Pärnu Opera Days will be held in the Pärnu Concert Hall July 7th-9th. The St. Petersburg Chamber Opera, will be coming to perform two operas, G. Donizetti’s Peter I, or The Incredible Adventures of the Russian Czar and R. Shchedrin’s Not Only Love, both directed by Yuri Alexandrov.

Peter I, or The Incredible Adventures of the Russian Czar is a romantic and political story involving the royal pair, full of unpredictable plot twists. Donizetti’s melodic music so gracefully directed makes up for the fact that the drama veers from the real Russian history.

Gaetano Donizetti is known as the author of Lucia di Lammermoor, L’elisir d’amore, and Don Pasquale. Less well known is that among the first works written by the 22-year-old Italian composer was an opera about Peter I, based on a play by Alexandre Duval that was popular at the time. The opera Il falegname di Livonia, o Pietro il grande, czar delle Russie (The Livonian Carpenter, or Peter the Great, Tsar of the Russians) premiered in Venice in 1819.

 Not Love Alone is a bright, sparkling performance that entices the audience with its free vocals, acting, and dancing. It is full of light lyricism and irony – that kind of “juicy” humour typical for this genre. Some music lovers will recognize parallels in the plot with Eugene Onegin and even Carmen.

Rodion Shchedrin, who saw the premiere in the St. Petersburg Chamber Opera, recalled the flopped 1961 performance. “Do you know why the show failed then? Because they were afraid of sex. And here today they are not. And it worked out. Personally, I can see on the stage a huge amount of love for those times and those people.”