The National Academic Bolshoi Opera and Ballet Theatre of the Republic of Belarus became an official participant of the Cultural Programme of the 2nd European Games 2019.
One month before the start of the Games, famous opera singer Vladimir Gromov took the Flame of Peace along the cosy streets of Navahrudak.
In Minsk already, on the day before the Opening Ceremony, Valentin Elizariev, Artistic Director of the Bolshoi Theatre, carried on the Flame of Peace as a torchbearer. Elizariev carried the Flame of Peace across the entire theatre. This gesture was full of symbolism: every evening the artists of the Bolshoi Theatre give the flame of their beautiful art to the audience, and the flame lives on in their hearts.
The Bolshoi Theatre also participated in the Opening Ceremony of the 2nd European Games 2019. Leading opera soloists Elena Salo, Margarita Levchuk and Ilya Silchukov became the highlights of the show.
While Europe's best athletes competed at the venues of Minsk, world's best dancers performed at the Bolshoi Theatre: on 21–28 June the Bolshoi Theatre hosted the Ballet Summer.
On 21 June 'Dance. Dance. Dance' project by Igor Kolb, Danila Korsuntsev and Evgeny Ivanchenko opened the festival. The ballet summer was continued with three performances by Radu Poklitaru Kyiv Modern Ballet Theatre on 23 and 24 June. On the first night the choreographers presented the old tale of Sleeping Beauty from a new perspective. On 24 June spectators were offered 'Up the River' to the music by Alexander Rodin followed by 'A Long Christmas Dinner', a one-act reflective ballet on the transience of life to the music by Antonio Vivaldi. On 25 June 'Anastasia', the Bolshoi’s premiere of the season, was performed. 'Anastasia' is a choreographic legend by Yuri Troyan to the music by Vyacheslav Kuznetsov. On 26 June, Erika Mikirticheva and Denis Dmitriev of Stanislavsky and Nemirovich-Danchenko Moscow Music Theatre performed the leading roles in Tchaikovsky's fairy tale 'Swan Lake'. Prokofiev's 'Romeo and Juliet' (directed by Valentin Elizariev) on 27 June was dedicated to the birthday of Inessa Dushkevich, People's Artist of Belarus.
The final show of the Ballet Summer at the Bolshoi on 28 June was the gala concert featuring international ballet stars Natalia Matsak and Sergey Krivokon (National Opera of Ukraine), Elena Shkatulo (Estonian National Opera), Denis Klimuk (Yacobson Ballet, St. Petersburg), Ksenia Ovsyanik and Denis Vieira (Staatsballett Berlin), Anastasia Limenko and Sergei Manuilov (Stanislavsky and Nemirovich-Danchenko Moscow Music Theatre), Matthew Golding (Mariinsky Theatre), Irina Eromkina, Lyudmila Khitrova, Lyudmila Ulantseva, Anna Fokina, Nadezhda Filippova, Pervana Myradova, Anton Kravchenko, Takatoshi Machiyama, Igor Onoshko, Egor Azarkevich (Bolshoi Theatre of Belarus). Ivan Kostiakhin was the conductor. The event was directed by Olga Kostel.
Every evening the Bolshoi was attended by the participants of the 2nd European Games 2019. Right after their incredible triumph, having won one bronze and two gold medals, the Belarusian gymnasts visited Radu Poklitaru's evening of one-act ballets. They took the opportunity to go behind the stage and meet the artists of the Bolshoi who most sincerely congratulated the athletes and wished them more victories in future. The athletes, in their turn, supported the artists with their applause later during the performance.
To quote Pierre de Coubertin, sport is a source of art and beauty, which we can't but agree with, especially during the 2nd European Games 2019 which became a real celebration of sports and art.