Christmas Oratorio

Lyrica Classic, with the support of the U.S. Embassy in Moscow, presents:

Christmas Oratorio

Holiday concert of choral and organ music at St. Andrew Anglican Church

As a part of the International Music festival

Spread New Music to the World

Season 2022-2023

Dedicated to Sergei Rachmaninoff's 150th Birthday Anniversary

January 9, 2023, at 7 pm MSK

St. Andrew Anglican Church

Voznesensky pereulok 8/5, Moscow, Russia


June 22, 2023 at 12pm EST

Concert broadcast on Lyrica Classic YouTube

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"WAFT HER, ANGELS, THROUGH THE SKIES" by Eli Tamar (world premiere)

Aria for soprano and organ in memory of Queen Elizabeth II

The text of the Aria is borrowed from the libretto to Handel's oratorio "Jephtha" 1751, a libretto by the Reverend Thomas Morell.

"CANTICUM FRATRIS SOLIS" (Hymn to the Brother Sun) by Eli Tamar

Anthem for mixed choir, organ, and two soloists (world premiere)

Based on the text of the "Song of the Sun" by Francis of Assisi, it is the earliest known folk literature written in the Umbrian dialect of Italian. The hymn is a praise to God for His creations, such as "Brother Sun," "Sister Moon," "Brother Wind," and "Sister Water."

ORATORIO DE NOЁL, op. 12 by Camille Saint-Saëns

Cantata for soloists, choir, string orchestra, harp and organ

Performed by choir Encarnacion and chamber orchestra Muffled Voices, under the direction of the conductor Michael Kotelnikov, and soloists:

  • Mezzo-soprano Alexandra Kovalevich - soloist of the Helikon Opera and the winner of the International F. Viñas' Competition in Barcelona (Spain) and the Galina Vishnevskaya International Opera Singers Competition.
  • Soprano Yulia Petrachuk - soloist at Carnegie Hall in New York (USA), the Musikverein in Vienna (Austria), and the Thüringen Philharmonic in Gotha (Germany).
  • Bass Grigory Soloviov - soloist of the Helikon Opera, the Metropolitan Opera in New York, the Washington National Opera, the Bolshoi Theater, and many other theaters worldwide.
  • Contralto Olga Nadezhdina - soloist of the Opera Theater. Stanislavsky, the Bolshoi Theatre, the Moscow Synodal Choir, and the Moscow Philharmonic.
  • Tenor Iliia Hardikov - Graduate of the Gnessin Russian Academy of Music. Winner (Grand Prix) of the competition "Arena Moscow night."
  • Soprano Svetlana Polianskaya - Laureate of the All-Russian Competition "Bella Voce" and the International Antonina Dvorak's Opera Competition, soloist of the Vivaldi Orchestra and Melody Trio.
  • Organist Marianna Vysotskaya - Professor and Head of the Department of Contemporary Music at the Moscow State Tchaikovsky Conservatory, a member of the Union of Composers of Russia.



In this large-scale composition, Tamar weaves together elements of various styles: from Gregorian chant to medieval polyphonic textures, from Renaissance modal harmonies to impressionistic word painting and Italian verismo, all the while without resorting to stylization. The Canticle of the Creatures, written by St. Francis of Assisi, is also known as the the Canticle of the Sun. This hymn, was written during the transition period in the development of the Italian language from Latin, and is the earliest known vernacular literature written in the Umbrian dialect of Italian. There are three sections to the Canticle:

  • A praise to God for His creations such as "Brother Sun", "Sister Moon", "Brother Wind", "Sister Water"
  • A praise for those who forgive for the love of God and who endure trials in peace
  • A praise for "Sister Bodily Death", and to those "whom death will find in Your most holy will"

Eli Tamar's "Hymn to Brother Sun" was originally written for mezzo-soprano, soprano, and organ and was first performed at the Catholic Cathedral in Moscow by Metropolitan Opera soloist Andrei Nemzer and soprano Svetlana Polyanskaya in 2013.

In 2016 the work was released on the official Navona Records CD, performed by soprano Charlene Canti, countertenor Andrey Nemzer and organist Nicholas Will.

A version of the Hymn for soloists and symphony orchestra was performed by the Edgewood Symphony Orchestra in Pittsburgh (USA) in 2019.

On January 9th, 2023, the Hymn will be performed for the first time in an arrangement for choir, organ, and two soloists.

ORATORIO DE NOЁL by Camille Saint-Saëns

The oratorio is also known as his Christmas Oratorio, is a cantata-like work scored for soloists, chorus, organ, strings and harp in 10 movements. While an organist at La Madeleine, Saint-Saëns wrote the Christmas oratorio in less than a fortnight, completing it ten days before its premiere on Christmas 1858. The vocal score of this oratorio was prepared later by the composer and organist Eugene Gigout, a colleague of Saint-Saëns.

The work is scored for five soloists (soprano, mezzo-soprano, alto, tenor, and baritone), SATB mixed chorus, organ, harp, and strings in the standard five sections. The organ plays a significant role in the work, often playing alone, while the harp is limited to three movements.

Saint-Saëns chose several verses from the Latin Vulgate Bible for the text of the work. "While these texts are not from a single source, it is clear that the traditional church liturgies surrounding Christmas influenced Saint-Saëns. About half of the texts he chose match different portions of two Christmas Offices: the First Mass at Midnight and the Second Mass at Dawn."

The narrative portion of the text, taken from the second chapter of St. Luke, appears in the second movement and tells the part of the traditional Christmas story involving the shepherds. The remainder of the texts, taken from John, Isaiah, Lamentations, and the Psalms, reflect upon the meaning and significance of the event.




Choir Encarnacion

The Encarnacion is a vocal ensemble formed in 2018 among students, graduates, and postgraduates of the Moscow State Tchaikovsky Conservatory, Russian Academy of Gnesins, and the Popov Academy of Choral Art, as well as accomplished concert musicians. The ensemble's artistic director is Vyacheslav Polovyanov, a graduate of the Moscow State Conservatory.

The main creative task of the group is to introduce the public to rarely performed vocal and ensemble compositions of different eras and styles: from the Renaissance to the trends of the second half of the 20th century. The main repertoire of the choir consists of forgotten masterpieces of music of the past, recently found by researchers, as well as scores rarely performed on stages today due to their performance or conceptual complexity.



Muffled Voices Orchestra

Muffled Voices orchestra is an alliance of professional musicians performing contemporary chamber vocal and symphony music, including small forms of operas and oratorios. The orchestra is led by its soloist and founder, soprano Yulia Petrachuk. Russian-born soprano Yulia Petrachuk studied at Moscow Tchaikovsky Conservatory and is a graduate of Bern Opera Studio in Bern, Switzerland. In 2011 Yulia immigrated to the USA and since then has performed with many recognized opera companies and concert venues such as Theater Biel (Switzerland), Ash Lawn Opera Festival (U.S.), Opera Ischia (Italy), Dicapo Opera Theater in New York (U.S.), Great Moscow Hall (Russia), Vocal Productions NYC (U.S.), Nova and Opera Camerata in Washington, D.C. (U.S.), Smetana Hall in Prague (Czech Republic), Carnegie Hall in New York (U.S.), Musikverein and Wiener Konzerthaus in Vienna (Austria), and many others. Yulia specializes in contemporary opera and other forms of vocal music of the 20th and 21st centuries. She has performed at many World and U.S. premiers and has robust experience in international performing arts projects, execution, and collaborations in the U.S. and E.U.



Michael Kotelnicov, conductor

Michael Kotelnikov is one of the leading young conductors and composers in Russia, winner of many international competitions and festivals. He also participates as a conductor in divine services with the participation of the Patriarch of Moscow and All Rus' Kirill.

His concert career as a conductor began in 2012. Since then, Michael has performed at the best concert venues in Russia, such as the Great Hall of the Moscow Conservatory, the Moscow International House of Music, the Cathedral of Christ the Savior, the Kremlin Palace, and many others.

Kotelnikov is the artistic director of the Voce Anima Moscow Symphony Orchestra, as well as the founder, artistic director, and conductor of such musical groups as the Voice Fusion Choir, the Moscow Conservatory Youth Choir, and the Youth Synodal Choir.

Since 2019 Michael has collaborated on musical projects with Lyrica Classic and has taken part in several Russian and world premieres as a conductor, choirmaster, and composer.



Marianna Visotskaya, organist

Vysotskaya has taken part in tours and concerts of the Chamber Choir of the Moscow Conservatory under the direction of Professor Tevlin, the State Academic Chamber Choir under the direction of Professor Minin, the Children's Choir of the Bolshoi Theater of Russia, the Moscow State Symphony Orchestra, the Academic Symphony Orchestra of the Moscow Philharmonic, the Russian National Orchestra, the National Philharmonic Orchestra of Russia, State Symphony Orchestra of Cinematography, State Symphony Orchestra "New Russia" conducted by Bashmet, Gaudenz, Gergiev, Geringas, Currentzis, Latham-Koenig, Lehtinen, Liss, Mazur, G. Marciano, Mastrangelo, Mustonen, Ponkin, Violin, Sladkovsky, S Sondetskis, Spivakov, Thomson, Yurovsky and other conductors.

As a soloist of the Studio for New Music Ensemble of the Moscow Conservatory, she has taken part in international festivals, tours of the ensemble, as well as in CD recordings (MEGADISC, Belgium). Participated in international festivals: Moscow Forum and Moscow Autumn, Europäischer Musik Sommer Berlin, Bridal Organ Festival, Sügisfestival, Dresdner Tage, Kara Karaev Contemporary Music Festival, III Rassegna Organistica "Francesco La Grassa," etc.

Marianna Vysotskaya is a professor and head of the Department of contemporary music at the Moscow State Tchaikovsky Conservatory, and a member of the Union of Composers of Russia.



Alexandra Kovalevich, mezzo-soprano

Born in Moscow, Alexandra graduated from Children's Musical School №3, named after N. Miaskovsky (violin class) in 1991.

From September 2000 until June 2002, she studied at the vocal department of the Academical music college at the Moscow State Tchaikovsky Conservatory.

In 2008 she graduated from the Conservatory (People's Artist of Russia Maslennikova class).

Alexandra is a laureate of the Ist Open contest of “Academic singing” Department of the State Musical Pedagogical Institute of Ippolitov-Ivanov in Moscow (3rd prize, 2002); a diploma winner of Bella Voce, the XI Open All-Russian student contest (2003), a laureate of the XI Moscow festival of student creativity “Festos” 2004; a diploma winner of XLII International vocal contest named after F. Vinas in Barcelona; a laureate of XXIII International festival of friendship and art “April's Spring”; a laureate of II International contest of opera artists of Galina Vishnevskaya (2nd prize, May 2008, Moscow); a diploma winner of "The Big Opera" TV contest (Moscow, 2011); a laureate of an international competition named after Fedora Barbieri (III prize, Saint-Petersburg, 2012).

Alexandra participated in the first performance in Russia of Rossini's opera “Tancredi” (27th October 2005, Moscow) and Pergolesi's “Missa Romana” (9th November 2005, Moscow).

Alexandra is a leading soloist of the Helicon-Opera Theater in Moscow, Russia.



Yulia Petrachuk, soprano

Russian-American soprano Yulia Petrachuk studied at Moscow Tchaikovsky Conservatory and is a graduate of Bern Opera Studio in Bern, Switzerland.

Her debut as a professional opera singer was with the State Theater Bern, Switzerland, in 2010. After that, she performed with many other recognized opera companies and concert venues such as Theater Biel (Switzerland), Ash Lawn Opera Festival (US), Opera Ischia (Italy), Dicapo Opera Theater in New York (US), Great Moscow Hall (Russia), Vocal Productions NYC (US), Nova and Opera Camerata in Washington, D.C. (US), Smetana Hall in Prague (Czech Republic), Carnegie Hall in New York (US), Musikverein and Wiener Konzerthaus in Vienna (Austria), and many others. Yulia specializes in contemporary opera and other forms of vocal music of the 20th and 21st centuries. She has performed many World and US premieres.

Out of her passion and drive to sustain and give lesser-known and unknown music a voice, Yulia Petrachuk founded Lyrica Classic Entertainment as a sounding beacon to deliver superior-level presentation of music. Yulia has robust experience in international performing arts projects, execution, and collaborations in the US and EU.

In addition, through her teaching studio, Ms. Petrachuk instills the love for classical music to new generations.



Iliia Khardikov, tenor


2011 - graduated from the Rostropovich Voronezh College of Music in the bayan class.

2017 - graduated from the Bachelor's degree of the Gnessin Academy of Music Vocal Faculty.

2019 – the master's degree of the Gnessin Academy of Music Vocal Faculty.

2021 - graduated from the assistant internship of the Gnessin Russian Academy of Music Vocal Faculty academic singing class of Professor Leonid Arkadyevich Bomstein.

He has a qualification - a teacher of the higher school of music, an artist of the highest qualification.


Prizes and awards:

·     Winner of the prize of the All-Russian competition of the Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation "Young talents of Russia" 2011.

·     Winner of the first prize of the international competition "Musica Classica" in the city of Ruza in 2013.

·     Winner of the Grand Prix of the Moscow Festival of Student creativity "Festos - 2014". 

·     Laureate of the Natalia Shpiller International Vocal Competition 2016 in Moscow.

·     Winner of the 45th review of the competition of vocalists of university graduates in St. Petersburg 2017.

·     In 2018, the winner of the second international summer festival-competition (Moscow, Central Music School).

·     The winner and the winner of the Grand Prix Award from the National Fund for the support of copyright holders of the vocal competition "Arena Moscow night" 2019 the city of Moscow.


Professional activity:

·     Guest artist of the Moscow Regional Philharmonic, soloist -vocalist of the Nadezhdina State Academic Choreographic ensemble "Berezka" (present).

·     Guest soloist of the Lyudmila Zykina State Academic Ensemble of Folk Instruments "Russia" (present).

·     Soloist of the Moscow Synodal Choir and the Stupinskaya Philharmonic (present).

·     Participates in creative projects of the Center for Film Festivals and international programs of the Russian Cultural Foundation (present).

·     In 2015, he participated in a master class with the opera administrator of European festivals and agencies Eva-Maria Wieser at the Bolshoi Theater in Moscow.

·     In May 2016, he completed an internship at the Accademia d'arte lirica at the Music Academy of the city of Ozimo in Italy under the patronage of the Italian Embassy in Moscow. 

Lyrica Classic presents Rachmaninoff's The Bells at Moscow House of Music


Grigory Soloviov, bass

He graduated with honors from the Moscow State Tchaikovsky Conservatory. In 2009 he graduated from the Washington National Opera's Domingo-Cafritz Young Artist's program under Placido Domingo.

Grigory Soloviov – is the laureate and the finalist of many prestigious international vocal competitions, including the Metropolitan Opera Council Auditions in Washington, DC, the XIII International Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow, the Palm Beach Opera Vocal Competition, the Giulio Gari Foundation Competition, the Competition Opera Index and the Sullivan Foundation Competition.

He has been performing on the theatres' stages all around the world, among which there are Metropolitan Opera, Gran Teatro La Fenice, the Washington National Opera, Bolshoi Theatre, Opera theatre in Chicago, the Sarasota Opera, Helikon-opera, Opéra de Monte-Carlo, Opéra National de Lyon, Opera Tour, Opéra De Montréal, the Palm Beach Opera, Connecticut Grand Opera, Festival d'Aix-en-Provence, New Rome Opera Festival, and the Ischia Opera Festival.

Since 2016, Grigory has been the leading soloist of the Moscow Musical Theatre "Helikon-opera."



Olga Nadezhdina, contralto

Graduated from the Academic Music College at the Moscow State Conservatory with a degree in music theory and the Moscow State Open Pedagogical University named after M. A. Sholokhov (department of vocal and musical pedagogy).

Since 2009, she has been a soloist in the Moscow Synodal Choir, the A. D. Kozhevnikov State Academic Moscow Regional Choir. She has worked as a choir artist at the Moscow Stanislavsky Academic Musical Theater.

She performed a leading role in the opera "The Blind" by L. Aeurbakh at the Stanislavsky Musical Theater (as part of Vasily Barkhatov's Modern Opera Laboratory project).

She successfully performed at the First Volga Sacred Music Festival in Samara, performing the mezzo-soprano part in Metropolitan Hilarion's Passion for Matthew (conductor Dmitry Kogan), and was also noted at the opening of the M. Tariverdiev International Organ Competition in Kaliningrad (2013).

Olga debuted at the Bolshoi Theater in 2012 as Mother Xenia (Mussorgsky's Boris Godunov).

Olga is a composer and soloist of the international pop project "Kontraltos Duet" and a soloist of the Melody trio project.



Svetlana Polianskaya, soprano

In 2002 Svetlana graduated from the State Musical and Pedagogical Institute, named after M. M. Ippolitova-Ivanov, majoring in Academic Choir Conducting.

In 2005 she graduated from the State Musical and Pedagogical Institute named after Ippolitova-Ivanova, specialty "Academic Singing," class of Honored Artist of Russia Nebolsina.

Svetlana is a laureate of the All-Russian competition "Bella Voce" (2002, I prize), a diploma winner of the international competition named after Hariklei Darkle (2003), laureate of the "Romansiade" competition (3rd prize, 2003), a diploma winner of the international competition "Amber Nightingale" (2006), laureate of the Antonin Dvorak International Opera Competition (2nd prize, 2006).

She has been collaborating with well-known choirs of the city of Moscow - the Ensemble of Sacred Music "Blagovest," the Yurlov Choir Chapel, the Moscow Philharmonic, the Academic Symphony Orchestra conducted by Kogan, the New Russia Symphony Orchestra conducted by Bashmet, the orchestra "Musica viva" conducted by Rudin.

Currently, Svetlana collaborates with the Vivaldi Orchestra, led by the People's Artist of Russia, Svetlana Bezrodnaya. She is also a soloist and founder of the vocal trio Melody.


Charles-Camille Saint-Saëns

was a French composer, organist, conductor and pianist of the Romantic era. His best-known works include Introduction and Rondo Capriccioso (1863), the Second Piano Concerto (1868), the First Cello Concerto (1872), Danse macabre (1874), the opera Samson and Delilah (1877), the Third Violin Concerto (1880), the Third ("Organ") Symphony (1886) and The Carnival of the Animals (1886).

Saint-Saëns was a musical prodigy; he made his concert debut at the age of ten. After studying at the Paris Conservatoire he followed a conventional career as a church organist, first at Saint-Merri, Paris and, from 1858, La Madeleine, the official church of the French Empire. After leaving the post twenty years later, he was a successful freelance pianist and composer, in demand in Europe and the Americas.

As a young man, Saint-Saëns was enthusiastic for the most modern music of the day, particularly that of Schumann, Liszt and Wagner, although his own compositions were generally within a conventional classical tradition. He was a scholar of musical history, and remained committed to the structures worked out by earlier French composers. This brought him into conflict in his later years with composers of the impressionist and expressionist schools of music; although there were neoclassical elements in his music, foreshadowing works by Stravinsky and Les Six, he was often regarded as a reactionary in the decades around the time of his death.

Saint-Saëns held only one teaching post, at the École de Musique Classique et Religieuse in Paris, and remained there for less than five years. It was nevertheless important in the development of French music: his students included Gabriel Fauré, among whose own later pupils was Maurice Ravel. Both of them were strongly influenced by Saint-Saëns, whom they revered as a genius.

Lyrica Classic presents Rachmaninoff's The Bells at Moscow House of Music
Eli Tamar

Dr. Tamar holds a Ph.D. in composition from the University of Pittsburgh and served for nine years on the faculty of Mary Pappert School of Music at Duquesne University.

Tamar’s sacred works were presented in venues such as St Paul’s Knightsbridge (Elysian Singers), London; Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception (“De Boni Arte” Foundation series of sacred music), Andrey Rublev Museum, Moscow; and St. Paul Cathedral, Pittsburgh

In 2011 Eli Tamar co-produced the American-Russian award-winning independent film “Leningrad”, for which he composed the soundtrack. The film received the Russian Guild of Film Critics’ award at the International Film Festival "Spirit of Fire" (Russia) in 2014 and won the Grand Prix at the Yeysk Film Festival

Three of Tamar’s major compositions were featured on the CD “Laudato Si” on Navona Records in 2016.

Tamar's works were featured by Moscow Synodal Choir, Elysian Singers (London), Edgewood Symphony Orchestra, Duquesne Symphony Orchestra and Contemporary Ensemble, Russian “XX Century” chamber ensemble, Chrysalis Duo, Jerusalem Chamber Music Group, and Tel Aviv Young String Quartet among others. He composed for flutists Alberto Almarza and Lindsey Goodman, violinist Genaro Medina and Mark Daniel van Biemen (Concertgebouw Orchestra), and cellists Felix Wang and Misha Quint.

In 2021, Tamar's bigest choral work "Requiem" was world premiered by renowned Moscow Synodal Choir and soloist of Budapest Opera, mezzo-soprano Polina Shamaeva at Sobornaya Palata, Moscow.


This project is funded in part by a grant from the United States Department of State. The opinions, findings and conclusions stated herein are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the United States Department of State.

Фестиваль "Приглушённые голоса"

Сезон 2023-2024