The Bolshoi begins its tour


Producer Lilian Hochhauser's suggestion that the Bolshoi Theatre's London season should open with The Fiery Angel proved to be more than justified. This avant-garde production of a rarely performed opera by Prokofiev went down like a house on fire with audiences. When, after the interval, Maestro Alexander Vedernikov appeared on the podium, he was given an enthusiastic reception and, at the end of the performance, the Covent Garden auditorium rang to ovations. Among the audience were Prince and Princess Michael of Kent, Lady Thatcher and numerous members of parliament.
A Russian Embassy reception marked not only the successful opening of the Bolshoi London season, but also its meeting in London with the Maryinsky Theatre which, having already shown what its Opera Company was capable of, that evening was in fact beginning the ballet block of its performances at the London Coliseum. His Excellency, The Russian Ambassador to Great Britain, Yuri Fedotov, and the head of Roskultura (Ministry's of Culture very important department), Mikhail Shvidkoy, who had flown to London for one day specially for the occasion, emphasized yet again the uniqueness of the occasion for the London public which had been provided with the opportunity of simultaneously attending performances by the two leading Russian opera-houses in its own city. This meeting of the two Theatres in one city has already benefited the Companies in question. The leaders of the Bolshoi and the Maryinsky, Anatoly Iksanov and Valery Gergiev, in addition to exchanging courtesy visits on British soil - the first attending the London dress rehearsal of Katerina Izmaylova, the second - the London dress rehearsal of The Fiery Angel, also discussed, at a lunch with Mikhail Shvidkoy, the possibility of mutual and long-term cooperation, including exchanges of tours and soloists. The reception at the Embassy of the Russian Federation in Great Britain was attended by three hundred guests.