Synopsis by Nathan Southern
Shot to commemorate the tercentenary of the establishment of St. Petersburg, the ArtHaus Musik release Pierre le Grand (or Peter the Great) constitutes a filmed record of an obscure eighteenth century opéra comique by the little-known Walloon composer André Modeste Grétry, as performed by the Helikon Opera in Moscow circa 2003. Based on a series of historical events, the fundamental story of the opera involves the title character absconding from Russia. He disguises himself as a simple peasant, accepts a position in a shipyard, and falls into "forbidden love" with a common girl, Catherine. In this particular production, Maxim Mironov portrays the eponymous title character while Elena Voznessenskaya plays Catherine.