The Astrakhan State Opera and Ballet Theatre opera company was formed on the basis of the creative association "Musical Theatre" at the Astrakhan Regional Philharmonic Society. After the official opening of the theatre in 1995, the company began to work hard on the creation of the repertoire. Conductor Igor Smetanin (from 1995 to 2002 the artistic director and chief conductor of the theater) and director Larisa Khimich (from 1995 to 2002 the chief director of the theater) were at the head of the young company. "La Traviata" by Verdi, "Cavalleria Rusticana" by Mascagni "The Tsar's Bride" by Rimsky-Korsakov, "Merry Widow" by Lehar, "Silva" by Kalman, "Die Fledermaus" by Strauss, a series of musical comedies and plays for children appeared on playbills of the young team in the first years.
In 2002, the theatre began a fruitful collaboration with the State Academic Bolshoi Theatre of Russia. Sophisticated performances of world opera repertoire appeared according to this creative project, they were warmly met by the audience and the press. The Bolshoi Theatre conductors: People?s Artist of Russia Vladimir Andropov (from 2004 to 2010 the artistic director of the Astrakhan theatre), Paul Klinichev, Sergei Makarov, Alexei Stepanov conducted a number of opera performances. Directors of the famous theatre staged many performances: Michael Pandzhavidze staged the operas "Eugene Onegin", "Tosca", "Iolanta", "Pagliacci", "Boris Godunov", Jurgen Cohen staged "Rigoletto", Natalia Krasnoyarskaya staged the operetta "The Circus Princess".
Tahir Babadjanov, Vladimir Alatartsev, Leonid Egorov, Valentin Bogdanov (from 2005 to 2008 - chief conductor of the theater), Vladislav Belinsky, Basil Valitov (from 2008 to 2010 - chief conductor of the theater) conducted opera performances over the years. Currently there are conductors: Vardan Babakhanyan, Alexei Rodionov, Sergey Grinyov. Since 2010 the creative team has been headed by Valery Voronin - artistic director and chief conductor of the Astrakhan State Opera and Ballet Theatre. Konstantin Balakin has been a director of the performances.
Graduates of the Astrakhan, Kazan, Nizhny Novgorod, Rostov, St. Petersburg, Petrozavodsk, Ural State Conservatories, of the Russian Academy of Music named after Gnesins, of the Krasnodar State University of Culture and Arts, of the Ufa State Academy of Arts named after Z. Ismagilov, of the Chelyabinsk State Academy of Culture and Arts and of other musical institutions work at the theatre opera company. Many of them are laureates and diploma winners of International and Russian competitions, and are winners of the Astrakhan region governor prizes in Vocal Arts named after Mary Maksakova and of the prizes in Theatrical Arts named after Lina Samborski.
There are more than 20 performances of different genres (operas, operettas, musicals, plays for children, etc.) and a variety of chamber music programs in the opera company repertoire. In the 2011-2012 season the Astrakhan staging of Puccini?s opera "Madame Butterfly" was included in the list of nominees for the National Theatre Golden Mask Award in four categories - "Best Performance at the Opera," "Best Conductor", "Best Actress" "The best work of the artist in the musical theater." The original conceptual staging of Tchaikovsky's opera "the Queen of Spades" and the restored previous version of "La Traviata" by Verdi finished the season.
The following season, Mussorgsky's opera "Boris Godunov" became a new experiment performance by director Constantine Balakin. Two large and sophisticated scores by Tchaikovsky and Mussorgsky were the first works, which took place at the new theatre stage in the newly opened building.
On the eve of 2013 one more premiere took place: the lyrical comic opera ?Cherevichki? by Tchaikovsky turned into a winter musical fairy tale. Thus the tradition of giving the public a beautiful and original performance on the New Year's holiday started.
The following 2013-2014 season became a season of premieres. Two classic performances: Verdi's opera "Otello" (October 2013) and Tchaikovsky's opera "Eugene Onegin" (April 2014) were staged on the big stage - the first performance together with the concert "Verdi-Gala" became an integral part of the Europe-wide marking of the 200th anniversary since the birth of Verdi, the second performance harmoniously entered into the program of the XIII International festival of vocal art named after V.Barsova and M.Maksakova. Both productions demonstrated the ability of soloists to use all modern technical equipment of the theater.
The concert "Music Bestseller", bringing together popular arias and songs from musicals and movies, became a bright New Year entertainment show for the audience.
Director Catherine Vasilyova together with the artist Nana Abdrashitova (Moscow) staged tango-opera "Maria de Buenos Aires" by Astor Piazzolla on the small stage (February 2014). Music and rhythmic reading aloud, Mimamsa and recitation, singing and dancing, expressive body plastic and theatrical effects, color and lighting were harmoniously integrated in the unique performance.
The soloists of the company take part in productions for children, in a lot of subscription musical concerts, they perform at various concert venues in Astrakhan: in the Astrakhan Musical College and the Astrakhan State Conservatory concert halls, in the Local History Museum hall and the Art Gallery named after P.M. Dogadin hall, they go to social medical and educational institutions of the city, to the district centers of the Astrakhan region.
Due to the high creative level of the soloists of the Astrakhan Opera, soloists of not only Russian but also foreign theaters are eager to accept an invitation to take part in theater performances. Among them are Lisa Houben (Denmark-USA), Enrico Morucci (Italy). Daphne Tian (China), Maria Francesca Mazzara (Italy), Daniela Banasova (Slovenia) and many others. A big event in the cultural life of the region in November 2018 was the premiere of the opera Il Trovatore by G. Verdi with the participation of one of the most famous tenors of our time, Mexican singer Ramon Vargas and the soloist of the Bolshoi Theater, People's Artist of Russia Irina Dolzhenko.
The audience met very warmly the premiere of the opera La Boheme by G. Verdi. A group of famous Bulgarian theater masters took part in the work on it - director Nina Naydenova, stage designer Svetoslav Kokalov, costume designer Petya Stoykova. For the opera company this work has become a useful and fruitful experience of collaboration with foreign specialists. Such joint projects enrich the creative palette of the troupe, contribute to the growth of skill.
The opera troupe of the theater tours the cities of Russia, takes part in the all-Russian project “Big Tours”. In 2017, it made a big tour with great success in the cities of Great Britain.
International competition laureate