Listen to the news coverage of the exclusive project Renée Fleming & Dmitri Hvorostovsky: A Musical Odyssey in St. Petersburg. If you enjoy Russian architectural history, art and music, you might be interested in this episode.

Here a few tips for while-watching-and-listening activities: using the visual aspect of the video, make a list of words you hear to match with images you see in the video; try to jot down the structure/the plan of the episode: who is appearing and what he is telling; listen to without the video and put down as many details as you can get, then follow up with watching without sound – hopefully you can add a few more details; note down 3 details about this project’s participants; tell what you have learnt from this video about Hvorostovsky, Fleming, Orbelian, St. Petersburg.

In the documentary, which was first aired On September 1st 2010 on the American PBS Channel, Russia’s greatest living baritone, Dmitri Hvorostovsky and America’s favorite soprano, Renée Fleming perform great opera scenes in the magnificent palaces of the Tsars in the former capital of Imperial Russia. The film was conceived and produced by American conductor Constantine Orbelian. Orbelian and the State Hermitage Orchestra accompany Fleming and Hvorostovky in stirring performances of selections from Verdi’s Simon Boccanegra and Il Trovatore, as well as Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin, Queen of Spades and The Oprichnik,” with additional selections by Rachmaninov and Medtner. The project is intended to attract more foreign opera lovers to admire St.Petersburg which serves perfect settings for opera.

Born at Krasnoyarsk, where he received the rigorous training, Hvorostovsky joined the Bolshoi Theater. After winning the first competition inside Russia, he appeared regularly at renowned international festivals. After his Western operatic debut at the Nice Opera in Tchaikovsky’s Pique Dame, his career exploded to take in regular engagements at the world’s major opera houses. Over the course of his career Hvorostovsky has appeared in La traviata, Un ballo in maschera, Don Carlo, Rigoletto and I masnadieri, while he considers himself a specialist of Rachmaninov and Tchaikovsky -- his signature role has always been the title part in Tchaikovsky's Eugene Onegin. A new program, which was recently performed at Boston Symphony Hall, combines songs by Peter Tchaikovsky, Sergey Taneyev in Russian, by Gabriel Faure in French and three songs by Franz Liszt. Today, Hvorostovsky lives in London, but travels frequently to Russia, where he has performed for huge audiences in large concert halls and became the first opera singer to perform songs in Moscow’s Red Square.

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