St. Petersburg Wins 8 Awards at Golden Mask Festival
Published: April 21, 2014 (Issue # 1806)
The Golden Mask Festival awards ceremony, which unfolded over a leisurely three hours on Friday at the Bolshoi Theater, had plenty of surprises.
The biggest jolt however came when guests entered the hall to find it absolutely empty. Instead of sitting in the stalls, spectators were directed to a grandstand on the stage itself. The backdrop for the entire evening was the spectacular sight of the curving balconies, the glistening chandeliers, the gold-embossed facades, and the rich velvet drapes hanging in prestigious boxes.
It was a sight most of us mere mortals will never forget.
So moving was it, that Dmitry Chernyakov, an opera director presenting awards, gave a humorous speech about the first time he attended the Bolshoi. He pointed to the last balcony and told of the time he bought a ticket with obstructed view for 80 kopeks, and was forever after enchanted by the magic of opera.
Lyudmila Maksakova, an actress announcing the best foreign production award, explained what a moving experience it was for her to stand on the Bolshoi stage where her mother was a soloist for 30 years.
Nostalgia aside, the business of the evening was the awards, which were made for outstanding achievements in the categories of drama, opera, dance and puppetry during the 2012-13 season. Forty-eight delicate glass and ceramic plaques depicting a masked face in blue, gold, red and white were handed to winners selected by two juries, one for musical theater, another for drama. Ten awards were honorary, but 38 were won through the festival competition, which concluded on Thursday.
Moscow artists were top winners, pulling down 18 awards. St. Petersburg grabbed second in the awards race with eight winners, while Novosibirsk and Yekaterinburg had strong showings with four victors each.
There were few runaway winners this year, although the ballet "Salieri Variations" by the Yekaterinburg Theater of Opera and Ballet, and the opera "Eugene Onegin" by St. Petersburg's Mikhailovsky Theater grabbed three plaques each.
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