Barrie Kosky’s production of Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov’s The Golden Cockerel opened at the Adelaide Festival Theatre on 4th March 2022. It was a co-production with Festival d'Aix-en-Provence, Adelaide Festival, Opéra National de Lyon, and Komische Oper Berlin, in association with the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra conducted by Arvo Volmer. There have been some wonderful reviews for Venera Gimadieva in the role of The Queen of Shemaka which she has previously performed at Santa Fe Opera in 2017.
“The Queen of Shemaka, performed here by Venera Gimadieva, is both the embodiment of this lure and the cause of the Tsar’s ultimate emasculation. Resplendent in a stunning peacock feather headdress by costume designer Victoria Behr, Gimadieva delivers a sublime rendition of Hymn to the Sun. [...] Gimadieva handles the chromatic scale of Rimsky-Korsakov’s music perfectly.”
Jansson J. Antmann, Limelight *****
“The principal cast, Pavlo Hunka (Tsar Dodon), Venera Gimadieva (Queen of Chemakha), Andrei Popov (Astrologer), Samuel Dandas (Tsarevich Aphron), Nicholas Jones (Tsarevich Gvidon), Mischa Schelomianski (Polkan), Samantha Clarke (Golden Cockerel’s Voice) and Matthew Whittet (On stage Cockerel), all gave exquisite performances. However, Hunka, Gimadieva and Popov’s performances pushed this opera into a league of its own. Their voices were velvet, both in their solo work and when singing together. Popov’s upper register was incredibly pure and natural, as was Gimadieva."
Ben Stefanoff, Glam Adelaide *****
“Venera Gimadieva sings this part with a bewitchingly mellifluous sound, and it is worth seeing this production just to hear her sing."
Nicholas Routley, Australian Stage
“The capriciously murderous tsar is comically seduced by the comely Queen of Chemakha, played by Russian soprano Venera Gimadieva, who sang with a wonderfully agile coloratura voice."
Steve Dow, The Age
“The Tsaritsa of Chemakha is sung by Venera Gimadieva, her rich voice perfectly complementing the seductive nature of her character, with all of the moves and facial expressions to complete the wonderful interpretation."
Barry Lenny, Broadway World
“...there were also memorable contributions from the singers, including Gimadieva’s dazzling lyric soprano..."
Humphrey Bower, Arts Hub
“The gorgeous Queen of Chemakha – Venera Gimadieva – appears in diaphanous tinselly dress, and in the long second act seduction of Dodon she, Arvo Volmer and the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra realise every ounce of sexiness that the music provides."
Nicholas Braithwaite, InDaily
The production ran from Friday 4th to Wednesday 9th March 2022, more information can be found here.
Photo credit: Andrew Beveridge