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Passport Picks

Kiwi Opera Treat

Opera lovers will have a rare opportunity when legendary New Zealand soprano Kiri Te Kanawa takes the stage June 10. A signing sensation in her homeland before she turned thirty, her recording of the "Nuns’ Chorus" from Casanova by Strauss became the country’s first record to go gold.

The year 1981 saw her achieve what may be a world record: her performance of Handel’s "Let the Bright Seraphim" at the wedding of Prince Charles and Lady Di was watched by an estimated 600 million people. There is hardly a famous opera house in the world where Kiri Te Kanawa has not performed. She has a particular affinity for the heroines of Mozart and Strauss, but has an incredible range, and has recorded songs by Gershwin and Paul McCartney, among many others.

Dame Kiri Te Kanawa performs at the Moscow International House of Music on June 10 at 7pm. 

Off-Road Test Drives

On June 11-12, the peace and quiet of the countryside around Moscow will be shattered by the sound of roaring engines as all the top makes from the automotive industry descend on the Pine Forest Hotel to display their very latest off-roaders. At "Off Road Test Drive: Full Throttle," visitors will be able to admire not only the beautiful machines produced by Land Rover, BMW, Mercedes Benz, Cadillac and many other elite carmakers, they’ll also have the opportunity to see planes, helicopters, scooters, motorbikes, boats and yachts…without a traffic cop or a Zhiguli in sight! Best of all, the show’s organizers are offering every visitor a free test-drive.

"Off Road Test Drive: Full Throttle" runs all afternoon and evening at the Hotel "Bor." Tickets can be purchased through Parter at 258 0000 or

Amcham’s July 4 Bash

Although celebrating U.S. Independence Day in Russia may seem like a contradiction in terms, the American Chamber of Commerce, or AmCham, is making it easy by putting together nearly all the trappings of a typical Stateside July 4 in one place.

This is AmCham’s 10th year in Russia, and the 10th Independence Day party, so they’re planning a super-sized family bash with the works: a barbeque, fireworks, live music with Russian rock bands Neshchastniy Sluchay and Animation, children’s activities, sports, and all the corporate agitprop you can handle from the likes of Coca-Cola, Ford, Chrysler Jeep, GM, McDonalds and Wrigley’s. Last but not least, MTS will be providing hot-air balloon rides over the festivities.

The AmCham Independence Day Celebration runs 3pm to midnight on Sunday, July 4 at the beautiful Kuskovo Estate. 2 Ulitsa Yunosti, Metro Ryazansky Prospekt, bus 133 or 208 to the Muzei Kuskovo stop. Call 961 2141 or visit for more info.

Donellan Brings Shakespeare

British theater director Declan Donellan is a cross-cultural maverick and a household name among Russian theater enthusiasts. He has staged several high-profile projects in Russia, like Shakespeare’s "A Winter’s Tale" at the Maly Drama Theater in St. Petersburg and Sergei Prokofiev’s ballet "Romeo and Juliet" at the Bolshoi. In collaboration with the British Council, this year’s Chekhov International Theater Festival will give us a triple measure of his recent work.

The festival program showcases two plays staged in Russian - Alexander Pushkin’s "Boris Godunov" and Shakespeare’s "Twelfth Night," plus Shakespeare’s "Othello," which will be performed by Donellan’s U.K.-based Cheek by Jowl Theater in English with Russian overtitles.
"Boris Godunov" is at the Gorky Moscow Art Theater June 18-21 at 7pm with matinees at 2pm June 18 and 19. "Twelfth Night" is at the Pushkin Theater at 7pm June 22-25. "Othello" is at the Maly Theater at 7pm June 14-17. For more information, visit or or call 929 7038 or 782 0200.

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