitles make it easy to follow the story as you listen to the performance sung in its original language.’

We look forward to seeing you at one of our venues for a wonderful evening out!

For more information and where to buy tickets please visit our Website 

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Sprinkle magic to the start of the festive season

20th November 2015

Hello our dear readers,

We hope you are getting ready for a festive season full of snow, (maybe rain in England), mulled wine, presents, Christmas shopping, family time, and much more. Let’s not forget that attending the Nutcracker Ballet has been a tradition for many generations.

Russian State Ballet

A nutcracker doll which turns into a prince… 

Snow flurries, sweets, princes, magic, love, victories and defeats, and Tchaikovsky’s rousing score performed live by over 30 musicians, are just some of the ingredients that will be brought together by this renowned Russian company.
A highly accessible ballet, full of familiar music such as The Waltz of the flowers and the Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy.

Russian State Ballet

Hurry and Book your tickets here here

As we only have 10 more performances before the Ballet cast of RSBOH will go back home to get ready for their own festive season in Russia, which starts later then in England.


Below are just a few paragraphs from our Reviewers from our Autumn Ballet Tour 2015:

‘The opening scene was particularly eye-catching, with its sugared almond colours and rich backdrops, and I loved the way the effect of the lake was achieved, with the swans intertwining in “waves” on the lake.’ – Nancy Hill

‘The whole company is to be congratulated for its versatility in performing both classical and robust character dances with vigour and enjoyment.’ – Margaret Willis, DanceTabs

‘Visually The Nutcracker was beautiful, all rich textures and sumptuous reds, greens and ultramarine blues. The second act ballroom scene was spectacular with the biggest chandelier you’ve ever seen. This ballet also gives incredible scope for costume design with all the different toy-based characters and this production did not disappoint. Visually it was stunning and a feast for the eyes.’ – Michael Hasted

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Don Quixote delights the audience

05th November 2015

Their annual Ballet Tour in the UK is always a joy to behold and highly anticipated.

From the rich and ancient culture of Astrakhan on the banks of the Volga River, the renowned and highly acclaimed Russian State Ballet and Opera House is back with a new vibrant, stunning enchanting ballet production, which will captivate and delight the whole family.

Don Quixote a wonderfully entertaining ballet.

Music by Ludwig Minkus

Don Quixote is a ballet based on episodes from the famous novel Don Quixote de la Mancha by Miguel de Cervantes.

But most of all, he dreams of his beloved Dulcinea, a woman that he believes to be so lovely and noble that she must be divine. His reveries are of their romantic adventures.

As he approaches the windmills he can no longer see the moon and thinks that evil magicians have hidden his beloved mistress. So, spear in hand, he tilts at the sails of the windmill, which he mistakes for a giant!

Don Quixote has recently made headlines in various newspapers –

Don Quixote, from the novel of the same name by Miguel de Cervantes, topped a poll of literary characters whose names we struggle to say correctly.
Considered to be one of literature’s greatest ever works, Don Quixote proves to be a difficult name to get right as it was voted the number one most commonly mispronounced name by 44% of those surveyed.
It should be pronounced “Don-Key-Hoh-Tee”, not “Don Quicks-Oat”.

However, don’t miss out this wonderfully entertaining ballet as Don Quixote has all the elements of the great classical ballets: emotion, drama and unforgettable characters.

Russian State Ballet

To find out more information please visit our  website

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Former Bolshoi Ballet Soloist comes to UK

23rd October 2015

The Autumn Ballet season 2015 is well under way and our local audiences have had the joy of watching Swan Lake Ballet, Nutcracker and Don Quixote all performed to a large live orchestra.

From the rich and ancient culture of Astrakhan on the banks of the Volga River, the renowned and highly acclaimed Russian State Ballet and Opera House returns with three new vibrant, stunning and enchanting ballets productions which will captivate and delight the whole family.

Swan Lake – the greatest of all romantic ballets

Russian State Ballet


The Nutcracker – an eternal seasonal favourite

Russian State Ballet


Don Quixote a wonderfully entertaining ballet


Russian State Ballet

Directed and choreographed by Konstantin Uralsky

Former Bolshoi Theatre Ballet Dancer, Director of the New York Ballet Company and Ballet Artistic Director of the Glinka State Opera and Ballet Theatre in Chelyabinsk, and Artistic Director of the Russian State Ballet & Opera Theatre of Astrakhan, Konstantin URALSKY has been creating ballets for more than twenty years and toured world-wide with the Company.

He is a classic Russian artist and his work is a phenomenon in Russian national culture, renowned for its creative expression.

A number of ballet productions choreographed by Uralsky are exceptional in their depth of philosophical conceptual thinking and valuable creative discoveries in the field of music and choreographic drama. His creative experience deserves attention and study of young, novice choreographers.

Uralsky never puts on stage frivolous, senseless, entertaining or purely formal performances. He is concerned about the problems of the modern world, especially the tragic conflict, to which he devoted most of his work. But he sees the world not from its one side only, not darkly pessimistic, but in its entirety with everything wonderful, positive and bright in life.
This all-around position seems to me the most efficient nowadays.

Producer Alexej Ignatow, who has co-ordinated the UK tour, said: “It’s fantastic to bring such a talented and inspiring Russian ballet company to the UK to offer local audiences the opportunity to experience world class ballet performances. We want to make ballet much more accessible and with such a renowned Bolshoi star as Konstantin Uralsky, as director, audiences know that these performances promise to be both stunning and magical.”

“Ballet is often thought to be “difficult” and elitist, but this is not so. Both forms are timeless and, like any art, they need to be presented in an accessible and attractive way to the audience. This is why we feel it is so important to present our productions in a classical, traditional style that is familiar to all.”

For more information and how to book tickets please visit our website

See you soon at one of our local theatres.

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BOLSHOI Opera Guest Soloist to perform at your local Theatre

22nd September 2015


PAGE 11&12 - Bozhenko 

Irina Bozhenko, who has starred in operas across the globe, and will be making guest appearances in the leading role of Violetta, for performances in Harrogate, Llandudno, Blackburn, Darlington, Stockport and York.

Mon28-SepHarrogate, Royal Hall01423 502 116
Tue29-SepLlandudno, Venue Cymru01492 872 000
Fri02-OctStockport, The Plaza01614 777 779
Sun04-OctBlackburn, King Georges Hall0844 847 1664
Tue06-OctDarlington, Civic Theatre01325 486 555
Wed07-OctYork, Barbican0844 854 2757

How old were you when you realised that you wanted to be an Opera singer?

I used to sing in kinder garden and then in school where I was part of the school choir. I went through a stage of trying to be like Whitney Huston. Especially, I used to love singing when I did chores at home.

What do you do after a performance?

We have a tradition with the cast – After any premiere we get together to celebrate and discuss the performance. We are all together in it, rehearsals, stress, and performances, so it’s important to share the feelings with each other and get it out of your chest.

 I have met some Opera singers that would wake up in the middle of the night to go through their lines. How do you separate work from home?

I never bring my work home. Although sometimes if I can’t get things right I moan to my husband. He is a good musician so he understands what I am talking about.

What do you like doing in your free time?

I like to cook and being outside. Nothing extraordinary. Being surrounded by nature calms me down. It’s important for me to switch off at the right moment. We give so much emotion on stage it’s vital to recharge.

If you could, what message will you give to the audience?

Don’t be shy to show your emotions, it is really important for us. At the end of the day we are singing for you!

 The opera is being performed by The Russian State Opera as part of the company’s UK wide opera tour from September to mid October 2015.

For information and tickets for La Traviata, please visit amande-concerts.co.uk/la-traviata

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Russian State Ballet Season 2015

20th September 2015


presented by The Russian State Ballet and Opera House and performed to a large live Orchestra.

‘Always top quality shows from this producer’- Stage Talk Magazine


Please follow this link to read more about the history and how these ballets came to life!

Fri16-OctChatham, Central Theatre*Nutcracker01634 338 338
Sun18-OctDunstable, The Grove Theatre*Nutcracker01582 602080
Mon19-OctEastbourne, Congress TheatreSwan Lake01323 412 000
Tue20-OctEastbourne, Congress TheatreNutcracker01323 412 000
Wed21-OctEastbourne, Congress TheatreDon Quixote01323 412 000
Thu22-OctHarlow, The PlayhouseNutcracker01279 431 945
Fri23-OctYork , BarbicanNutcracker0844 854 2757
Sat24-OctPeterborough, Key Theatre*Nutcracker01733 207 239
Sun25-OctSwindon, Wyvern TheatreNutcracker01793 524 481
Mon26-OctChesterfield, PomegranateSwan Lake01246 345 222
Tue27-OctStevenage, Gordon Craig TheatreSwan Lake01438 363 200
Wed28-OctStevenage, Gordon Craig TheatreDon Quixote01438 363 200
Thu29-OctStafford, Gatehouse TheatreNutcracker01785 619080
Fri30-OctShrewsbury, Theatre SevernDon Quixote01743 281 281
Sat31-OctShrewsbury, Theatre SevernSwan Lake01743 281 281
Sun01-NovLoughborough Town Hall*Swan Lake01509 231 914
Tue03-NovGuildford, Yvonne Arnaud TheatreNutcracker01483 440 000
Wed04-NovGuildford, Yvonne Arnaud TheatreDon Quixote01483 440 000
Thu05-NovLlandudno, Venue CymruNutcracker01492 872 000
Fri06-NovPortsmouth, Kings TheatreSwan Lake023 9282 8282
Sat07-NovYeovil, Octagon TheatreNutcracker01935 422 884
Sun08-NovDorking HallsSwan Lake01306 881 717
Mon09-NovSwansea, Grand TheatreDon Quixote01792 475 715
Tue10-NovTunbridge Wells, Assembly HallNutcracker01892 530 613
Wed11-NovNew Brighton, Floral PavilionSwan Lake0151 666 0000
Thu12-NovCheltenham, Everyman TheatreNutcracker01242 572 573
Fri13-NovCheltenham, Everyman TheatreDon Quixote01242 572 573
Sat14-NovCheltenham, Everyman TheatreSwan Lake01242 572 573
Sun15-NovHalifax, Victoria TheatreNutcracker01422 351 158
Mon16-NovLincoln Theatre Royal*Nutcracker01522 519 999
Tue17-NovWakefield, Theatre Royal*Swan Lake01924 211 311
Wed18-NovNewcastle Tyne TheatreSwan Lake0844 2491 000
Fri20-NovBillingham, Forum TheatreNutcracker01642 552 663
Sat21-NovCarlisle, Sands CentreDon Quixote01228 633 766
Sun22-NovStockport, The PlazaNutcracker01614 777 779
Mon23-NovHarrogate, Royal HallSwan Lake01423 502 116
Tue24-NovHarrogate, Royal HallDon Quixote01423 502 116
Wed25-NovCrewe, Lyceum Theatre*Nutcracker01270 368 242
Thu26-NovScarborough, The SpaNutcracker01723 821 888
Sat28-NovColchester, Charter Hall*Nutcracker01206 282 020
Sun29-NovHastings, White Rock TheatreNutcracker01424 462 288
Mon30-NovSwansea, Grand TheatreNutcracker01792 475 715
* These performances will not have the live orchestra and will be performed to playback music

La Traviata – World-Class Opera – Now on Sale

23rd April 2015


Book your tickets early for one of Verdi’s greatest operas, La Traviata

presented by The Russian State Ballet and Opera House and performed to a large live Orchestra.

‘Always top quality shows from this producer’- Stage Talk Magazine

‘An authentic, real and professional experience’ – Northern Echo

This haunting tragedy with its beautiful arias will transport you into the world in which it is set.

Giuseppe Verdi brings the beguiling splendour and gaiety of mid-19th century Parisian life to the stage. But there is also heartbreak and pathos in this tragic and resonant morality tale in which Violetta, a high-society courtesan with a heart of gold, sacrifices everything for the man she loves.

Please follow this link to read more about the history and how La Traviata came to the stage and to life!

It is a deeply moving opera filled with emotion and strokes of genius.


Book online www.opera-tickets.co.uk or call the Theatre Box Office

Please book your ticket(s) early to get the best seats, as the performance is likely to sell out quickly.

DateTimeTheatreAddressBox Office
10-Sep-157.30pmPlayhousePlayhouse Square, Harlow, CM20 1LS01279 431 945
11-Sep-157.30pmLyceum TheatreHeath Street, Crewe, CW1 2DA01270 368 242
12-Sep-157.30pmTheatre RoyalClasketgate, Lincoln, LN2 1JJ01522 519 999
13-Sep-157.30pmThe CressetRightwell, Peterborough, PE3 8DX01733 265705
15-Sep-157.30pmThe SpaSouth Bay, Scarborough, YO11 2HD01723 821 888
16-Sep-157.30pmWyvern TheatreTheatre Square, Swindon, SN1 1QN01793 524 481
17-Sep-157.30pmBuxton Opera HouseWater Street, Buxton, SK17 6XN0845 127 2190
18-Sep-157.30pmThe HawthHawth Avenue, Crawley, RH10 6YZ01293 553636
19-Sep-157.30pmTown HallStation Road, Clacton-on-Sea, CO15 1SE01255 686 633
20-Sep-157.30pmGordon Craig TheatreLytton Way, Stevenage, SG1 1LZ01438 363 200
21-Sep-157.30pmDorking HallsReigate Road, Dorking, RH4 1SG01306 88 17 17
22-Sep-157.30pmTowngate TheatreSt Martin’s Square, Basildon, SS14 1DW01268 465 465
23-Sep-157.30pmOctagon TheatreHendford, Yeovil, BA20 1UX01935 422 884
24-Sep-157.30pmThe Alban ArenaCivic Centre, St Albans, AL1 3LD01727 844 488
25-Sep-157.45pmEveryman Theatre7-10 Regent Steet, Cheltenham, GL50 1HQ01242 572 573
26-Sep-157.45pmEveryman Theatre7-10 Regent Steet, Cheltenham, GL50 1HQ01242 572 573
27-Sep-157.30pmTheatre SevernFrankwell Quay, Shrewsbury, SY3 8FT01743 281 281
28-Sep-157.30pmHarrogate TheatreOxford Street , Harrogate, HG1 1QF01423 502 116
29-Sep-157.30pmVenue CymruThe Promenade, Llandudno , LL30 1BB01492 872 000
30-Sep-157.30pmThe Bath HallDoncaster Road, Scunthorpe, DN15 7RG0844 854 2776
01-Oct-157.30pmForum TheatreTown Centre, Billingham, TS23 2LJ01642 552 663
02-Oct-157.30pmPlazaMersey Square, Stockport, SK1 1SP01614 777 779
04-Oct-157.30pmKing George’s HallNorthgate, Blackburn, BB2 1AA0844 847 1664
06-Oct-157.30pmCivic TheatreParkgate, Darlington, DL1 1RR01325 486 555
07-Oct-157.30pmYork BarbicanParagon St, York, YO10 4AH0844 854 2757
08-Oct-157.30pmWhite Rock TheatreWhite Rock , Hastings, TN34 1JX01424 462 288
09-Oct-157.30pmStafford GatehouseEastgate Street, Stafford, ST16 2LT01785 619080
10-Oct-157.30pmFloral PavilionMarina Parade, New Brighton, CH45 2JS0151 666 0000
11-Oct-157.30pmVictoria TheatreFountain Street, Halifax, HX1 1BP01422 351 158
12-Oct-157.30pmPomegranate TheatreCorporation Street, Chesterfield, S41 7XT01246 345 222

Rigoletto Opera History

09th January 2015


RIGOLETTO – A tragic tale of misunderstanding, revenge and sacrifice

Rigoletto is an opera in three acts by Giuseppe Verdi, set to an Italian libretto by Francesco Maria Piave, and based on the play “Le Roi s’amuse” by Victor Hugo.

Verdi was commissioned to write a new opera by La Fenice opera house in Venice in 1850.

By this time he was already a well-known composer and had a degree of freedom in choosing the works he would prefer to set to music.

Verdi enthused over Victor Hugo’s play.

Often described as Verdi’s first work of complete genius, Rigoletto is particularly noted for its subtle and highly original characterisation, especially in the case of the tragic court jester, Rigoletto himself.

Verdi, who felt a special sympathy for any sort of social outcast, was particularly moved by the idea of a clown outwardly ugly and ridiculous, but inwardly full of passion and love for his young daughter who has been seduced by a callous nobleman.

It was a highly controversial subject, and Hugo himself had already had trouble with censorship in France, which had banned production of his play after its first performance nearly twenty years earlier.

From the beginning Verdi was aware of the risks, as was Piave.

At the beginning of the summer of 1850, rumours started to spread that Austrian censorship was going to forbid the production. The censors considered the Hugo work to verge on lèse majesté and would never permit such a scandalous work to be performed in Venice.

In August, Verdi and Piave prudently retired to Busseto, Verdi’s hometown, to continue the composition and prepare a defensive scheme. They wrote to the theatre, assuring that the censors’ doubts about the morality of the work were not justified, but since very little time was left, very little could be done. At the time, Piave and Verdi has titled the opera La Maledizione (The Curse) and this unofficial title was used by Austrian censor in an emphatic letter written in December 1850 in which he definitely denied consent to its production.

Verdi then decided to have direct negotiations with censors, arguing over each and every point of the work. By January 1851 the parties were able to agree that the action of the opera would be moved from the royal court of France to a duchy of France or Italy and some of the characters would have to be renamed. By January, the opera’s definitive title had become Rigoletto.

Verdi finally completed the composition of the opera on 5 February 1851, a little more than a month before the premiere.

When Verdi wrote Rigoletto, the composer, singers and conductor were in charge of the production and a scenic artist created the sets and costumes – there was no such thing as an opera producer.

The singers were given some of their music to learn on 7 February. However, Verdi kept at least a third of the score at Busseto. He brought it with him when he arrived in Venice for the rehearsals on 19 February and would continue to refine the orchestration during the rehearsal period.

Composers often ‘borrowed’ tunes from earlier operas to fit their current works, but this practice had to be employed judiciously. If the same tune was heard twice in the same town, the audience made their objections known vociferously.

Verdi was very conscious, therefore, while rehearsing the premiere of Rigoletto that the catchiest tune might be spread around the town before the performance and Verdi would be derided as a cheat. So he kept his tenor who was to sing the tune in suspense until the last minute before letting him see it. The composer also demanded maximum secrecy from the rest of the cast, orchestra and theatre staff . La donna è mobile thus went on to be the hit of the opera !

Rigoletto was a great box-office success for La Fenice and Verdi’s first major Italian triumph since the 1847 premiere of Macbeth in Florence.

To find where we are performing, please follow this link http://amande-concerts.co.uk/rigoletto/tickets/