Andrei Konchalovsky

Son of two poets – his father is the author of the lyrics of the Russian anthem – and Nikita Michalkov’s brother, Andrei Konchalovsky (from the mother’s family name) studied piano at the Moscow Conservatory and started very soon writing screen-plays for the legendary film director Andrei Tarkovskij, among others for the masterwork Andrei Rubliov, in 1969. Imaginative and visionary artist, he is able to express Russia’s anxieties and contradictions thanks to the various souls that populates his multiform production (Movie, Theatre, Opera).

As a film director, he reaches an immediate international popularity with his movie The first Teacher (1965), while with Siberiada (1979), three and half hours domestic saga about two rival families in Siberia reflecting the history of the XX century as a whole, he wins the special «Jury’s Price» at the Cannes Film Festival. In 1980 he moves to the United States where he achieves great success with a number of commercial movies such as Runaway Train (1985), Duet for One (1986), Homer & Eddie and Tango & Cash (1989). After the fall of the Berlin’s Wall, he returns to Russia to shoot The Inner Circle having for the first time the authorization to use locations such as the Kremlin and the Ljubljanka, KGB’s headquarters. With Kourotchka Riaba (1994), Konchalovsky gets back to his first Russian movies characters (such as Asja Kljacina’s tale shoot in 1967 but released in Soviet Union only in 1988) to tell stories from the perestroika’s times. In 2002, with Dom Durakov, he narrates the story of a group guest of a mental hospital during the first Cecenian war till his last Russian movie Gloss, where the story of a young girl coming from the country to Moscow serves as a symbol of the world of the so called «new Russians». «Nutcracker in 3 D» released in the fall of 2010 in the United States, is a spectacular production using the latest film technology.

Andrei Konchalovsky’s intense activity as theatre’s director brought him to work with the Théâtre de l’Odéon in Paris (where in 1988 he has directed a historical production of Anton Chekhov’s The Seagull featuring Juliette Binoche in the title-role) and with the Mossoviet Theatre in Moscow, where he has so far directed the first two of the Chekhov’s: The Seagull in 2007 and Uncle Vanya in 2009: with the latter has visited Italy in the fall of 2010 and the United States in the spring of 2011.

In the mid 80ies Andrei Konchalovsky begun his love affair with Opera with two new productions at Teatro alla Scala, Milan of Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin (in 1986) and The Queen of Spades (in 1990), both featuring Mirella Freni in the main roles. With the epic production of Sergei Prokofiev’s War and peace, presented in February 2000 at the Mariinsky Theatre, Konchalovsky reaches his greatest success: the production has been since then seen worldwide, from the Royal Opera House in London to the Teatro alla Scala, Milano to the Teatro Real, Madrid to the Metropolitan Opera of New York (in 2002) until Tokyo, where the production has been filmed by NHK in 2003 and the Kennedy Center, Washington (2010); still running in the repertoire of the Mariinsky Theatre, it represents the best artistic achievement of the Gergiev’s era. After the success of War and peace, Andrei Konchalovsky is invited to open the Verdi celebrations in Parma directing Un ballo in maschera in 2001. After a ten years break, he returned to his beloved opera world staging one of the more intense redemptions of Boris Godunov at the Teatro Regio, Torino under the baton of Gianandrea Noseda (DVD Opus Arte).