Great Performances: Renée Fleming & Dmitri Hvorostovsky: A Musical Odyssey In St. Petersburg
Airs Wednesday, September 1, 2010 at 10 p.m. on KPBS TV
Monday, August 30, 2010
Reigning American soprano Renée Fleming travels to Russia for a special visit to St. Petersburg with her friend and frequent co-star, Russian baritone Dmitri Hvorostovky. There, in the “Venice of the North,” they explore and perform in some of the most spectacular locations of a city that was born in the remarkable mind and imagination of the young Czar Peter the Great (a city that he named not for himself, but for Saint Peter).
St. Petersburg is a city of palaces, and Fleming and Hvorostovsky take in three of the most memorable, all of them on the water. First is the Winter Palace, also known as the Hermitage, built with one entire facade facing the Neva River. Next on the tour is the Yusupov Palace (the scene of Rasputin’s murder); and lastly, the Peterhof with its fantastic fountains on the Gulf of Finland. In each location, they sing arias and duets by Verdi and Tchaikovsky, as well as the Russian songs of Tchaikovsky and Rachmaninoff.