The Elena Obraztsova Cultural Centre


The Elena Obraztsova Cultural Centre was established in St. Petersburg in 1996 in order to set up programmes of cultural and musical awareness and education.

The Elena Obraztsova Cultural Centre organises festivals, masterclasses, concerts and competitions. The Centre also works to compile video and audio archives, publish books and sheet music and to organise video and audio recordings.

During 1996-2014 the Centre was managed by Elena Obraztsova herself. Elena Obraztsova was a Russian opera singer, among the greatest opera stars of the 20th century. Elena Obraztsova started performing in 1963 and sang on the best stages in Russia, Europe and America. She held all the highest awards and honours in Russia and the USSR, as well as some of the most recognised honours of other countries.

Thanks to the sponsorship of the Art, Science and Sport Charity Foundation, in 2008 the Elena Obraztsova Cultural Centre organised the Elena Obraztsova International Competition of Young Opera Tenors In Memory of Luciano Pavarotti.

The Competition took place in the Small Hall of the St. Petersburg Philharmonia 23-29 of September, 2008. 35 singers from Armenia, Belarus, China, Korea, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, USA, Estonia, Sweden and Ukraine competed for the honour of the main prize. 17 of the participants were from Russia. The jury included Luigi Alva of Peru, Nicola Martinucci of Italy, Jaime Aragal of Spain, and Zurab Sotkilava of Russia, as well as Elena Obraztsova herself.

The competition programme consisted of three rounds. In the first round the contestants had to perform two opera arias of their choice. In the second round — two Neapolitan songs from the repertoire of Luciano Pavarotti. In the third and final round was a competition of duet performances.

The winners were: Khachatur Baladyan, Aleksey Sayapin and Aleksey Tatarintsev. Each of the winners received a money award.

The Competition also included a special concert dedicated to the memory of the great Italian tenor. It was honoured by performances from Elena Obraztsova, Zurab Sotkilava, Vaja Chachava, Sergei Slovachevsky, Anton Sorokov and Igor Ulyash.