Reception for Russian-Austrian opera singer, Anna Netrebko

Anna Netrebko Anna Netrebko

Anna Netrebko

The Moscow Committee of Chicago Sister Cities International, chaired by Aleksandra Efimova and Prince Piotr Galitzine, was proud to host a reception for Russian-Austrian soprano Anna Netrebko on March 15.

The VIP reception was held at The Graham Room at the Lyric Opera House, following Netrebko’s debut performance at the Lyric Opera. Guests were treated to wine, champagne and hors d’oeuvres, and they had the chance to meet Netrebko, as well as other stars of the Lyric.

As chair of the Moscow Committee, Ms. Efimova is dedicated to spotlighting Russia’s immense contributions to the arts, and she said the reception was a wonderful way for Russians and Russian-Americans to come together and honor one of their national treasures.

“Hosting a reception for Ms. Netrebko has been my dream for years! Her vocal talent, beauty and artistic mastery make audiences love and applaud her on stage and off,” Ms. Efimova said. “As chair of the Moscow Committee, I view this event as one of the best ways to share the richness of Russian culture with the residents and guests of Chicago.”

Ms. Netrebko is considered a rising star among sopranos around the world. Born in Krasnodar, Russia, in 1971, she studied with conductor Valery Gergiev at the Mariinsky Theatre and made her operatic debut there at the age of 22. In 1995, at the age of 24, she made her America debut at the San Francisco Opera, and since then has received rave reviews on stages throughout the world including the Metropolitan Opera in New York, The Royal Opera House in London, La Scala, and the Vienna State Opera.

She is currently starring as Mimi in the Lyric Opera of Chicago’s acclaimed production of La Boheme, running now through March 28.

Robert Blumberg, the honorary consul general of Latvia in Chicago, said he was surprised at how charming and accessible Ms. Netrebko was in person. “She was very accommodating and she took time to talk to all of the guests and take pictures,” he said.

Steve Robinson, general manager of WFMT 98.7 FM, attended the reception, and said he appreciates the events that the Moscow Committee hosts because they give people the opportunity to meet artists in person.

“It was a great honor to meet this wonderful artist in such an intimate setting and I know the other guests felt the same way,” Robinson said. “The work that the organization is doing to bring the Russian community together in Chicago is exemplary and I wish them great success in the future.”

The event was attended by about 70 prominent members of the Russian-American community and was sponsored by Prince Piotr Galitzine and his company, TMK IPSCO.

“Anna Netrebko is a world-class diva. She both mesmerized and charmed the audience as Mimi at the showing of Puccini’s La Boheme before the reception, which TMK IPSCO was pleased to sponsor,” Mr. Galitzine said. “We at the TMK Group were delighted to sponsor this not only because our corporate social responsibility has children and the arts as its main foci, but because this event embodies the Russian-American exchanges and interactions which are the main goal of the Moscow Sister Cities Committee, of which I am chair.”

Chicago Sister Cities International coordinates programs and projects with Chicago’s 28 sister cities and is committed to promoting Chicago as a global city, developing international partnerships and networks, and sharing best practices on a city-to-city basis.

Since its inception in 1960, Chicago Sister Cities International has built bridges between the people of Chicago and its international neighbors to achieve greater mutual understanding and to strengthen civic, economic, and cultural ties. Chicago has been a sister city with Moscow since 1997.