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The Sobinov Festival

The Sobinov Festival of Music presenting a variety of genres and styles has been annually hosted by Saratov Opera and Ballet for over two decades. The idea of the event belongs to the company's General Director Ilia Kiyanenko and the Artistic Director Yuri Kochnev. The Festival was first held in the spring of 1986 in commemoration of the great Russian tenor Leonid Sobinov who triumphantly guest-performed in Saratov many a time between 1910 and 1929 at the peak of his fame and career.

Leonid Sobinov

Leonid Sobinov

The legendary artist's daughter Svetlana Sobinova-Kassil had been a special guest of the Festival every year until her death in 2002.

As time goes by, the Festival gains momentum, benefiting from new ideas and innovative approaches.

From  1999  on, the Opera Festival abandoned its purely operatic set-up for a much wider scope, which explains for its currently used name of “Festival of Music”. It now embraces all genres of the art of music, among them, symphony and oratorio; part of the schedule presents modern music. The audience has been treated to G.Mahler’s Symphony No.3, Requiem by H.Berlioz, J.Haydn’s oratorio “The Creation”, A.Bruckner’s Symphony No.3 and Te Deum, War Requiem by B.Britten, A Survivor from Warsaw by A.Schoenberg, and many other major works requiring a deep philosophic insight and a brilliant performing technique.

ВThe 18th Sobinov festival: the opening night The 18th Sobinov festival: the opening night

Opera-goers and concert fans book their tickets to enjoy the performance of stars coming from far and wide over Russia as well as the participation of established artists from overseas. In the two decades of the Festival's progress, Saratov opera fans have applauded to singers Irina Arkhipova and Vladislav Piavko , Yuri Nechayev and Vladimir Scherbakov , Yuri Mazurok and Makvalla Kasrashvili , Barbara Kubyak (Poland), Moses Parker (Germany) , Monica Ramirez (Argentina), Kevin Manor (USA), the conductor Roberto Manfredini (Italy).

Notwithstanding the fact that the Festival mostly relies on the resources of Saratov Opera and Ballet, other companies established in the city and the region also contribute to the its success, among them, the Theatre Of Choral Music directed by Ludmilla Litsova, the choir of Saratov Conservatoire, «Volga Band» winds orchestra, the Saratov Philharmonic Society, and more.

As from 2002, a workshop named «the School for young opera critics» is held within the frame of the festival under the guidance of Yuri Kochnev.


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