PREMIERE: G.F.HAENDEL "ALCINA" (BRADAMANTE), WEIMAR, GERMANY / by Dmitri Akerman

"INTERVIEW
The Russian mezzosoprano moves from Weimar to Vienna
Margarita Gritskova sings the role of Bradamante at the premiere of the opera seria „Alcina”
by George Handel at the Deutsche Nationaltheater. The young Russian Mezzosoprano moves this year to the Vienna State Opera.
Weimar. A woman dresses herself as a man, sneaks in to the empire of a magician and simulates love to her in order to save a man: Bradamante, the true heroine of Georg Friedrich Handel's baroque opera „Alcina”, is on a mission.
Her fiancé Ruggiero is completely under the magic of the eastern enchantress Alcina and even the power of persuasion does not help him to get away. Bradamante applies some feints pretending to be her own brother Ricciardo to win her darling back – a nice voice is a great advantage at it.
Margarita Gritskova ensures a nice voice. The young Russian (mezzosoprano) will sing the role of Bradamante at the premiere of „Alcina” on Saturday tonight at the German National
Theatre (Deutsches Nationaltheater) in Weimar. And act. To embody a role, to perform a character on the stage – all these learnt Margarita Gritskova, who was born in 1987 in Leningrad, for the first time in Weimar, as she says.
One and a half years ago she came directly from St. Petersburg State Conservatory into the German National Theatre (Deutsches Nationaltheater) in Weimar. A German-French agency advised her to apply to Weimar; after her audition in February 2010, she was immediately engaged for the coming season.
„At the very beginning I was overwhelmed with the level of acting here at the theatre”, she says, „There weren’t classes at stage acting in Russia.” She became teaching in careers to make up leeway – at opera rehearsals and on the stage. „I was surprised, how much the singer moves on the stage, how much will be worked with the choir. There I understood what it means to live the role.”
It also concerns Carmen. Margarita Gritskova has studied the title role of Georges Bizet’s long- runner opera already in St. Petersburg and sung the concert performance.
In Weimar she performed in a reduced up to 80 minute’s version the leading mezzo role and inspired the guests at the Weimar Opera Ball at the end of January. In March she will re- experience the role of Carmen at the German National Theatre (Deutsches Nationaltheater)
in Weimar. Moreover, she was and still is in Weimar in the role of Cherubino in Mozart’s „The Marriage of Figaro”, in the role of Maddalena in Giuseppe Verdi’s „Rigoletto”, in the role of Marthe Schwertlein in Charles Gounod’s „Faust” and in the role of Ottone in Claudio Monteverdi’s „L'incoronazione di Poppea” („The Coronation of Poppea”).
The attractive Bradamante, who is somehow at the intersection of gender roles, will be however her last role at the German National Theatre (Deutsches Nationaltheater) in Weimar: In September she moves to the Vienna State Opera.
For the young singer it’s a great advancement – for the German National Theatre on the one hand a loss, on the other hand, however, a renewed proof of its importance as the smithy and career springboard for talents.
It is Margarita Gritskova aware that she will sing in Vienna for the first the minor roles. „Actually I want everything and at once”, she says, but she knows that it’s better for her and her young voice to come slowly to the main roles.
She is very thankful to the German National Theatre (Deutsches Nationaltheater) in Weimar and her colleagues. „I came without any experience, but I’ve learnt a lot there”, she emphasizes, „the people are so nice and helpful. My colleagues are so dear to my heart. At first, I had such typical stereotypes of a scheming theatre in my head, but then I’ve learnt the opposite here.”
Her colleagues, répétiteurs and régies helped her to make the adaptation from the Petersburg State Conservatory into the theatre life easier. „I’ve left everything in Russia behind: my family, my teachers who supported me a lot." Nelly Lee (soprano), one of her most important teachers, with whom she took lessons at singing already at the age of 13, has come to the premiere of „Alcina” to Weimar.
Margarita Gritskova will miss the German National Theatre (Deutsches Nationaltheater)
in Weimar, "I hope, I can come back as a guest". But now comes first of all „Alcina”. The young singer is glad about the premiere, „I find the production under the régie of Corinna von Rad great, it’s psychologically deep". In Handel’s opera, the self-confident Bradamante successfully wins her Ruggiero back. The world is open for someone, who is brave and outgrows himself."
Frauke Adrians, Thüringer Allgemeine, Februar 2012

"It’s just breathtaking how Margarita Gritskova commemorates the revenge aria of the Bradamante; chilly, profoundly dark and with all the coolness the fighter sings about the destruction campaign of Alcina’s island."
Frauke Adrians, Thüringer Allgemeine, Februar 2012

"One could refuse the music. Would there be not Gritskova who sings her part really masterfully. Her „Verdi prati” - very slowly and very gentle - was the representation of the adagio singing full of passion. Otherwise, she implemented her perfect mezzo so light with her adventurous coloratura variety and won with tone colour the psychological deepness so light as if it was just a child's play."
Wolfgang Hirsch, Thüringer Allgemeine, Februar 2012  

"Margarita Gritskova enchants the audience with her dark timbre and clear voice in her role of Bradamante."
Tatjana Mehner, Thüringer Allgemeine, Februar 2012