"Supporting talented young people in their artistic endeavors is an important and noble mission. Russia and the United States are countries with rich and colorful musical heritage. We have a lot to learn from one another in order not just to preserve, but also to multiply this heritage," Antonov said. "The exchange program of beginner performers between two leading opera theatres of our countries is a great model of such cooperation."
The participants of Bolshoi’s Young Artist Opera Program and WNO’s Domingo-Cafritz Young Artist performed together at the Russian embassy.
"It is a pleasure to welcome you at the joint concert of young performers of the Russian Bolshoi Theatre and Washington National Opera. Among our guests tonight — many American students, educational and cultural figures, members of business and government organizations," the Ambassador said. "For us — it is clear evidence that despite the complicated situation in our bilateral relations — there is a great deal of interest towards the Russian culture."
Antonov thanked the leadership of the Bolshoi Theatre and Washington National Opera, as well as the artistic director of the Young Artist program Robert Ainsley for making the event possible.
Friday’s concert marked the eighth anniversary of the collaboration between the Bolshoi Theatre and the Washington National Opera, which is an affiliate of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.
The two institutions have regular artist exchanges on alternating years as part of the program.