Prof. Virgilijus Noreika, Artistic Director
Aleksandras Vizbaras, Rehearsal Pianist
Rytis Janilionis (bass)
Jurgita Lopetaitė (soprano)
Marta Lukošiūtė (soprano)
Aurimas Raulinavičius (tenor)
Viktorija Stanelytė (soprano)
Andrius Apinis (tenor)
The second intake of the LNOBT Opera Studio:
Vilhelma Mončytė, soprano
Aistė Širvinskaitė, soprano
Fausta Savickaitė, mezzo-soprano
Jovita Vaškevičiūtė, mezzo-soprano
Arūnas Dingelis, tenor
Ramūnas Urbietis, baritone
Jevgenij Chrebtov, bass
The first intake of the LNOBT Opera Studio:
The Lithuanian National Opera and Ballet Theatre Opera Studio was established on 15 January 2003 as a master course for a small number of young and talented singers to prepare them for their professional careers in opera. Usually, the applicants may enter a selection procedure just after completing their degree of Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance. The auditions are also open for singers who have some initial experience at Lithuanian music theatres and in LNOBT productions. When admitted, students are contracted for a fixed term period of one or two years.
The Opera Studio course focuses on vocal and theatrical training, and is designed to add dramatic, language and interpretive skills to the students' existing talents. Trainees are also provided with a possibility to participate in current LNOBT productions as well as in their own fully produced galas and operas.
The Opera Studio presented its first public concerts at the Chamber Hall in 2003, including a semi-staged performance of lyric episodes from Piotr Tchaikovsky’s "Eugene Onegin" (28 Mar, 2 Apr, 8 May) and the Studio's first Gala with the LNOBT Symphony Orchestra at the Main Auditorium (2 Dec). The Studio’s trainees also presented two concert programmes of Italian music, "Under the Sun of Naples" (19 and 20 Mar 2004) and "Con amore…" (9 and 10 Oct 2004) and were regularly showcased at Christmas concerts.
On 24 February 2004, the Studio premiered its first evening-length production - Gioacchino Rossini's "Il Barbiere di Siviglia". Directed by Eligijus Domarkas and designed by Henrikas Ciparis, the first night (performed in Lithuanian) featured a number of young gifted singers and the Chamber Group of the LNOBT Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Vytautas Viržonis. The cast was led by Giedrius Prunskus as Figaro, Mindaugas Zimkus as Conte d’Almaviva, Aušra Liutkutė as Rosina or Berta, Raimondas Baranauskas as Bartolo, Arūnas Viržbickas as Basilio and Vaida Raginskytė as Berta or Rosina. The other roles were performed by Deividas Staponkus, Rafailas Karpis, Arūnas Dingelis, Jevgenij Chrebtov, and Gaudentas Janušas. Receiving 6 performances, this hugely successful production was transferred to the Main Stage on 23 November 2004, with four more performances to follow.
Episodes from "Il Barbiere" came to form the centrepiece of the educational programme "Welcome the Best Barber from Seville!" 21 performances (by January 2005) given at secondary schools and children’s care homes in Vilnius, Joniškis, Visaginas and other Lithuanian cities and hosted by Sofija Jonaitytė, LNOBT Co-ordinator for Education, produced a warm response from pupils and teachers alike.
On 24 February 2005 the Studio’s singers were first featured in the LNOBT production of Balys Dvarionas’ opera "Dalia". Aistė Širvinskaitė appeared in the title role, Giedrius Prunskus as Radvila, Arūnas Dingelis as Jurgelis, Mindaugas Zimkus as Skudutis, and Jevgenij Chrebtov as Tyzenhauzas.
Residency with the LNOBT Opera Studio has provided the young singers with the opportunity to develop their vocal ability, expand repertoire and increase performing skills, which the success of "Il Barbiere di Siviglia" and Studio-produced recitals at the Chamber Hall have highlighted.