Opera star Netrebko returns to St Petersburg stage

26th January 2011, Comments 0 comments

Russian opera star Anna Netrebko this week made a sensational return alongside her real life partner Erwin Schrott to the Saint Petersburg Mariinsky Theatre which launched her career.

Netrebko first performed at the Mariinsky in the early 1990s and her sultry soprano and seductive looks rapidly became one of the most sought after opera voices in the world.

She starred Monday and Tuesday night alongside baritone Schrott -- her partner and father of her child -- in Donizetti's "L'Elisir d'Amore" (The Elixir of Love) in a rare return to the legendary theatre which made her famous.

"Netrebko and Schrott gave a master-class of virtuoso performance and complete mutual understanding in acting," gushed the review in the nationwide Rossiiskaya Gazeta Wednesday.

The production, already shown with success in London, Paris and Milan, updates the action from the 18th century to the 1950s, and Netrebko said it would be applauded by the demanding Petersburg public.

"It's a great production. It's so full of humour and youthful energy," she said on Russian television.

The pair have also brought their two-year-old son Tiago with them to Saint Petersburg.

Netrebko, born in the southern city of Krasnodar in 1971, had a famously tough route to stardom.

Her first appearance on stage was aged 16 "as the back half of a Firebird" in the opera the Golden Cockerel, while as a student at the conservatory she washed floors at the Mariinsky to make ends meet.

But after causing a sensation in her debut in the Marriage of Figaro, she was mentored by the Mariinsky's chief Valery Gergiev to stardom.

© 2011 AFP

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