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Dmitry Bertman (Director)

Dmitry Bertman. DMITRI BERTMAN was born in Moscow in 1967. In 1984 he entered GITIS (now The Russian Academy of Theatre Arts - RATI), music theatre department. His Master was legendary professor G. P. Ansimov. While in the Academy Dmitri Bertman managed to direct a number of productions in Moscow, Tver and Odessa. In 1990 he was on probation in Salzburg Elizabet Buhne Theater in Austria. Since that he became music theatre director. In 1990 twenty-three-year-old Dmitri Bertman established a new opera company in Moscow and gave it the name of Helikon-Opera. The status of the State Municipal theatre was gained three years later.

Helikon-Opera soon became popular not only in Moscow, but also throughout the world owing to a number of international tours with fresh talented productions, many of them - first staged by Dmitri Bertman. The company performed on the most prestigious stages of the world, including London Queen Elizabeth Hall, Salzburg Festspielhaus, Montpellier Opera Berlioz, Paris Theatre des Champs Elysees. The productions directed by D.Bertman were also presented at numerous international festivals ("The Mermaid" - Wexford festival, Ireland, 1997; "Cosi fan Tutte" - Ludwigsburg, Germany, 1999; "Die Fledermouse" with Maestro Rostropovich at Evian, France, 2000; President of Russian Federation Vladimir Putin and Dmitry Bertman. "Lady Macbeth of the Mtzensk Region" - Santander Festival, Spain, 2001; "Aida" - Verdi Festival in Strasbourg, France, 2001; "Les Contes d‘Hoffmann", "Lulu" - Santander Festival, Spain, 2002; "Les Contes d‘Hoffmann", "Lulu"- Perelada Festival, Spain, 2002) Dmitri Bertman is demanded over the world. He directed many opera productions abroad, among them Canadian Opera Company, Volksoper Vienna, Nationaltheatre Mannheim, ENO. Since 1994 up to nowdays Dmitri Bertman has his own master-class at Bern Opera Studio, where he teaches young opera singers the Stanislavsky‘s method of acting, Mikhail Chekhov‘s and Shaliapin‘s approaches. Since 1996 he also teaches in his alma mater – Russian Theatre Academy (GITIS-RATI) as Professor.

In 1997 Dmitri Bertman became the Honored Art Worker of Russia.

In 1998 he was awarded with the most prestigious theatre prize of Russia – The Golden Mask – as the best opera director for "Carmen" – 1998, "The Tsar‘s Bride" – 1999, "Lady Macbeth of the Mtzensk Region" – 2001.

Dmitry Bertman. Bertman cooperates with the greatest musicians of the present: Maestro Rostropovich, Montcerrat Caballier. He directed the concert "Stars of the World to Children".

In 2003 for his contribution to the world culture he was awarded The Maltese Cross and the title of the Count of Sovereign Military and Hospitaller Order of St. John of Jerusalem of Rhodes and of Malta. The same year he was also awarded by the national French order “Officier des Palmes Academiques”.

By the Decree № 388 from 03.04.2005 of the President of Russian Federation Dmitry Bertman, the Artistic Director of “Helikon-Opera” was titled a People’s Artist of Russia.

In 2005 Dmitry Bertman became a laureate of K. Stanislavski Prize in "Producer‘s Art" nomination for the contribution to the development of opera producer‘s profession.


1. 1985, Tchaikovsky “Iolanta”. Opera Studio, Moscow, Russia
2. 1985, Rimsky-Korsakov “Boyarynia Vera Sheloga”. Opera Studio, Moscow, Russia
3. 1986, Rimsky-Korsakov “Kashchey The Immortal” (1986). Opera Studio, Moscow, Russia
4. 1986, Poulenc “La Voix Humaine”. Opera Studio, Moscow, Russia
5. 1987, Rashell “Turtle‘s Day”. Kalinin Drama Theater, Russia
6. 1988, Ulanovsky “Golden Chicken”. Komi Republic Musical Theater, Russi
7. 1988, Mozart. “Die Zauberflöte”. GITIS theatre, Russia
8. 1989, Gershwin. “About You I Sing”*. Odessa Musical Comedy Theater, Russia
9. 1990, Bortnyansky. “Quint Fabius”*. Forum Theater, Russia
10. 1990, Stravinsky. “Mavra”. The first performance of Helikon-Opera, Moscow, Russia
11. 1990, Hindemith. “Hin und Zuruck”*. Helikon-Opera, Moscow, Russia
12. 1991, Prokofiev “Maddalena”*. Helikon-Opera, Moscow, Russia
13. 1991, Rimsky-Korsakov. “Kashсhey The Immortal”. Helikon-Opera, Moscow, Russia
14. 1991, Debussy. “Le fils prodigue”. Helikon-Opera, Moscow, Russia
15. 1992, Prokofiev. “Ugly Duckling”**. Helikon-Opera, Moscow, Russia
16. 1992, Mozart, “Appolo et Hyacinthus”*. Helikon-Opera, Moscow, Russia
17. 1993, Leoncavallo. “Pagliacci”. Helikon-Opera, Moscow, Russia
18. 1994, Tchaikovsky “Undine”**. Helikon-Opera, Moscow, Russia
19. 1994, Poulenc “La Voix Humaine”. Helikon-Opera, Moscow, Russia
20. 1994, Rimsky-Korsakov. “Mozart and Salieri”. Helikon-Opera, Moscow, Russia
21. 1994, Tchaikovsky. “The Queen of Spades”. Helikon Opera, Moscow, Russia
22. 1995, Verdi “La Traviata”. Helikon-Opera, Moscow, Russia
23. 1995, Tchaikovsky. “The Queen of Spades”. Wexford Festival Opera, Ireland
24. 1996, Verdi. “Aida”. Helikon Opera, Moscow, Russia
25. 1996, Strauss, “Die Fledermaus”. Helikon Opera, Moscow, Russia
26. 1996, Tchaikovsky “Eugene Onegin”. Wexford Festival Opera, Ireland
27. 1996, Puccini “La Boheme”. Wexford Festival Opera, Ireland
28. 1996, Bizet “Carmen”. Helikon Opera, Moscow, Russia
29. 1997, Tchaikovsky “Eugene Onegin”. Helikon-Opera, Moscow, Russia
30. 1997, Rimsky-Korsakov. “The Tsar’s Bride”. Helikon-Opera, Moscow, Russia
31. 1997, Dargomyzhsky “The Mermaid”. Wexford Festival Opera (Ireland)
32. 1997, Stravinsky. “Mavra” (new production). Queen Elisabeth Hall, London, UK
33. 1997, Prokofiev. “Maddalena” (new production). Queen Elisabeth Hall, London, UK
34. 1997, Offenbach “Les Contes d’Hoffmann”. Helikon-Opera, Moscow, Russia
35. 1998, Verdi. “La Traviata”. Nationaltheater, Mannheim, Germany
36. 1999, Tchaikovsky “Mazeppa”. Helikon Opera, Moscow, Russia
37. 1999, Rimsky-Korsakov. “The Golden Cockerel”. Helikon Opera, Moscow, Russia
38. 1999. “Voices of Invisible” (Bible‘s triptych): Bardanashvili “Eva”, Kobekin “Moses”, Schetinski “Annunciation”. Helikon-Opera, Moscow, Russia
39. 1999, Mozart “Cosi Fan Tutte”. Ludvigsburg, Germany
40. 1999, Verdi “La Traviata”. Canadian Opera Company, Toronto, Canada
41. 2000, Schostakovitch “Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk”. Helikon Opera, Moscow, Russia
42. 2000, Stravinsky. “The Rake’s Progress”. Folksoper, Vienna, Austria
43. 2000, Verdi. “La Traviata”. The Music and Convention Centre, Strasbourg, France
44. 2000, Tchaikovsky “Eugene Onegin”. Stadttheatre, Klagenfurt, Austria.
45. 2001, Verdi. “Aida”. Festival “Verdi a Strasbourg”, France
46. 2002, Verdi. “Falstaff”. Helikon-Opera, Moscow, Russia
47. 2002, Lou. “My Fair Lady”. Theatre "Et Cetera", Moscow, Russia
48. 2002, Berg “Lulu”. Helikon-Opera, Moscow, Russia
49. 2002, Mozart. “Appolo et Hyacinthus”* (new production). Helikon-Opera, Moscow, Russia
50. 2002, Pergolesi. “La Serva Padrona”. Helikon-Opera, Moscow, Russia
51. 2002, Tchaikovski. “Eugene Onegin”. “Premiere” Music Theatre of Krasnodar, Russia
52. 2002, Borodin. “Prince Igor”. Istanbul Opera and Ballet Theatre, Turkey
53. 2003, Rimsky-Korsakov. “Kashchey The Immortal”. Helikon-Opera, Moscow, Russia
54. 2003, Gretry. “Pierre le Grand”. Helikon-Opera, Moscow, Russia
55. 2003, Janacek, “Vec Makropulos”, Helikon-Opera, Moscow, Russia
56. 2003, Bach. “Kaffecantate”. Canadian Opera Company, Toronto, Canada
57. 2003, Pursell. “Didona and Aeneas”. Canadian Opera Company, Toronto, Canada
58. 2004, Gershwin “Gershwin Gala”. Helikon-Opera, Moscow, Russia
59. 2004, Puccini. “Tosca”. Latvinian National Opera, Riga, Latvia
60. 2004, Poulenc. “Les Dialogues des Carmelites”. Helikon-Opera, Moscow, Russia
61. 2004, Bellini. “Norma”. Santander Festival, Santader, Spain
62. 2004, Mozart. "La Clemenza di Tito". Merida Opera Festival, Spain
63. 2004, Verdi. “Nabucco”. Duo Dijon, Opera de Massy, France
64. 2005, Erenberg. “Vampuka. The African Bride”. The Centre of Opera Singing of Galina Vishnevskaya, Moscow, Russia
65. 2005, Prokofiev, “Falling from the Sky”. Helikon-Opera, Moscow, Russia
66. 2005, Tchaikovsky, “Eugene Onegin”. Stockholm, Sweden
67. 2005, Verdi, “La Traviata”. Oakland, New Zealand.
68. 2005, Verdi, "Nabucco". Mariinsky Theatre. Saint-Petersburg, Russia
69. 2005, Dvorak, "Rusalka". For H. C. Andersen Festival in Aarhus, Denmark.
70. 2006, Giordano, "Siberia". Helikon-Opera, Moscow, Russia
71. 2006, Moussorgsky (Shostakovich edition), "Boris Godunov". Helikon-Opera, Moscow, Russia
72. 2007. Dvorak, "Russalka". TheaterErfurt, Germany
73. 2007. Rossini, "Il barbiere di Siviglia". Helikon-Opera, Moscow, Russia


Valeriy Kichin (“Rossiyskaya Gazeta”, Moscow)
Dmitry Bertman was 23 when he established “Helikon”. Being talented and energetic, he built an opera theatre from nothing. Now the Helikon’s repertoire is very serious and it is the most invited Russian theatre in the world.

Dmitry Morozov (“Mariinskiy Teatr”, Saint-Petersburg)
There are directors, about whom we speak that they are trying to stage the same performance (or film) every time. Dmitry Bertman, the opposite, every time start with the blank page and it would be ungrateful to try to foresee, even in a general way, what his next performance will be.

Peter Pospelov (“Vedomosti”, Moscow)
Among other Moscow opera theatres “Helikon” was always considered to be a pop frolicsome fellow. Today we can consider it a leader of a serious art. The fact that Dmitry Bertman learned how to work in high-minded European aesthetics should not worry the devotees of his cheerful Muse, because recently the very same stage director released an amusing Gershwin-Gala performance.

Mikhail Zhilkin (“Theatrical Courier”, Moscow)
Vagner’s dream of ideal theatre – the synthesis of drama, music, art and architecture – is being consistently and steadily embodied by Dmitry Bertman, a person who is undoubtedly takes a part in what is called a process and therefore, who knows where and most important why the world music theatre is moving. In this movement we can see a birth of bright carnival shows, dionisiusly spontaneous and at the same time apollonically considered.

Valeriy Evseyev (“Vecherniy Club”, Moscow)
I think that Dmitry Bertman, the director, is like Meyerhold in opera art. We have been friends with his theatre for many years.

Ksenia Larina (“Ekho Moskvy”, Moscow)
Bertman built a universal and unique theatre which doesn’t look like any other theatres, he gave to classic opera new life, he released it from iron museum cases, he transferred the opera to the newest history in which she breathes easily and freely. The soloists turned into artists, familiar heroes finally gained characters; they started to laugh without imitating laughter and to weep without imitating weeping.

Natalia Zimianina (“Vecherniaya Moskva”, Moscow)
Oh, spectators, how different and fastidious you are, especially in “Helikon”. The audience here doesn’t stop nagging with the democratic director: “Why are you staging rarities, you should stage hits!” – “Stop staging hits, Moscow is full of Onegins and Flying Dutchmen!” – “Please, show us something new.” – “It’s time to be serious and gave up the experimenting”. In vexation Bertman staged “Gershwin-Gala”, the cocktail-party: songs, fragments from musicals and from “Porgy and Bess”.

Josi Tavor (“Opera”, Tel-Aviv)
Even the quick digression to the past of the theatre can leave a firm impression that everything Dmitry Bertman touches turns into smash-hit.

“El Pais”
It is necessary to have talent, knowledge and art level of such quality that Bertman has, to be able to use scenic possibilities without distorting the original and, escaping from archaic, avoid vulgarization.

“El periodico Extremaduro”
Dmitry Bertman, who is triumphantly touring Spain these days, is reported to be one of the great masters of international level. He knows how to extract the root of the most complex composition.

“Cartie Libre”
Dmitry Bertman, founder of the theatre, is a biggest lyrical director in the contemporary world. In his “Nabucco” he allowed himself to enter the very heart of the characters.

Jaques Doucelin (“Figaro”, Paris)
Dmitry Bertman is a young boss of a Russian enterprise, overloaded with work: blue eyes with dark shadows under them and crooked back are showing the obvious lack of sleep. But he agrees to all interviews, professional, who gets up very early to visit Ex for participating in radio program. In this son of perestroika you will find nothing of revolutionary with the knife in his teeth: he is thankful to his parents for giving him the best music and theatrical education. He was taught the Stanislavsky system, which he teaches himself now.


Dmitry Bertman and Maria Guleghina. Maria Guleghina, opera singer:
I have never seen such a young director with such a feeling of today’s audience and also with such a respect to music and libretto. This is absolutely unique combination. The company itself is very artistic and quick to grasp. I have never seen such a theater.

Gennady Rozhdestvensky:
I made a decision to make something in "Helikon" ("Vec Markopoulos") after listening to the «Lady Macbeth of the Mtzensk» and "Lulu". I assumed that if the theater could fulfill the projects like those in their uneasy conditions of a small stage, and they managed it brilliantly, they could do everything…

Dmitry Bertman and Gennady Rozhdestvensky. Bertman is special in every thing. Nothing looks trivial: great enthusiasm of the actors, their devotion to the theater, and absolute absence of disregard to the art. This point is in a talent…
Bertman is a professional opera director. He has his specific way of thinking, being also a professional musician, pianist. He is a great piano player which is very important.

G.P.Ansimov, B.A.Pokrovsky, Matvey Osherovsky and Dmitry Bertman. Matvey Osherovsky:
Bertman came to the planet of Earth to devote himself to Opera. There never existed a director like Bertman. His directing is so musical, so cultural. He knows opera, music and languages since his childhood. He is a great pianist and he knows everything about singing. During the period of rehearsals of Markopoulos Case, Rozhdestvensky said that Bertman could easily become a great conductor too.
He is a deeply thinking opera director. In his personality musical and theatrical talents can focus like rays of light in a lens. He is a great director!
I want to wish a good health and a long happy life to his parents! And of course, a happiness to Dima, himself. Together with Bertman life comes to the theater.

Dmitry Bertman and Vladimir Ponkin. Tikhon Khrennikov:
Dmitry Bertman is not only a talented man. Bertman can put on stage not only popular operas, but also new and unknown compositions. Let Helikon never «rest on laurels». Honor and praise!

Constantin Raikin:
Bertman is a "brain doctor" who reanimated our opera. He inhaled life to it after a long apparent death, and made it run, jump, dance, play. Of course, this fact shocked and irritated whose critics, who within ten years have been successfully preparing the dead body …
Dmitry Bertman and Nikolay Ciskaridze. And here, suddenly, Sleeping Beauty rises from the coffin!
So Bertman is a Prince Charming of a musical life in our country. He gave a kiss to lifeless lips and turned a dead girl into a loveful, appetizing babe. Bertman, Prince Charming - Gloria in centuries

Vladimir Ponkin:
Take for example any opera by Tchaikovsky, heroine with a phrase "go away" in her mind may think "stay". Bertman can see this and he is able to find such points of touch between non-comparable details, that a spectator starts to think and conjecture. That is why, I learn about many things from Dmitry Bertman.

Sergey Stadler Nikolay Ciskaridze:
Bertman is a very communicative person with a great sense of humor. When you take such a serious place in culture, it is very difficult to stay a simple person.
I found out that this beautiful man is a creator and director of a famous Helikon-Opera, after we’ve met. I was pleasantly surprised.

With Dmitry Bertman we worked in a jury of "Golden Mask".When a person faces other creative people, he involuntarily tries on all the situations. In any complex situations Bertman was extremely fair. "You can do whatever you want, but at the ceremony of rewarding I will tell the truth ", - this was Bertman’s answer to some offers. Tomorrow‘s career depends on adherence to principles.

Sergey Stadler:
He is very easy to work with, because he is a high class professional. I got a real pleasure working with a theater, with actors and orchestra.


Natalia Zagorinskaya Dmitry Alexandrovich introduced me to Edison Denisov. Following Bertman I started to practise modern music... Dmitry Alexandrovich sees me through. When I only entered the theatre, he worked a lot with me. “Show it! Prove it!” He transforms your specialities, even disadvantages into a salt of the performance.

Sergey Yakovlev Dima Bertman studied at Georgy Ansimov course. He knew everything about opera and helped everybody, he was a real pet of the course. He was called a “walking library”. He approached me at once and we became friends. We made visits to each other, gave records to listen, played the piano a lot and in a good way.

In autumn of 1988 as a joke he proposed me to play a Gussar in “Mavra” by Stravinsky, saying this role was meant to me. Stravinsky noted once that when the Gussar changes his dress for female’s his voice also becomes female. We staged the role like that. In fact, we “created” each other in the beginning of work…

The premiere of “Mavra” took place on 10th of April 1990 in upper hall of Central House of Arts Workers. We thought we would play it and finish working together, but it turned the other way…

The main thing was that we had a House of Medical Workers – a luxurious prince’s palace, where we could work and rehearse… This is where the theatre was born!

Bertman knows my actor’s inside, he has an unusual flair. He likes to dig in innermost, in human nature and finds answers for very difficult questions.

Marina Karpechenko Bertman has a great creative talent. He “scans” actor at once, he sees who is ready for what. He is uncommonly interested not only to find a talent, but to let it to reveal itself in different roles, to enjoy its possibilities.

Dmitry Ovchinnikov When I received the notes of Schigolch’s part in “Lulu” by Berg and got acquainted with them, I was shocked and decided to refuse. But Bertman said “Don’t hurry, try to listen to it several times”. In a while the music became more clear to me, but the image… A wretched monster, one-legged freak! And as a destiny’s mockery, he stays alive after all scrapes. People are killed, people are getting mad, and this half-human is alive. And suddenly during one rehearsal Bertman proposed to take away the prosthetic device, to free hands from covers. Then the image of Schigolch obtained a different, more cruel and terrible sound. The wretched cripple was unmasked, he turned to an absolutely normal individual. He wasn’t a victim, but a usual inhabitant of a strained world of distorting mirrors. This was the main thing that Bertman saw in music of “Lulu”

Vadim Zaplechny We are together for more than 15 years. I was lucky to meet my director. Bertman is so talented, gifted, the level of understanding between us is so high that when we work together we are driven into ecstasies.

I would like to wish him to take more care about himself, to be healthy, because EVERYTHING depends on that! And we, “sons of bitches”, will support him!

And more! We all wait impatiently for the theatre to be reconstructed, the conditions from which we suffer must be changed. The theatre needs machinery, light, space, all of which will allow Dima to realize everything he wants!

I wish everything to be realized on a new stage!

Ksenia Viaznikova Today in world opera theatre nobody would be surprised by a beautiful voice. Epater, shocking performances make no sense also. It’s interesting when the director feels the gist of music, musical dramaturgy and accordingly creates a stage action. Bertman is a such director. He knits a dramatic tissue of the performance on an exact musical ground.

Bertman gives chance for everybody who wants to work. You can try to sing every part you dream about, you can realize your secret desires. This is the opportunity that Bertman gives. You just need to wish to use it!

Ilya Ilyin I saw how the theatre was being built, developed and grown. This theatre is impossible without that person! He is a shank around which the leaves grow. Artists are happy when there is such a man the motor, man the heart! Bertman is the heart! Once I read that a human heart is meant for 300 years of work. I consider that what Bertman made for his 37 years would take a hundred years for any other!

Everything happens when you work in the theatre, both positive and negative. I would like to wish Dmitry Aleksandrovich to meet less negative in his work. We are connected by blood relationship and his mood is instantly communicated to any other person in the theatre.

Bertman has a unique feature. Usually a person is either administrator, or artist. In Bertman pragmatism lives together with cordiality. He can be on good terms with different people. It is possible to say that peaceableness is his live’s credo! Only strong people can allow themselves magnanimity in conflict situations. Bertman perfectly knows Russian life, but he is also a European! He instantly comes into a creative mood, like something is switched on in him.

The most interesting is to see how Bertman starts working with new material. He throws a bait, a hook, and artist seizes it and develops his idea. Many soloists think thess were their ides. This is Bertman’s style, don’t chew over for the soloist, but give work to actor’s mind.

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