On 5 March the performance of Die Walküre will be dedicated to the jubilee of Olga Sergeyeva, Honoured Artist of Russia, who will be appearing as Brünnhilde
This year marks fifteen years of the singer’s activity at the Mariinsky Theatre. Having graduated from the Russian Gnessins Academy of Music in 2000 (class of Zara Dolukhanova), Olga Sergeyeva became a Mariinsky Theatre soloist, invariably proving herself in the most demanding roles. The singer’s repertoire includes important roles, each of which demands not just vocal mastery but drama as well – Katerina Ismailova (Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk), Barak’s Wife (Die Frau ohne Schatten), LadyMacbeth (Macbeth) and Aida (Aida). Yet Wagnerian characters are her favourite roles.
On her birthday Olga Sergeyeva will be appearing as Brünnhilde in the opera Die Walküre. This is her first Wagnerian role performed at the Mariinsky Theatre. Her Brünnhilde has been applauded in St Petersburg, Paris, London, New York, Madrid, Seoul and Baden-Baden as have her stage partnerships with such artists as Plácido Domingo.
Today Olga Sergeyeva is one of the Mariinsky Opera’s leading Wagnerian soloists. Music critics refer to her “outstanding dramatic soprano voice” and her “truly theatrical temperament”.
The Mariinsky Theatre congratulates Olga Sergeyeva on her jubilee and wishes her health, inspiration, new artistic success and longevity in the name of Russian culture!
The press about the latest Mariinsky label release.
Respected international music publications have heaped high praise on a disc of works by Musorgsky released on the Mariinsky label on 9 February this year and which marked the end of the composer’s anniversary, widely celebrated at the three Mariinsky venues in March 2014. The release includes Ravel’s orchestration of Musorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition and the composer’s own original version of Night on Bald Mountain which maestro Gergiev and the Mariinsky Orchestra particularly love and promote throughout the world. The disc also includes Musorgsky’s finest chamber-song cycle Songs and Dances of Death (orchestrated by Dmitry Shostakovich) interpreted by the outstanding Italian bass and long-standing Mariinsky Theatre collaborator Ferruccio Furlanetto, famed for his love of Musorgsky’s music.
Valery Gergiev has completely reinvented masterpieces of classical music and the result of that rethinking is phenomenal. Beyond any doubt this is one of the best releases to date on the Mariinsky label and one of Gergiev and the Mariinsky Orchestra’s greatest accomplishments. The magnificent performance makes this recording a “listening-must”! (Herald Scotland)
This disc is like a casket filled with jewels... Gergiev has done much to bring the real Musorgsky back to us, cleansing Night on Bald Mountain from everything that was added and letting the composer speak for himself. Those of us weaned on the full-fat versions of Night on Bald Mountain made by Rimsky-Korsakov and Stokowski can have trouble adapting to the ur-version, but Gergiev here gives a supercharged reading of the composer’s original 1867 creation; in the shrieking piccolos, hammering rhythms and the starkest of harmonies you can hear the genesis of (Stravinsky’s) The Rite of Spring.
Musorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition is one of Gergiev's finest works as a conductor. In fine form, the Mariinsky Orchestra gives the maestro the full opportunity to expose the timbre qualities of Ravel’s orchestration. And, finally, we have a recording of Night on Bald Mountain – the composer’s original version – which reveals to the audience a grandiose musical universe. (Pizzicato)
The wonderful quality of the recording allows us to hear every nuance of the orchestra’s work... But the dark shades of the timbre, which literally makes one’s blood freeze, comes from Ferruccio Furlanetto’s ideal performance of this famous Songs and Dances of Death cycle. It is an&bsp;interpretation that staggers with its magnificence. (MusicWeb International)
Ferruccio Furlanetto’s interpretation of Musorgsky’s song series is unforgettable. (BBC Radio 3 CD Review with Andrew McGregor)
– What drew you to Bambi? Going by the list of your opuses you like serious plots, and yet here suddenly there’s a musical fairy-tale...
– It’s not a fairy-tale at all, it’s a story with a very serious and deep meaning. Look how the plot develops – a newly born deer enters a dangerous world. He grows up and makes friends. He encounters mankind’s brutality – his mother is shot by hunters. Then the character discovers love, he has children of his own, he meets his father – an old leader – and subsequently becomes a leader himself. And later a young deer appears who looks with admiration at Bambi as a leader – things have come full circle.
Bambi is a story about love, death, loss, the development of a species, the transfer of knowledge from one generation to the next – about the most important issues in human life. I don’t see Bambi as a story about animals. It’s just that the characters living their lives in this story happen to be deer.
– Is it music for children or adults?
– Like any form of art, it has a lot of subtexts and everyone can find something in it for himself, including children.
– How did Bambi come to be a ballet? What do you think of that?
– It’s a long story. The work was written in 1980, it’s exactly thirty-five years old. I was commissioned to write the work by Melodiya which at the time was releasing a series of records with musical fairy-tales. I began to write and composed a great deal of music – the fairy-tale was released on two records.
I showed this work to my colleagues and everyone said the music was brilliant and it would be a great shame for it to be lost. I was advised to come up with a suite, as normally happens. I took the advice – albeit not immediately but twelve years later. Interestingly, the suite has a good performance history. It has been performed three times in France, and they love it there. Once I conducted it in Rouen and very recently – in January 2014 – a production was staged based on the suite at the Conservatoire à Rayonnement Régional de Paris. Children acted out Salten’s tale, intermittently interspersed with purely musical pieces. It turned out to be a major two-hour production.
In Russia the music for Bambi has also been performed several times and I myself conducted on each occasion.
Regarding the ballet version, after writing the music I had one proposal to use it for a ballet production. Work even commenced, but for various reasons it didn’t work out. It’s very interesting to see what will happen now. The fact is that the suite is a sequence of brief pieces, each of which is an independent work. I’m very interested to see how it will look on-stage, that’s very intriguing for me.
– So this is the only ballet staged to your music?
– Yes, that’s right. Music for theatre is always commissioned and somehow I never got commissions for ballets. But to be honest I don’t really love working on commission because I don’t compose so quickly.
– When composing a work how important for you is the external influence – does it come from the plot or the idea? Or does the music emerge independently of all of that?
– It’s always the music to start with. I think that there has to be some narrative musical idea in any piece before that work can grow and develop.
– Do you find it difficult to be a composer in the 21st century? You write traditional music using traditional methods. You have to be bold to do that today...
– If you are “called on” to be a composer it’s not difficult. It’s hard to speak for myself – let other’s do that. I don’t feel any discomfort and I just try not to write anything superfluous. Music is composed by a specific person and if he has his own ideas then that’s such a joy, but if he believes that everything has already been written and – like any banal postmodernist – digs up music from the past and distorts it then I find that repellent.
– So the “burden of centuries” actually helps you?
– I don’t know how much it helps – after all, we can only learn from ourselves. Any form of art is an organism that develops of its own accord and composers as a rule are enveloped in themselves. And, at the same time, without classical music I can’t imagine life, I live through classical music.
– Returning to Bambi, what would you like to say to younger audiences?
– You can recognise many of life’s values when you are still a child, but when you grow up they appear more distinctly. These values are love, friendship, faithfulness, mutual assistance and love of and devotion to your parents. All of this is present in the story of Bambi...
Speaking with Yekaterina Yusupova
Please note that due to regular maintenance work being carried out the Mariinsky Theatre website will be temporarily unavailable to users from 18:00 (GMT+3) on 4 March to 10:00 (GMT+3) on 5 March (period subject to change).
Please accept our apologies for any inconvenience.
Please note that due to regular maintenance work being carried out the Mariinsky Theatre website will be temporarily unavailable to users from 18:00 on 4 March to 10:00 on 5 March (period subject to change).
Please accept our apologies for any inconvenience.
On 10 March at 17:00 in the White Hall of the Moscow City Government there will be a press-conference dedicated to the XIV Moscow Easter Festival. Artistic Director of the Moscow Easter Festival Valery Gergiev will present the programme, reveal participants’ names and talk in detail about the forthcoming music forum.
The press-conference will take place on 10 March at 17:00 in the White Hall of the Moscow City Government (13 Tverskaya St).
Participants of the press-conference include Valery Gergiev (Artistic Director of the Moscow Easter Festival), representatives of general sponsors and media partners of the XIV festival. Invitations to attend in person have also been sent to the Mayor of Moscow Sergei Sobyanin, the Russian Federation Culture Minister Vladimir Medinsky, Russian Federation Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu and His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia.
For accreditation with the press-service of the Moscow Easter Festival please contact:
firstname.lastname@example.org (Alina Milovanova).
For accreditation we would also ask you to send: full name, passport details (series and number) and the title of the media organisation you are representing. For photographers and filming groups please also include a list of your equipment. Applications for accreditation will not be accepted after 6 March.
Entry for accredited journalists is via entry No 2 of the Moscow City Government from 15:30 until 16:45 in strict accordance with compiled lists and only on presentation of valid ID.
In 2015 the Moscow Easter Festival runs from 12 April to 9 May. Intense in terms of its geography and the number of music events on the highest levels, this year it commemorates seventy years since the victory in World War II and one hundred and seventy-five years since the birth of Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky. In line with tradition the festival will feature symphony, choral and chamber music and a bell-ringing programme.
Recordings on the Mariinsky Theatre’s own label are now closer and more accessible for Russian music lovers!
Recordings on the Mariinsky Theatre’s own label are now closer and more accessible for Russian music lovers!
The Russian branch of the iTunes digital-format music shop has launched a special Mariinsky Theatre section. Here you can browse all of the Mariinsky label’s audio recordings, among them masterpieces of world music including piano concerti by Tchaikovsky, symphonies by Shostakovich and operas by Wagner, Donizetti, Massenet and Shchedrin performed by world-class musicians and singers as well as soloists of the Mariinsky Opera and the Mariinsky Chorus and Orchestra conducted by Valery Gergiev. Gergiev says of the new initiative: "It is truly the closest thing to actually being there. Mariinsky recordings are made in one of the finest halls in the world. In using this innovative process, Mastered for iTunes faithfully renders the studio master to ensure the finest acoustic, greatest musicians and the best in new technology can be heard by the widest public." Future releases include complete Rachmaninoff Piano Concertos with Denis Matsuev and Verdi’s Macbeth, starring Ildar Abdrazakov.
The Mariinsky Theatre’s page may be found at the address iTunes.com/мариинский. Registered customers of the iTunes web-shop can purchase releases on the Mariinsky label online using any Russian bank card by instantly completing their purchase and downloading their chosen music to their computers and mobile devices. Recordings in iTunes format include information in Russian (lists of tracks, booklets) and are significantly cheaper than CDs.
The Mariinsky Theatre’s page on the iTunes website already lists the label’s most recent releases including works by Modest Musorgsky (Pictures at an Exhibition and Night on Bald Mountain, as well as Songs and Dances of Death with Ferruccio Furlanetto) and Sergei Rachmaninoff’s First Piano Concerto performed by the Mariinsky Orchestra and soloist Denis Matsuev under the baton of maestro Gergiev. The recording of Rachmaninoff’s concerto was produced at the Concert Hall of the Mariinsky Theatre in November 2014 and at present is available exclusively in iTunes format at the special price of 49 RUR (including a PDF-format booklet with annotations in Russian).
On 26, 27 and 28 February maestro Gergiev will be conducting the Berliner Philharmoniker Orchester – the most important symphony orchestra in Germany – with which he will appear in three concerts at the Großer Saal of the Berliner Philharmonie
On 26, 27 and 28 February maestro Gergiev will be conducting the Berliner Philharmoniker Orchester – the most important symphony orchestra in Germany – with which he will appear in three concerts at the Großer Saal of the Berliner Philharmonie. The programme includes Ludwig van Beethoven’s Fourth Piano Concerto and Sergei Prokofiev’s Sixth Symphony. The piano solo will be performed by renowned French pianist Hélène Grimaud, who has frequently appeared with Valery Gergiev.
Tickets to these concerts were sold out long before the actual performances though there will be a live internet broadcast available to all via the so-called Berlin Philharmonic Digital Concert Hall. The broadcast begins at 19:00 (GMT+1) with a fee payable. For details please go to the orchestra’s website: www.berliner-philharmoniker.de.
Berlin is a city that has played an important role in maestro Gergiev’s artistic career. It was in Berlin in 1976 that, while still a student of the Leningrad Conservatoire, he became a prize-winner of the highly prestigious International Herbert von Karajan Conducting Competition, von Karajan himself them being Music Director of the Berliner Philharmoniker Orchester. Following his victory, von Karajan asked Valery Gergiev to work with him, though soon the young conductor was invited to join the Mariinsky Theatre (then the Leningrad Kirov Opera and Ballet Theatre).
Maestro Gergiev’s debut with the Berliner Philharmoniker Orchester took place in June 1993, when he conducted the German ensemble in a performance of works by Sergei Prokofiev and Dmitry Shostakovich. Valery Gergiev subsequently presented a further two programmes of Russian symphony music with the famed orchestra – in October 2000 (works by Kancheli, Tchaikovsky, Lyadov, Rachmaninoff, Mosolov and Shostakovich) and in December 2010 (works by Shchedrin, Rachmaninoff and Musorgsky).
A recording of Rodion Shchedrin’s opera The Lefthander is already available to pre-order
Monday 9 March will see the release of a new recording of Rodion Shchedrin’s opera The Lefthander on the Mariinsky label featuring soloists of the Mariinsky Opera and the Mariinsky Chorus and Orchestra under Valery Gergiev. The recording was made at the new stage of the Mariinsky Theatre (Mariinsky II) on 27 and 28 June 2013 during the world premiere of the stage version of the opera. The lead roles are performed by Andrei Popov (the Lefthander), Edward Tsanga (Ataman Platov), Vladimir Moroz (Alexander I and Nicholas I), Kristina Alieva (the Flea), Maria Maksakova (Princess Charlotte), Andrei Spekhov (the English Under-Skipper), Alexander Timchenko (Count Kiselvrode) and Yekaterina Goncharova and Varvara Solovyova (Chatting Women).
The opera The Lefthander based on Nikolai Leskov’s novel Lefty was commissioned by the Mariinsky Theatre to mark the opening of the new stage and commemorate Valery Gergiev’s sixtieth birthday. According to the composer, the protagonist of his opus crystallises “the most important and typical features of the national Russian character: original talent, innate wit, self-irony, indifference to human life and a fateful passion for alcohol”, while in the work itself we can observe the “artistic resistance between two forms of life – rational British life and irrational Russian life.”
The recording includes two discs in Super Audio CD format and a booklet with the libretto and information about the cast. The new disc may already be pre-ordered on the label’s official website: http://bit.ly. The discs will be posted on 2 March – one week before the official release. The recording will soon be available to pre-order in iTunes format.
Under the baton of maestro Gergiev the London Symphony Orchestra will be performing two concerts – at the Barbican Centre in London (19 February) and at the new building of the Philharmonie de Paris which opened last month (22 February)
Under the baton of maestro Gergiev the London Symphony Orchestra will be performing two concerts – at the Barbican Centre in London (19 February) and at the new building of the Philharmonie de Paris which opened last month (22 February). The programmes of both concerts consist entirely of Russian music. The playbill of the first features Mily Balakirev’s tone poem Tamara, Alexander Glazunov’s Violin Concerto and Sergei Rachmaninoff’s First Symphony. The solo in the Glazunov Concerto will be performed by Roman Simović,a renowned violinist, jury member of the XV International Tchaikovsky Competition and leader of the London Symphony Orchestra.
The programme for the evening in Paris includes Sergei Rachmaninoff’s Second Piano Concerto and First Symphony. The solo will be performed by Valery Gergiev’s frequent collaborator Denis Matsuev, recipient of the 1st prize at the XI International Tchaikovsky Competition and jury member of the XV Competition.
It is well known that maestro Gergiev is currently Principal Conductor of the London Symphony Orchestra – he was offered the position in 2004 following a triumphant series of all of Sergei Prokofiev’s symphonies to mark one hundred years since the famed British orchestra was established. Over the course of the next ten years Valery Gergiev conducted the orchestra in some three hundred concerts and appeared in numerous recordings for the LSO Live label. October 2015 will see a series of concerts by maestro Gergiev with the London Symphony Orchestra at the Barbican to commemorate two musical geniuses of the 20th century – Igor Stravinsky and Béla Bartók.
On 13 March the XV International MARIINSKY Ballet Festival opens with the premieres of the ballets Bambi and In the Jungle. Choreographer Anton Pimonov speaks about his work on these productions in a video report from the rehearsal studio (mariinsky.tv)