Picks of the Week

Originally published in The Moscow Times on February 4, 2000

Muscovites' hearts will soon be melting, pining, throbbing and whatever else they're supposed to do on the lovers' holiday, St. Valentine's Day. And the Moscow art world is no exception - it's doing its part to help hearts all over the nation's capital to get into the spirit.

Sweethearts can start the celebrations with Yury Grigorovich's staging of that old favorite, "Romeo and Juliet," at the Kremlin Ballet. Shakespeare's timeless romantic tragedy about two star-crossed lovers from feuding families is sure to tug at any paramour's heartstrings. Even the unattached may succumb. Prokofiev's score negotiates the full spectrum of emotion - from light-hearted flutes for the young Juliet to the insistent, menacing rhythms for the warring parents.

On a lighter note, Andrei Golovin's opera "First Love," based on Turgenev's short story, celebrates young love (and examines its many complicated faces) in 19th-century Russia.

If you haven't yet found the Antony to your Cleopatra, try a love potion. "L'Elisir d'Amore" has a recipe. In Donizetti's colorful opera, Nemorino, a young villager, pines away for the love of the beautiful, but distant, Adina. Desperate, he purchases a potion that promises to turn her head. Will the concoction work its magic…

Read the full text at The Moscow Times.