Muffled Voices Festival

2023-2024 Season

MUFFLED VOICES

International Festival of Contemporary Opera by Women Composers

Season 2023-2024

Wednesday

Feb. 7, at 7 pm

Moscow International House of Music

LEARN MORE >

Wednesday

April 10, at 7 pm

Tula Concert Hall

LEARN MORE >

Monday

April 15, at 7 pm

Moscow Concert Hall "Zaryadye", small hall

LEARN MORE >

Friday

April 19, at 7 pm

Palace of Culture named after Dobrynin, Yaroslavl

LEARN MORE >

Tuesday

Moscow musical theatre Helikon-opera

LEARN MORE >

TBA

St. Petersburg

PURCHASE TICKETS >

Lyrica Classic, in collaboration with the publisher "Shostakoviches and Stravinskies" and the contemporary music project "Music of Our Time," presents its first international festival of contemporary opera by women-composers, Muffled Voices. The first season of Muffled Voices will take place in various cities throughout Russia from February to August 2024. The event will pay tribute to the memory of the exceptional composer and author of more than 500 works, Tatiana Chudova while celebrating women's significant contributions to classical music. This festival is made possible with the support of the U.S. Embassy in Moscow.

This collaboration between American and Russian teams will showcase the talents of female composers from both countries. In its inaugural season, the project promises to immerse the audience with opera premieres created by seven outstanding women composers, including Missy Mazzoli, Anne LeBaron, Amy Marcy Cheney Beach, Tatiana Chudova, Alina Podzorova, Anna Kuzmina, and Alina Nebykova, and features ten chamber operas representing various musical styles.

With performances by splendid soloists from the global music scene and stage interpretations by renowned stage-directors Elizaveta Korneeva (the stage director of the Krasnoyarsk Hvorostovsky Opera and Ballet Theater and Staatstheater Hannover in Germany) and Marc Verzatt (stage manager of the Cincinnati Opera and the Lyric Opera of Chicago), each production promises to be a uniquely creative event.


"The festival is unique in that it not only celebrates the great contribution of Tatiana Chudova but also raises an important question about the role and talents of women composers in musical history," says Yulia Petrachuk, festival's producer. "Contemporary opera premieres, collaboration with outstanding directors and artists, make this musical celebration a unique bridge between the past and the future, emphasizing that talent transcends gender boundaries."


Throughout history, women's contributions to classical music composition have often been overlooked. However, the landscape is changing as contemporary female composers are breaking through barriers and reshaping the narrative of a traditionally male-dominated field.


The festival will open on February 7, 2024, at the Moscow International House of Music and conclude in August 2024 in St. Petersburg.


We invite you to embark on a musical journey where boundaries dissolve and the voices of women composers resonate loudly and clearly. The "Muffled Voices" festival is not just about music; it's a statement celebrating the significant contributions of women to the world of classical music.

FESTIVAL'S OPERAS

Солисты Большого театра и музыкального театра им. Станиславского исполнят континентальную премьеру оперы

Amy Marcy Cheney Beach

"Cabildo"

A one-act opera on libretto by Nan Bagby Stephens about a colonial prison in New Orleans, from which the famous pirate Pierre Lafitte once escaped under mysterious circumstances, written for 7 soloists, a chorus and a piano trio.

Beach composed the music in 1932 and made use of folksong and Creole tunes.


LEARN MORE >

Missy Mazzoli

"Proving Up"

A one-act horror opera about the American dream told through the story of 1870s Nebraska settlers for 6 soloists, 7 guitars and chamber orchestra.

A family dreams of "proving up" and obtaining the deed to the land they've settled. They obsessively list the requirements of the Homestead Act: five years of harvest, a sod house dwelling, and perhaps the most elusive element — a glass window. With their eldest son incapacitated, Ma and Pa Zegner send their youngest living child Miles on a mission to share the valuable commodity with their distant neighbors who are expecting a visit from a government inspector. Miles mounts his gray mare with the window wrapped in burlap and gallops across the land. The elements, natural and otherwise, have other plans, and Miles comes face to face with a strange man who turns out to be the ghost of a neighboring farmer, driven mad by the requirements of "proving up." The willowy figure knows all too well the cost of the American Dream, and the window soon becomes a broken mirror reflecting great tragedy.

Anne LeBaron

"Blue Calls Set You Free"

A one-act jazz opera based on the iconic Greek legend of Orpheus and Eurydice for 7 soloists, chorus, jazz ensemble and electronic sound.

Our contemporary version takes place in the Mississippi delta and in a sonically portrayed Underworld. Eurydice, a talented singer, is impatient to strike out on her own despite the reservations of Orpheus. The Harpies, a female trio disguised as vendors, give her a poisoned berry. She loses consciousness and is taken to the Underworld on a train from hell. A grieving Orpheus resolves to retreve her, convincing Pluto, God of the Underworld, to allow him to enter. Pluto agrees, with the caveat that Orpheus not look at Eurydice as he leads her out of the Underworld. In most versions, Orpheus does turn to look at her, and she's lost forever. In our version, Eurydice chooses not to return with Orpheus, despite her fond memories of their time together. Having experienced the power of her own disembodied voice, she remains in the Underworld where she seeks and achieves artistic freedom.

Tatiana Chudova
"Russian Women"

A musical composition in ten scenes for two soloists and piano based on poems by N. Nekrasov, A. Pushkin and the Decembrist poets about how princesses Trubetskoy and Volkonskaya went to pick up their husbands in exile in Siberia.

1. Verdict

Women read out the decree of Nicholas the First

2. Date at the Peter and Paul Fortress

Trubetskay seeks a meeting with her husband in the Peter and Paul Fortress.

3. Farewell to my son. Lament (lullaby)

Volkonskaya bids farewell to her newborn son with a poignant lullaby.

4. Road & 5. Uprising

Women ride in carriages across a snowy field while reminiscing about their city and region. The princesses recall the fateful day of the December Revolution.

6. Dialogue with the governor

The governor of Irkutsk asks Trubetskaya to return to St. Petersburg. However, she is determined to follow her husband.

7. Shackles

The sound of shackles can be heard. Women sought bloody revenge against the boyars, nobles, and the Tsar.

8. Pushkin's message

"In the depths of Siberian mines, keep your cities with proud patience; your sorrowful labor and high aspirations will not be in vain."

9. Siberia & 10. Meeting

Trubetskaya expresses gratitude to the Russian people for their support, while Volkonskaya shares her excitement about meeting her husband during hard labor.

Tatiana Chudova
"Tatiana's Dream"

Mono-mini opera based on Pushkin’s work “Eugene Onegin” for soprano, quintet and electronic sound.

The Dream of Tatyana Larina is the most mystical and symbolic episode of the famous novel "Eugene Onegin" by A.S. Pushkin. Tatyana, who is in love with Evgeny Onegin, tries to foretell the future about her betrothed, hoping that it will be Eugene. She falls asleep with a mirror under her pillow and dreams that she finds herself in the company of a bear, strange creatures, and Onegin. In the end, Evgeny kills his friend, Vladimir Lensky. As it turns out, the dream was prophetic.

Tatiana Chudova
"Professor Dowell's Head"

A fantasy mono mini-opera for bas-bariton and piano based on the story of the same name by Russian author Alexander Belyaev written in 1925, a science fiction and horror story (and later novel).

Professor Dowell and his assistant surgeon, Dr. Kern, work on medical problems, including life support in separated body parts. Dr. Kern kills Dowell (in a set-up car/asthma accident). Professor Dowell's head is now kept alive and used by Dr. Kern for extraction of scientific secrets; however, his new assistant, the medically trained Marie Loren, discovers the ploy and is dismayed; to keep her from exposing him, Kern eventually gets her imprisoned in a false lunatic asylum for undesirables. 

Continuing his experiments, Dr. Kern transplants the head of a young woman to a new body. That body belongs to the girlfriend of a friend of Dowell's son, who recognizes her body when the young woman flees Dr. Kern's laboratory. Together, Dowell's son and his friend free Marie Loren. Dr. Kern is anxious to announce himself as the inventor. But Dowell's son and Marie Loren help his father's head get in front of the cameras and reveal the truth. The head of Professor Dowell tells all before dying. Dr. Kern, disgraced, is summarily executed by a police detective.

Tatiana Chudova
"Von Meck - Tchaikovsky"

A one-act epistolary opera based on letters from composer Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky and famous philanthropist Nadezhda Filaretovna von Meck.

The opera showcases the duality of its characters by revealing not only the content of their letters to each other but also their true thoughts during the moments of correspondence, which we learn from their diaries. As a result, each character has two distinct voices - an internal and an external one. To achieve this, the composer decided to use two performers for each character: Von Meck's Letters are performed by a soprano, while her inner voice is performed by a mezzo-soprano. Similarly, Tchaikovsky is portrayed by both a tenor and a bass.

Alina Debykova
"Zhdana"

A one-act horror opera with a plastic production based on the story of the same name by A. Nebykov with a libretto by O. Fomina for two soloists, a mini choir and a quintet.

The story revolves around a family secret and curse that hinders the happiness of a girl living alone in an abandoned village. She eventually meets a guy who has the potential to rescue her from her seclusion. However, some supernatural forces intervene in their lives, and the ghost of a deceased mother, preventing their love from prospering, leads them to a tragic ending.

Театральная премьера моно-оперы Анны Кузминой
Anna Kuzmina
"Dreams and Not Dreams"

Mono-opera based on poems by Marina Tsvetaeva for soprano, choir and symphony orchestra. The action takes place at night, some numbers are reality, some are dreams. Through thoughts of loneliness and nightmares, the heroine eventually comes to the light.

LEARN MORE >

Alina Podzorova
"Periodic Table"

One-act parable opera for 4 soloists and chamber ensemble. based on the book of the same name by Primo Levi about the experience of a hero on the verge of life and death in a concentration camp.

The story is divided into six chapters: named Oxygen, Carbon, Gold, Lead, Arsenic, and Sodium Chloride. It reflects the world of a hero who is aware of his roots from the 16th century but finds it difficult to adjust to the 20th century. The story follows the life of a scientist who is dedicated to his work and his love but is forced to witness people disappearing in gas chambers beside him. Although chemistry as a science offered hope of unraveling the structure of the Universe, it failed to explain why humans tend to destroy each other.

ARTICLES

Women composers were rehabilitated at the House of Music

Post-production critiques

Opera feminism: is it possible?

Article by Alexandr Matusevich

Muffled Voices Festival Introduces American Women Composers to Russia

Press-release

VIDEO

PRODUCERS AND PARTNERS

Yulia Petrachuk performs Rachmaninoff's The Bells at the Moscow House of Music

Yulia Petrachuk

Festival producer and art-director of Lyrica Classic

Renowned for her dynamic presence in the classical music realm, Yulia Petrachuk is a Russian-American operatic soprano, an esteemed producer, and the creative force behind Lyrica Classic Entertainment. She takes pride in her role as the artistic director and producer of the notable contemporary classical music festival "Spread New Music to the World" and the innovative "Muffled Voices Festival," which showcases contemporary opera by female composers.

An alumna with honors from the Moscow State Tchaikovsky Conservatory in Russia and the Bern University of the Arts in Switzerland, Petrachuk made her international debut in 2010 at the Bern State Theatre with her performance in Prokofiev's "The Love for Three Oranges." Her artistic journey has led her to perform in prestigious venues across the globe, including Theater Biel, Ash Lawn Opera Festival, Dicapo Opera Theater and Carnegie Hall in New York, Opera Camerata in Washington, D.C., Smetana Hall in Prague, Musikverein and Wiener Konzerthaus in Vienna, among many others.

Petrachuk's repertoire of lyric soprano extends beyond the traditional, delving into contemporary opera and vocal music of the 20th and 21st centuries, with her repertoire featuring world and continental premieres. Notable performances include Vitaly Hubarenko's mono-opera "The Love Letters" and the soprano solo in Emmanuel Dubois's "Requiem for the Fallen" at Carnegie Hall, the titular role in a mono-opera adaptation of Strauss's "Elektra" by Richard Duenser in Austria and Germany, and Volkonskaya in Tatiana Chudova's chamber opera at Moscow International House of Music.

With a passion for elevating lesser-known music, Petrachuk founded Maryland-based nonprofit organization Lyrica Classic Entertainment, quickly receiving international acclaim for its superior music presentations. The company has made significant contributions to the arts, showcasing new and undiscovered works at renowned venues such as Carnegie Hall, the Kauffman Music Center, the Strathmore Hall, the Congress Hall in Graz, the Moscow Catholic Cathedral and International House of Music.

Lyrica Classic's "Spread New Music to the World" festival achieved recognition in 2023, being nominated as "Best Project of the Year" by the International and European Association 2022, a testament to Petrachuk's impactful leadership and dedication to the arts.

Yulia Petrachuk

Lyrica Classic

Producer

Карина Погосбекова, пианистка и сопродюсер проекта Приглушённые Голоса, окончила Московскую Консерваторию и сотрудничала с ведущими оперными певцами. Её музыкальное мастерство и опыт в концертмейстерстве внесли значительный вклад в успех фестиваля.
Карина Погосбекова, пианистка и сопродюсер проекта Приглушённые Голоса, окончила Московскую Консерваторию и сотрудничала с ведущими оперными певцами. Её музыкальное мастерство и опыт в концертмейстерстве внесли значительный вклад в успех фестиваля.

Karina Pogosbekova

Pianist and partner

Karina Pogosbekova is a renowned pianist and educator, emerging from Moscow's rich cultural landscape, where she was born into a family celebrated for its scientific achievements, including her father, L. Zhivotovsky, a distinguished scientist and laureate of the National Award of the Russian Federation. A testament to her musical prowess, Pogosbekova excelled at the Moscow State Tchaikovsky Conservatory, securing a solid foundation in both solo piano and piano accompaniment through her graduate and postgraduate studies. Her commitment to fostering the next generation of musicians is evident in her current role as a piano accompaniment instructor at the same institution.


In the competitive sphere, Pogosbekova's talents have been consistently recognized. She clinched an award for the best classical sonata performance at the Young Talent competition in Vladimir, Russia, in 1992, and went on to capture two Grand Prix at the 1993 Young Artists Competition in Cincinnati – one for her solo program and another for her orchestral concerto performance. Her laureate status was affirmed at Italy's Meranofest in 1994, and later, she earned the Best Accompanist title at Moscow's Levko Vocal Competition in 2008 and at the Inspiration Art Festival.


Pogosbekova's accolades continued with Best Accompanist awards at the First Open National Natalia Spiller Vocal Competition in 2014 and at the International Classical Music Forum in 2017, where she was also recognized for her exceptional contribution to the preparation of participants. In 2020, she was honored with the Best Accompanist award at the inaugural Russian-Chinese competition #Pushkin2020.


Beyond competitions, Pogosbekova is a dynamic concert performer. Her collaborative engagements have seen her share the stage with illustrious operatic talents such as Elena Obraztsova and Hibla Gerzmava, reflecting her versatility and demand as a top-tier accompanist. Notably, she was the regular pianist for the National Artist of the USSR, Zurab Sotkilava, for over a decade. Her diverse projects include coaching for Russia's Channel One production of "Phantom of the Opera," participating in the premiere of M. Matyushin's avant-garde opera "Victory over the Sun," and the world premiere of Ilya Demutsky's opera "Black Square."


Her entrepreneurial spirit led to the inception of the "Music of Our Time" concert project in 2019, which she founded to spotlight contemporary classical vocal music. This initiative has brought more than 50 contemporary composers' works to renowned Russian stages such as the Rachmaninoff and Small Halls of the Moscow Tchaikovsky Conservatory and Moscow Zaryadye Hall, engaging stars and soloists from leading opera houses.


Pogosbekova's expertise extends to adjudicating, where she has served on juries for prestigious competitions including the Renaissance International Competition and Festival in Gyumri, Armenia, the Golden Talent of the Commonwealth of Independent States competition in Russia, and the International Opera Festival "Cantofest" in Portugal, among others.


Her illustrious career not only illustrates her exceptional talent and dedication to the performance and teaching of piano accompaniment but also highlights her influence on the advancement and appreciation of contemporary classical music on the international stage.

Karina Pogosbekova

"Music of Our Time"

Music Director

Композитор Алина Небыкова примет участие в фестивале Приглушённые голоса при поддержке
Композитор Алина Небыкова примет участие в фестивале Приглушённые голоса при поддержке

Alina Nebykova

Russian composer, Chairman of the Council of the Union of Composers of Eurasia, producer, Candidate of Legal Sciences, head of the label and publishing house of modern academic music “Shostakovich and Stravinsky”

Alina Nebikova is a distinguished graduate of the Moscow State Tchaikovsky Conservatory's Composition Department, having studied under the tutelage of Professor T. Chudova. She further enriched her academic background by attending the Institute of Italian Culture and completing her law education with both an undergraduate and postgraduate degree from the Law Faculty at Lomonosov Moscow State University, specializing in entrepreneurial law.


Her commitment to continuous learning and international collaboration is highlighted by her participation in masterclasses with notable composers such as Francesco Filidei from Italy, Rafael Cendo from France, Mattias Steinauer from Switzerland, and James Clapperton who has ties to Scotland and Norway.


An accomplished composer, Nebikova has a prolific catalog of academic compositions spanning a variety of genres. In 2020, she established the "Shostakovich and Stravinskys" publishing house, dedicated to the dissemination and promotion of contemporary academic music.


Nebikova is actively involved in nurturing the next generation of musicians and composers. She contributes as a jury member to several songwriting and composition competitions and serves as a mentor at the KINOREX festival, which supports young directors and composers. She also holds a position on the expert council for the national "Partitura" composer's competition.


As an educator, Nebikova shares her expertise by teaching composition and theoretical subjects. She has also distinguished herself as an interviewer, conducting a series of interviews with outstanding figures in culture, for which she was awarded the "In Search of Truth and Justice" annual literary prize in the category of Young Journalism in Russia in 2022.


Beyond her educational and compositional endeavors, Nebikova has organized over 200 concerts that span both popular and academic music genres. She has played a pivotal role as a musical editor for significant classical art projects of federal importance.


Her contributions to ballet are exemplified by her music being featured in premieres at the Bolshoi Theatre, performed by leading soloists such as Ivan Vasilyev and Artemiy Belyakov, prima ballerina Darya Khokhlova, and world champion aerial gymnast A. Burdina.


Nebikova's melodeclamations, a synthesis of spoken word and symphonic music, have been presented by a host of esteemed Russian actors, further showcasing her versatility as a composer.


In the realm of vocal music, her compositions are performed by renowned opera singers including Agunda Kulaeva of the Bolshoi Theatre and Honored Artist of Russia Askar Abdrazakov. Her chamber, choral, and orchestral works are interpreted by prestigious ensembles such as the "New Russia" Symphony Orchestra under Y. Bashmet and the State Kremlin Symphony Orchestra under K. Chudovsky.


Extending her influence to popular music, Nebikova is the founder and creative force behind the Sattva Project, for which she is also the producer and sole composer. Her skills in arrangement and orchestration have been applied to popular music, and she has produced for domestic music stars, composed for film and television projects, and written songs for both Russian and international performers. Her extensive contributions to both the classical and contemporary music scenes underscore her status as a versatile and influential figure in the world of music.

Alina Nebykova

"Shostakoviches & Stravinskies"

Partner


OUR INFO PARTNERS

We sincerely thank our media partners for their important role in disseminating culture and art.

Радио Культура сотрудничает с фестивалем Приглушённые Голоса, продюсер Юлия Петрачук

“Radio “Culture” 91.6FM is a Russian radio station, part of the All-Russian State Television and Radio Broadcasting Company. Daily on air: news, music, programs about art, culture, science and literature.

RTVi сотрудничает с Журнал Сноб сотрудничает с фестивалем Приглушённые Голоса, продюсер Юлия Петрачук
сотрудничает с Журнал Сноб сотрудничает с фестивалем Приглушённые Голоса, продюсер Юлия Петрачук

“Snob” is a media project about people and phenomena, about trends and changes in the world.

Москва 24 сотрудничает с фестивалем Приглушённые Голоса, продюсер Юлия Петрачук

The MOSCOW 24 TV channel features the main city news, information, entertainment and socially significant formats, city events and festivals. "We create, illuminate, engage!"

Журнал

The author's Telegram channel "Cultural People" covers only cultural and social projects. Ksenia Lamshina, head of Radio “Culture”, author and presenter of the program “Cultural Occasion”