On 4 October the performance of Prince Igor at the historic Mariinsky Theatre is to be dedicated to the seventy-fifth birthday of Yevgenia Gorokhovskaya, People’s Artist of the RSFSR
On 4 October the performance of Prince Igor at the historic Mariinsky Theatre is to be dedicated to the seventy-fifth birthday of Yevgenia Gorokhovskaya, People’s Artist of the RSFSR. The Mariinsky internet radio channel will present a recording of the opera Mazepa featuring Yevgenia Gorokhovskaya as Lyubov, while the theatre’s website will be hosting a small photo exhibition to mark the singer’s anniversary.
Yevgenia Gorokhovskaya, an outstanding singer and teacher, was a lead soloist at the Kirov Opera and Ballet Theatre for almost thirty years beginning in 1976. With her staggeringly beautiful and deep mezzo-soprano voice she was known as a brilliant performer of the roles of Lyubasha in The Tsar’s Bride, Azucena in Il trovatore, Eboli in Don Carlo, Hanna in May Night, Lel in The Snow Maiden and Olga in Eugene Onegin. In addition to her classical opera repertoire the singer also performed roles in operas by contemporaries such as Varvara Vasilievna in Shchedrin’s opera Not Love Alone, Lasochka in Kabalevsky’s opera Colas Breugnon and Zosya in Weinberg’s eponymous opera. Moreover, Yevgenia Gorokhovskaya had an intense schedule of concert performances, appearing with numerous outstanding conductors, among them Eliasberg, Simonov, Rozhdestvensky and Temirkanov. The singer appeared at the Salzburg Festival, performing the role of Marina Mnishek (Musorgsky’s Boris Godunov) with maestro Claudio Abbado. She sang at theatres in Vienna, Hamburg and Toronto. Professor Gorokhovskaya’s pupils at the St Petersburg Conservatoire have included such acclaimed performers as Marianna Tarasova, Ekaterina Semenchuk and Elena Zhidkova.
Mariinsky.FM internet radio is offering a recording of the opera Mazepa in which Yevgenia Gorokhovskaya sings as Lyubov. Other roles are performed by Yevgenia Tselovalnik (Maria), Georgy Zastavny (Mazepa) and Mikhail Kit (Kochubei). The Mariinsky Orchestra was conducted by Valery Gergiev. The recording dates from 1992.
The opera may be heard at www.mariinsky.fm on 3 and 4 October.
The Mariinsky Theatre’s tour of the USA continues. The ballet Raymonda has been called a “living masterpiece” by the press, a series of performances having taken place in Costa Mesa in California.
American audiences are much more familiar with highlights from Raymonda than with the full-length ballet At American Ballet Theatre over the years the repertoire has seen the inclusion of the Hungarian Grand Pas and the divertissements from Acts II and III. However, the three-act plot of the ballet production by the Mariinsky Theatre has been seen by many journalists for the first time. The columnist of The Orange Country Register wrote: “The Mariinsky’s Raymonda, restaged in 1948 with additions from Konstantin Sergeyev and Fyodor Lopukhov, is pure vintage ballet, shuttered for decades at a time, rarely toured in its entirety to Western audiences, unchanged in design for 60-plus years now. Yet thanks to outstanding performances by the Mariinsky Ballet and Orchestra, it transcends anachronisms.”
According to the columnist of The Los Angeles Times, there was “Petipa’s scenes of symmetrical magic for the corps de ballet” embodied in “ those near-perfect rows of Mariinsky men and women, whose heads, shoulders, arms, fingers and toes are all placed neatly, specifically and simultaneously in intertwining groupings that translate to poetry.”
Critics were enchanted by Viktoria Tereshkina’s technical perfection. The reviewer for the portal Dancetabs was captivated by her variations in Act II with her “precise diagonal of développés” and “perfectly-spaced changements hopped en pointe” as well as her piano-like variation of the Hungarian Grand Pas, in which the ballerina appeared “seductive, mesmerizing and haughty.” The reviewer of The Orange Country Register noted that “Tereshkina demonstrated the waves of security and fragility that pulse with Raymonda’s changing moods”, going on to state that the ballerina was “Mona Lisa come to life – enigmatic, alive, and so singular”, making the audience feel that “a still reverence feels more apt when standing before a museum masterpiece.”
Critics have praised Vladimir Shklyarov’s “high elevation and ardent manner.” A vital element of theatricality, in the words of the critic of Dancetabs, came with Konstantin Zverev’s performance as Abderakhman. The reviewer of The Los Angeles Times admired Kristina Shapran and Renata Shakirova as Raymonda’s friends, while Dancetabs commented on the success of Yekaterina Ivannikova in the variation and Anastasia Petushkova in the Spanish Panaderos.
And every publication was unanimous in their opinions of the Mariinsky Orchestra, from which conductor “Gavriel Heine elicited opulent sound” (The Los Angeles Times).
From 1 to 3 October the Mariinsky Orchestra under the baton of Valery Gergiev will be performing in Austria and Switzerland
From 1 to 3 October the Mariinsky Orchestra under the baton of Valery Gergiev will be performing in Austria and Switzerland. The tour opens at the Brucknerhaus in Linz in Austria, which will host a performance of Shchedrin’s Fourth Piano Concerto and Shostakovich’s Tenth Symphony. The solo in the Shchedrin concerto will be performed by Sergei Redkin, recipient of the 3rd prize at the XV International Tchaikovsky Competition.
The Mariinsky Orchestra will present its next programme at the Abbey of St Florian near Linz. Bruckner’s life was connected with this monastery; he was born in the neighbouring village of Ansfelden and sang in the abbey’s choir as a boy, later serving as the parish organist. Following the composer’s death his remains were interred in the monastery’s church, his body in a sarcophagus beneath the organ. This is the reason that every performance by the Mariinsky Orchestra here is linked with the music of Bruckner’s artistic legacy. In May this year there was a performance of the Seventh Symphony while now the programme will include the Fourth, commonly known as Die Romantische.
The tour closes in Lugano in Switzerland, where the Mariinsky Orchestra will be appearing at the LAC Sala with a programme featuring the overture from Verdi’s opera La forza del destino, Debussy’s Prélude à l’après-midi d’un faune, the introduction to Wagner’s opera Lohengrin and Musorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition.
For Oxana Skorik the opening of the 233rd season was marked by a promotion – she has now attained the highest rank in the ballet company’s hierarchy.
Oxana Skorik has been with the Mariinsky Ballet for nine years. Today her repertoire is expanding rapidly; in just the last season alone she worked on five roles including Juliet, Anna Karenina, Sylvia, Marguerite in Marguerite and Armand and Titania in A Midsummer Night’s Dream. On 25 September, the opening of the new season at the Mariinsky Theatre, Oxana Skorik performed the title role in the ballet Raymonda on tour in California. On 2 October the ballerina will make her debut at the Mariinsky Theatre itself as Zobeide in Michel Fokine’s Schéhérazade.
The new 233rd theatre season opens on 25 September at all three venues. A performance by pianist Dmitry Masleyev, recipient of the 1st prize and Gold Medal at the XV Tchaikovsky Competition, will open the marathon of prize-winners of this music competition. Throughout the season as part of this series the Concert Hall will play host to performances by all competition prize-winners
The theatre’s new 233rd season opens on 2 September at all three venues. At the new theatre there will be a performance of one of last season’s premieres – Tchaikovsky’s opera The Queen of Spades under the baton of Valery Gergiev. Ballets by Michel Fokine (Chopiniana, Le Spectre de la rose, The Dying Swan and Schéhérazade) – a unique cultural project of the early 20th century – will comprise the programme of the new season’s first ballet evening.
A performance by Dmitry Masleyev, recipient of the 1st prize and Gold Medal at the XV Tchaikovsky Competition, will open the marathon of performances by prize-winners of this music competition. The programme for his concert, in addition to virtuoso works by Liszt, Schumann and Rachmaninoff, will include the elegiac Tchaikovsky and the gallant Haydn.
Over the course of the season the Concert Hall will see performances by all competition prize-winners as part of this series.
Dmitry Masleyev’s recital also opens the Mariinsky Theatre’s season of on-line broadcasts. This offers those who are hundreds or even thousands of miles away from St Petersburg to keep an eye on their favourite performers. Throughout the entire season mariinsky.tv and mariinsky.fm will be producing regular broadcasts.
For fans of vocal music the most eagerly anticipated event of the Mariinsky’s “marathon” will be a concert by Gold Medal recipients mezzo-soprano Yulia Matochkina and baritone Ariunbaatar Ganbaatar (27 September). The programme includes chamber music by Russian classical composers and opera arias by Berlioz, Saint-Saëns and Musorgsky.
Recipient of the competition’s 4th prize pianist Lucas Debargue will be performing at the Concert Hall with the Mariinsky Orchestra under the baton of Valery Gergiev (29 and 30 September). The programme includes works by Tchaikovsky, Bruckner, Liszt and Prokofiev.
Rachmaninoff’s nine Études-Tableaux and Prokofiev’s highly demanding Sonata No 8 will be performed on 4 October by pianist Sergei Redkin, a graduate of the St Petersburg Conservatoire who won 3rd prize at the competition. The programme for Lukas Geniušas’ recital (8 October) includes works by Brahms, Chopin, Prokofiev and Desyatnikov. This pianist’s style combines intellectualism and poetry. Those who wish to hear nineteen-year-old American pianist George Li perform Beethoven, Chopin and Liszt will have to wait until 28 November.
The cello category will be represented by two prize-winners. Recipient of the 1st prize Andrei Ionuț Ioniță will appear on 3 October with pieces by Schumann and Rachmaninoff and sonatas by Brahms and Shostakovich. Silver Medal recipient Alexander Ramm has chosen a highly unusual programme: on 14 October he will be performing sonatas by Mendelssohn and Britten, a suite by Cassadó and a violin sonata by Franck arranged for cello.
13 November will see a recital by the charismatic Pavel Milyukov, recipient of the 3rd prize. The darling of the audience and recipient of the special prize “For the best performance of a concerto with chamber orchestra” Clara-Jumi Kang will be appearing at the Concert Hall on 8 December.
24 September sees the start of a tour by the Mariinsky Ballet and Orchestra to the USA.
The North American tour opens with performances of the ballet Raymonda at the Segerstrom Center for the Arts in the Californian town of Costa Mesa. The title role in this classical masterpiece – little known to American audiences – will be danced by Viktoria Tereshkina (24 September, 26 September matinee and 27 September evening), Oxana Skorik (25 September and 26 September evening) and Anastasia Matvienko (27 September matinee). The role of Jean de Brienne will be performed by Vladimir Shklyarov (24 September and 27 September evening), Andrei Yermakov (25 September and 26 September evening) and Timur Askerov (26 September and 27 September matinee). The role of Abderakhman will be danced by Konstantin Zverev (24 September, 26 September matinee and 27 September evening) and Yuri Smekalov (25 September, 26 September and 27 September matinee).
The second leg of the theatre’s tour will be held in Berkeley – at the Zellerbach Hall of the University of California there will be performances of the ballet Cinderella with the lead roles being performed by Diana Vishneva and Konstantin Zverev, Nadezhda Batoeva and Vladimir Shklyarov, Anastasia Matvienko and Philipp Stepin and Kristina Shapran and Konstantin Zverev. The role of the Stepmother will be performed by Anastasia Petushkova and Sofia Gumerova.
The tour comes to a close with five performances of Cinderella at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion at Los Angeles' major Music Center.
In line with tradition, prior to the opening of each season the chandelier in the old Mariinsky Theatre is cleaned.
The one-and-a-half ton beauty descends from the theatre heavens just once a year. Lowering the chandelier on its twenty-metre-long chain takes some fifteen minutes. Staff from the theatre’s electrical and technical service await its descent to the floor of the stalls and, in a few hours, will have given the twenty-three thousand crystal pendants a dazzling sheen and replaced two hundred and twelve light bulbs.
In the 19th century the lowering and raising of chandeliers could be seen much more frequently: prior to every performance they had to be filled with oil. This evening lighting procedure was a fire hazard, and this is what caused the Circus Theatre to burn down in 1859. In order to ensure the safety of the audience at the Mariinsky Theatre (which replaced the Circus Theatre) the new British-made chandelier featured numerous technical improvements: the frame was made lighter, and instead of oil lamps gas torches were used; these were later replaced with incandescent lamps. In 1886 the Mariinsky Theatre installed electric lighting and today the chandelier needs merely to be washed, polished and loved.
From 17 to 24 September maestro Gergiev will be conducting six concerts by the Münchner Philharmoniker at the Gasteig cultural centre in the Bavarian capital
From 17 to 24 September maestro Gergiev will be conducting six concerts by the Münchner Philharmoniker at the Gasteig cultural centre in the Bavarian capital. With these performances Valery Gergiev launches his activities as Artistic Director and Principal Conductor of the famed German orchestra.
In May this year in Munich maestro Gergiev presented the plan of his work in his new position; in just the 2015–2016 season roughly a third of all the Münchner Philharmoniker’s subscription programmes will be conducted by him. Valery Gergiev’s principal tasks include drawing up the basic repertoire with an optimal balance of German and Russian classical music; moreover, in Germany the maestro intends to present little-known works by Russian composers as well as music by contemporary composers. “For me this is first and foremost a mark of respect to the great German classical tradition and a kind of nostalgia for my younger years; Munich was the first city in Western Europe where I was invited to perform following my win at the von Karajan Competition. It is important for me to find new ways of conveying musical works, and at the same time I intend to do everything to maintain the unique sound of the Münchner Philharmoniker, the more so because there are few surviving orchestras anywhere in the world that still have a unique voice of their own.”
These plans will begin to come to life at the opening of the new season. On 17, 18 and 20 September Valery Gergiev and the Münchner Philharmoniker will perform Mahler’s Second Symphony (Resurrection Symphony) with lead Mariinsky Opera mezzo-soprano Olga Borodina and the renowned German soprano Anne Schwanewilms.
The playbill for the concert on 24 September includes Richard Strauss’ symphonic poem Don Juan and Tchaikovsky’s fantasy-overture Romeo and Juliet and Sixth Symphony.
In January 2013 on the initiative of the musicians of the Münchner Philharmoniker the Munich city authorities unanimously appointed Valery Gergiev as the orchestra’s new director starting in 2015 and concluded a five-year contract with him. “Valery Gergiev is one of the most charismatic conductors of his time. His gift of magical sound, incredible energy and dynamism will open up an interesting and fascinating future for the Münchner Philharmoniker from an artistic point of view. I am delighted and proud of the decision to appoint him,” said the orchestra’s Intendant Paul Müller. “Maestro Gergiev is a conductor on the highest level, and his arrival heralds the start of a new era in all spheres of our activities. His skill and enthusiasm will influence not only the orchestra but also audiences of all ages as well as the world of music in Munich and beyond,” said Dr Hans-Georg Küppers, the head of the Department for Art and Culture. The orchestra’s official representative Stephan Haack also has high hopes for the ensemble’s collaboration with the famous Russian conductor, saying that “Inviting Valery Gergiev to become Principal Conductor of the Münchner Philharmoniker was the great desire of our orchestra. Going by the experience of joint rehearsals we are certain that he will be the one to support and develop the dark and warm timbre of our orchestra and it is he, in expanding the traditional repertoire, who will take us to new heights!”
The history of Valery Gergiev’s collaboration with the Münchner Philharmoniker is rich in large-scale cultural events, the most important of which was a performance of the complete Shostakovich symphonies in the 2012–2013 season. A series of concerts of music by Stravinsky which began in December 2013 and continued in 2014 marked the next stage of their cultural collaboration. In 2015 Valery Gergiev conducted the orchestra at a concert in Berlin dedicated to the memory of Lorin Maazel – the former director of the Münchner Philharmoniker – and he also appeared at the opening of the new hall of the Philharmonie de Paris.
On 10 September Valery Gergiev will be conducting the Mariinsky Orchestra at the De Doelen concert hall
On 10 September Valery Gergiev will be conducting the Mariinsky Orchestra at the De Doelen concert hall.
The festival is being run for the twentieth time this year; it was founded in 1995 when Valery Gergiev became head of the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra. In line with tradition, music events are centred around a specific theme or a certain composer’s personality. This year there is an abundance of works by Sergei Rachmaninoff. Over three days of the festival (10 – 12 September) there will be performances of all of his symphonies, piano concerti, Symphonic Dances, Rhapsody on a Theme by Paganini and works for vocals and piano. There will also be a world premiere of Vladimir Tarnopolsky’s opus Tabula Russia, a work composed “upon reading Rachmaninoff”, specially commissioned by Gergiev for the festival.
The first concert, which the organisers have titled The Beginning and the End, features the First Symphony (1895) and Symphonic Dances (1941) – works that frame the artistic career of Rachmaninoff as a symphonist. The festival will see performances by the pianists Alexei Volodin, Behzod Abduraimov, Sergei Babayan, Alexander Gavrilyuk and Dmitry Masleyev. There will be a recital by Mikhail Petrenko (bass). Other guests include the Moscow ensemble of early Russian church music Sirine (directed by Andrei Kotov), whose performance will give European audiences an idea of the famous and folkloric sources of Rachmaninoff’s music.
Valery Gergiev will be at the conductor’s stand on all three days.
For details about the festival programme please go to the official events website: http://www.gergievfestival.nl.
From 24 September to 4 October the Mariinsky Ballet and Orchestra will be presenting performances of Raymonda and Cinderella in California on the western coast of the USA. The approaching tour has been organised by the Ardani Artists production company with which the Mariinsky Theatre has collaborated for many years. On the eve of the American tour Ardani Artists’ president Sergei Danilian answered several questions
From 24 September to 4 October the Mariinsky Ballet and Orchestra will be presenting performances of Raymonda and Cinderella in California on the western coast of the USA. The approaching tour has been organised by the Ardani Artists production company with which the Mariinsky Theatre has collaborated for many years. On the eve of the American tour Ardani Artists’ president Sergei Danilian answered several questions.
– You have been working with ballet for several years. What do American audiences go to see – the Mariinsky “brand”, specific performers or specific productions?
– I remember the troubling period of the rebranding of the “Kirov” as the “Mariinsky Ballet” – many extraordinary things happened! The rebranding was assisted by the titanic efforts of Valery Gergiev, Artistic and General Director of the Mariinsky Theatre, first and foremost through regular tours by the Mariinsky Orchestra, which was also known as the Kirov Orchestra, then later through tours by the opera and ballet companies. Of course, over the past fifteen or twenty years those who remember the “Kirov” have grown up, even if they haven’t grown old, and attracting new audiences is an exacting process in any of the performing arts. And there have been several generation changes of performers in the Mariinsky Ballet, too. I have been lucky that when actively collaborating with the Mariinsky Theatre the ballet playbill listed such names as Ulyana Lopatkina, Diana Vishneva, Svetlana Zakharova, Igor Zelensky, Farukh Ruzimatov, Andrian Fadeyev and Leonid Sarafanov to name but a few. The participation of these dancers of the ballet company in tours to North America has always been very important for me. They are recognised and loved, their art formed an image of the new Mariinsky Ballet. It is hard to say what works best today, I think it’s a combination of everything – the names, the brand, the repertoire. The Mariinsky Ballet has always been outstanding. I don’t know any company that dances the classical repertoire better than the Mariinsky Ballet.
– The Mariinsky Ballet often tours to America. How would you describe the dynamics of American audiences’ interest in what the Mariinsky Ballet is doing? Do political situations affect interest in tours?
– I can say that the political situation has absolutely no effect on performances by Russian dancers, and certainly not on performances by the Mariinsky Ballet. I would say it’s even the reverse, arguably culture remains the one solid bridge between our countries and serves as a reminder of our peoples. The problem is that over at least the last fifteen years the concept of “touring” has taken on a different meaning and the tasks have changed. If, in the past, tours were basically a source of income then today tours have more of a function to do with image. Many dance companies (not to be compared with the Mariinsky Theatre) today tour only to remind people that they exist! And to show what they survive on today. Interest in performances by the Mariinsky Ballet is generally linked with what created its glory – the classical legacy. For me today, the best classical ballets are in the Mariinsky Theatre’s repertoire and over the past fifteen years of our collaboration in North America we have produced almost everything of which the theatre can be proud. The theatre’s repertoire is unique!
– When did your collaboration with the Mariinsky Theatre begin? For you, as a producer, was the first project more of a risk than the current one?
– We’ve been working with the Mariinsky Theatre for twenty years, fifteen of which have involved tours to cities in Canada and the USA. Of course, the first major tour was a great risk. For example, on the day of a performance in Los Angeles there was some accident and the electricity surrounding the entire theatre territory was shut down, including at the hotel where the company was staying. The lifts weren’t working, neither were the lavatories or the air conditioning, the theatre was closed even to the performers, and the audience began to return their tickets without speaking to me first. We had to take an immediate decision. The performance was changed to the next day, and that was a Monday, thank goodness that day we didn’t have to fly anywhere but just get the bus to a suburb of Los Angeles. But then we didn’t yet know that our adventures were only beginning: because of forest fires around Costa Mesa the local airport was closed down, and that was from where we were to fly to the next city with a transfer in Phoenix. The ash was coming down in the air and falling on us, there was this strange sensation of ashy rain. We had to make an administrative decision and take an overnight trip on buses from Costa Mesa to the airport in Phoenix in order to make the connecting flight and arrive in Detroit. And we travelled through the night through burning forests... In 2006 we held a Mariinsky Theatre festival featuring the opera and ballet companies, two orchestras and the chorus as well as the Academy of Young Singers: six hundred performers, eighteen performances over twenty-one days! That festival happened as part of the opening of the new concert hall in Costa Mesa where the current autumn tour is opening.
– Why were Raymonda and Cinderella chosen for this tour?
– Costa Mesa is a special place on the cultural map of America. The Segerstrom Center bears the name of its recently deceased founder Henry Segerstrom, a unique man and philanthropist who left behind him a staggering centre for the performing arts. The Mariinsky Theatre performs there regularly, and over the years, as I have already said, we have staged almost all of the theatre’s classical repertoire, but we have never had Raymonda, it’s a ballet that is not well known in America. But our task is to show not just what audiences know well but also to show them what should be interesting.
With regard to Cinderella the choice of this production is linked first and foremost to the fact that today in the USA Alexei Ratmansky is known for his work with the New York City Ballet and American Ballet Theatre. Recently Cinderella was staged to great acclaim in New York, and it was immediately decided to ask this production be taken on tour. The more so as in Berkley and Los Angeles the title role will be performed by Diana Vishneva, whose name is well-known to fans of the Mariinsky Ballet. I am delighted that the tour will also feature such equally well-known names as those of Viktoria Tereshkina and Vladimir Shklyarov as well as representatives of the next generation of lead soloists, among them Oxana Skorik, Timur Askerov, Kristina Shapran, Anastasia Matvienko, Konstantin Zverev and others whose talents will charm the hearts of American audiences.