Youth Creative Workshop of the Bolshoi Theater

The traditions of opera and ballet art in Uzbekistan are vast, deep and diverse. Outstanding works of the best composers of Uzbekistan, great masters of the opera and ballet art of our country left us a richest heritage, bequeathed to preserve and multiply their wonderful traditions and level of skill. The creative achievements of young singers in numerous competitions, a number of successful productions and performances of works of world art are undoubtedly weighty and convincing in their creative meaning.

In this regard, the problem of a radical change in the system of training opera masters is very serious. In the preparation of singers, more time and attention should be paid to the development of not only voice data (which, no doubt, is necessary!) - but also the entire complex complex of performing means. The acting skill of an opera singer is fundamentally different from the skill of a dramatic actor - because it is based on the synthesis of singing, expressive artistry and expressive plasticity. And it is subject to the laws of musical drama, the exact justification of the tempo-rhythm, tessitura and tension of the action set by the composer. That is why the future singer-actor, conductor, director, and even composer must delve deeply into the very essence of musical drama in the process of training. We all respect and honor many vocal competitions. However, the main problem is that the contestant performs a number of prepared arias, receives well-deserved awards for this, but ... does not know how to work on the development of the image and character of the character in an integral performance, in an ensemble with partners. The realities of modern education at the conservatory presuppose, in the main, the vocal development of future soloists, and the full-fledged mastery of vocal and stage skills in these conditions is not fully realized. Meanwhile, the modern opera house presupposes a full-fledged mastery of the opera soloist with all the elements of mastery in an inextricable syncretic and mutual organic. The existing system of internships for young singers is not perfect enough if only because when they come to the theater, they do not encounter mastering the METHOD OF WORKING ON ANY PARTY-ROLE, but are assigned to certain parties outside the stages of their creative development and without receiving systematic professional training. It is not only a matter of the development of their vocal apparatus - it is a matter of the necessary gradual mastery by them of the most complex complex skill of the singing-actor profession, mastering the specifics of different performing styles and directions, various genres of opera works in their diversity.

Young conductors in this creative association will be able to comprehend and understand that the musical drama of an opera or ballet is not only a system for reproducing the nuances set by the composer, but the basis of the musical and stage LIFE of heroes in their interaction. And those who gravitate towards opera directing, only being in such a creative environment, can try to comprehend the SPECIAL LAWS of VOCAL-STAGE ACTION IN OPERA. In the future, it would be fruitful to include in these groups young composers who want to better understand the specifics of the opera genre from the point of view of the dynamics of musical drama, the disclosure of the characters of the heroes in it. ... It is this LABORATORY STUDIO that allows, in the gradual development, to reveal the individualities of many future singers-actors, opera conductors, accompanists, directors, and in the future even composers. Those who have shown themselves most vividly in this studio training - it is worth recommending further improvement at a higher stage of training, on the stage of the theater, in experimental projects. In turn, an opera conductor differs from a symphonic conductor precisely in that he is able to search for and find in the sound of voices and orchestra the organics of drama, the logic of intonation, the dynamics of not just sound, but changes in the emotional state. And an opera director should be able, strictly relying on the musical drama of the score, to seek the logic of HIS decision of the action, relying on the individuality of the performers and on many other factors. This problem is also extended to the composing of new operas by composers - in many cases, meeting with good, competently created music, we cannot reveal in it the effectiveness, logic of actions and character changes - because the composer, unlike many masters of the world and our country - didn't deal with this problem at all.

That is why, relying on the positive world experience, on the experience of the largest Russian theaters (the Bolshoi, Mariinsky, Helikon-Opera, the Creative Centers of Galina Vishnevskaya, Elena Obraztsova, etc.), the YOUTH CREATIVE THE WORKSHOP, in which, according to special laws and programs, the education of a new generation of opera soloists began.

And last Wednesday, on the stage of the State Academic Bolshoi Theater named after A. Navoi, the first reporting show of the Youth Creative Workshop, created at the theater this spring, took place. The aim of the creative and pedagogical activity of this workshop is to fully familiarize young opera soloists with the basics of creating a vocal and stage image according to the special laws of the opera genre. Classes include systematic lessons on the basics of acting, plasticity, stage movement, the basics of fencing and dance. I am officially the artistic director of the Youth Creative Workshop - the Honored Worker of Arts of the Republic of Uzbekistan Andrei Slonim. My colleague, a young theater director Ruslan Sherezdanov, and our experienced dancer and choreographer-tutor, Honored Artist of Uzbekistan Amina Babadjanova, in an inextricable creative union with the leader, teach classes on the basics of acting, plasticity and dance. The multifaceted program includes both the theoretical part of the foundations of the profession, and courses of lecture-talks on the history of the opera house and its outstanding masters. The first final show included a collective performance by trainees and young soloists of two classical ballroom dances - Polonaise and Waltz, which the singer-artist has to meet quite often in opera performances.

In the second part, the youth staff of the creative workshop performed the task of imagination, of the proposed circumstances, of acting in a changing environment - rain, desert, a room with a low ceiling, movement in complete darkness. This was followed by a whole cycle of exercises for plastic actions with a cane. In conclusion, all the participants of the show demonstrated elements of stage fencing and a demonstration stage battle on epee. And for the most part, the actions of the young soloists in the performance of these difficult tasks were organic and enthusiastic in their aspiration to liberate consciousness and psychophysics.

It should be noted that this creative show was the first in the entire multi-decade history of our theater and demonstrated a new stage of creative work with young people. The theater soloists, the management of the opera troupe and the directorate attentively and with great interest perceived this creative show. At the end of the creative discussion of this first result of the activities of the Youth Creative Workshop, many warm words were said to its leaders and mentor to the creative youth of the theater. In particular, the theater director Mahmud Muminovich Muratov, who sincerely thanked each of the leaders and the entire youth staff for the kind and convincing result of the first show, said that it was precisely today at an important meeting that the need for a radical revision of the training method was discussed. The President of our country Sh. M. Mirziyoyev succinctly and wisely outlined the problems of a radical revision of the principles of creative development of youth. Indeed, the future of our country in all its diversity directly depends on the full-fledged formation of creative personalities of new generations.

And in this sense, our theater honorably found itself in line with the requirements of the time, and, fortunately, with anticipation and initiative, it began to restructure the improvement of the professional skills of young opera soloists. Yes, the very first stage of the activity of the Youth Creative Workshop took place and showed a rather clear primary result. But even more difficult and scrupulous work lies ahead. In the fall, participants in the Youth Creative Workshop will show both special studies on the basics of revealing musical drama, and work on new characters in a demonstration concert, in which young soloists will show excerpts and scenes from operas that they have not yet performed on the stage of the theater in a theatrical form. It is also expected that young soloists will theoretically familiarize themselves with the most significant phenomena of the world opera house, with the work of truly outstanding masters of different periods.

It is very gratifying that everyone who attended this show, which was closed due to the pandemic, colleagues and theater staff took the work of the Youth Creative Workshop with great interest and expressed the hope that this important and necessary activity will help in new forms to reveal the creative potential and professionalism of a generation that is just beginning your creative path. It is gratifying that experienced soloists began to participate in the Workshop's classes, who deliberately wanted to increase their creative potential and raise their skills to a new level.

Opera and ballet in every country are, of course, some higher, synthetic genres of particular complexity. The development of these genres of theater not only testifies to the height of the cultural development of the nation, but is also a kind of the highest form of communication between different countries, i.e. - an amazing form of "creative diplomacy" uniting countries and peoples. Originating in Italy. The operatic art of the world is today one of the most international - on the stage of one theater in one evening you can hear and see dozens of representatives of various countries. And the reform of the training of opera masters will undoubtedly contribute to an even higher improvement of the creative achievements of the representatives of our country both at home and in their entry into the world community.


Andrey SLONIM,

Honored Artist of the Republic of Uzbekistan,

Stage director of the A. Navoi State Academic Bolshoi Theater,

Artistic director of the Youth Creative Workshop at the theater.

9 июня 2021


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