22 April will see several debuts in Giacomo Puccini’s opera Gianni Schicchi.
Puccini’s idea was for the operas Il tabarro, Suor Angelica and Gianni Schicchi to be performed in one evening, regardless of their varied content, though opera houses do not always follow this rule.
Gianni Schicchi was Puccini’s one and only comic opera and a dazzling example of opera buffa that refers to the traditions of Verdi’s Falstaff. The plot is based on lines from Canto XXX from the first part of La divina commedia which are dedicated to the rogue and cheat Gianni Schicchi who has been punished for his sins: he pretended to be the dying rich man Buoso Donati and compiled a fake will in his name.
Soprano Elena Karpesh will be performing the role of Gianni Schicchi’s beloved daughter Lauretta for whose sake he committed the forgery. Lauretta persuades her father to find a solution to the problems faced by Donati’s family so that she can marry Rinuccio – on her knees before Gianni Schicchi she implores him “O mio babbino caro.”
Mariinsky Theatre prima ballerina Viktoria Tereshkina has been nominated for the Benois de la Danse prize for her performance of the role of Carmen in the ballet Carmen-Suite, while Timur Askerov has been nominated for the role of Basilio in Don Quixote.
On an annual basis, the Benois de la Danse programme presents audiences with the latest achievements in ballet from across the globe, bringing together the finest representatives of various dance movements and schools. Each year the alternating international jury, comprising the world’s most respected figures in dance – managers of major ballet companies, outstanding choreographers, renowned teachers and stars of world ballet – forwards nominees (choreographers, dancers, composers and set designers) to determine the current year’s best works in various categories. The jury is traditionally chaired by Yuri Grigorovich. This year the jury includes world ballet stars Gabriela Komleva, Carla Fracci, Ana Laguna, Artistic Director of the Hong Kong Ballet Madeleine Onne, Artistic Director of the Ballet Company of the Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires Lidia Segni and former Director of the Dance Program of the New York State Council on the Arts (USA) Beverly D’Anne.
The Benois de la Danse-2014 international ballet festival will take place at the historic Bolshoi Theatre on 27 and 28 May. The prize will be presented at a ceremony preceding a charitable gala concert of the ballet stars who have been nominated.
Vasily Barkhatov’s production, in a renewed stage version at the Mariinsky II, uses the technical abilities afforded by the new stage in every possible way, but the success of the production is, first and foremost, thanks to the stage director. “Transferring a classical opera to a setting closer to the present no longer surprises anyone. But this does, quite often, ‘grate’ and annoy. However, when one clearly sees content in a production that adds something new to a familiar libretto or that fills it with ideas relating to present-day problems then things that have been seen many times and which are familiar and musically admired become interesting. Barkhatov has placed the accents in such a way that we have a story about the authentically psychological destruction of a very courageous man, a talented career soldier, and this story speaks of realities pertaining not to the 16th century.” (OperaNews.ru)
A star of the Mariinsky Opera, Zlata Bulycheva is a singer who has not just a beautiful voice but outstanding acting skills as well. In the performance on 22 April she will be performing the role of Emilia, wife of the treacherous Iago, who becomes a helpless tool in the hands of the conspirator.
Viktoria Tereshkina and Vladimir Shklyarov are to make their debuts with American Ballet Theatre. On 29 May at the Metropolitan Opera in New York they will be performing the lead roles in Natalia Makarova’s production of the ballet La Bayadère.
At the recent XIV International Ballet Festival Mariinsky in St Petersburg, American Ballet Theatre soloists Isabella Boylston and Hee Seo appeared in Mariinsky Theatre productions. The return visit will feature stars of the Mariinsky Ballet in an ABT performance. For details of the performance by the St Petersburg dancers please go to ABT’s website.
The same day, 29 May, will see the announcement of the winners of the TOP 50. The Most Famous People of St Petersburg award, for which Viktoria Tereshkina has been nominated in the category Theatre/Opera/Ballet. This annual award is being presented for the ninth time by Sobaka.ru magazine and celebrates people of art, science, sport and business who have made discoveries or achieved outstanding results in their chosen fields. The winners will be determined in line with the results of an online vote. Audiences can vote for Viktoria Tereshkina on the prize’s website (available only in Russian).
On 21 April soprano Gelena Gaskarova will be performing the role of Mimì in Giacomo Puccini’s opera La bohème for the first time at the Mariinsky Theatre (production by Ian Judge)
One of the most important classical operas, La Bohème is also interesting for the fact that it has no overture.
The plot of the opera centres on the interrelationships of four inseparable friends for whom youth, friendship, art and love to an extent brighten up and ennoble their otherwise wretched surroundings.
Soprano Gelena Gaskarova will be singing the role of one of the most touching and sympathetic heroines of world opera, the unfortunate Mimì whom even love cannot save. Gaskarova’s repertoire includes many lead roles in the soprano repertoire, though in addition to her “crystalline depths” and “magnificent soprano voice” the young soloist also has outstanding acting skills. This season has already seen her make her debuts in such key roles as Kupava (The Snow Maiden) and Liù (Turandot).
The role of Mimì’s lively friend Musetta will be performed for the first time by soprano Violetta Lukyanenko, a soloist of the Zazerkalye theatre.
Legend has it that the plot of the opera to a libretto by Lorenzo da Ponte was based on an occurrence that took place not long before at the court of Emperor Joseph II. However that may be, da Ponte and Mozart’s commission to compose a comedy came from the Emperor himself. Possibly the Emperor had been encouraged to do so following the tremendous success of Mozart’s previous opera – Le nozze di Figaro. Mozart was offered a relatively high fee – two hundred ducats.
Così fan tutte has been performed at theatres throughout the world under such a huge variety of names unknown to any other opera in the history of the genre. For example, in America it was known as Women Are like That. In Britain it was known as Favour for Favour. In Germany it had a dozen different titles including such highly improbable ones as Who Won the Bet, The Girls’ Revenge and even The Partisans. In Denmark this Mozartian opera was known as Flight from the Monastery, in France it was called The Chinese Labourer and – fifty years later – Fruitless Efforts at Love and in Russia it was performed as That’s What All Women Do. Meanwhile, the original secondary title explains that it is a Scuola degli amanti (School for Lovers).
The elderly sceptical and cynical philosopher Don Alfonso proposes that the two friends Ferrando and Guglielmo test the love and fidelity of the sisters Fiordiligi and Dorabella. They are to be convinced through experience that women are frivolous and that their fidelity is, at best, doubtful.
Apropos, it is not just Fiordiligi and Dorabella who exhibit frivolity here – their fiancés do too. And the theme of the opera is not so much woman’s frivolity as the inconsistency of the heart and the unknown nature of love’s laws.
Critics have noted the “enchanting timbre of voice, subtle musicality and charming appearance” of tenor Stanislav Leontiev who will be appearing for the first time as Ferrando at the Mariinsky Theatre. On 22 April the singer will be making his debut as Rinuccio in Puccini’s opera Gianni Schicchi.
On 17 April in the Republic of Karelia as part of the Moscow Easter Festival there were two concerts by musicians of the Mariinsky Theatre under Valery Gergiev
On 17 April in the Republic of Karelia as part of the Moscow Easter Festival there were two concerts by musicians of the Mariinsky Theatre under Valery Gergiev.
In the morning in Belomorsk the Mariinsky Stradivarius Ensemble performed a programme of works by Mozart, Grieg and Tchaikovsky. Prior to the concert, the folk Pomorsky Chorus performed for Valery Gergiev, the artists of the ensemble and the audience in the foyer of the House of Culture. In response, maestro Gergiev invited this unique chorus to perform a concert in St Petersburg; he said that he remembered the chorus’ performance from five years ago when the Mariinsky Orchestra performed in Belomorsk during the VIII Moscow Easter Festival.
After the concert Valery Gergiev was awarded the title of Honorary Citizen of Belomorsk.
In the evening the same day, the Mariinsky Orchestra gave a concert under Valery Gergiev in Petrozavodsk, the capital of Karelia. The programme included works by Musorgsky, Brahms and Scriabin featuring lead Mariinsky Opera soloist Anastasia Kalagina, violinist Pinchas Zukerman and cellist Amanda Forsyth.
The Mariinsky musicians and Valery Gergiev arrived in Karelia from the Murmansk Region on the chartered train of the Moscow Easter Festival. The day before, 16 April, they gave three concerts within the Arctic Circle: two in Murmansk and one in the military town of Severomorsk for those serving in the Northern Fleet and their families. “During Easter Week we planned a series of concerts in Russian towns where major garrisons are deployed, where they not only love music but live to serve and protect their country,” said maestro Gergiev. This was the first performance by the Mariinsky Theatre beyond the Arctic Circle. Not only were there no spare seats – the audience even sat on additional seats brought in especially, and at the end of the evening they gave the St Petersburg musicians a standing ovation. On behalf of the Northern Fleet, the musicians and their conductor were thanked for their performance by Alexander Abramov, head of the Severomorsk Town Administration, who presented Valery Gergiev with a book about the town and a sailor’s shirt, inviting the full Mariinsky Orchestra to return to Severomorsk to perform. 1st Rank Captain Maxim Ratnikov also thanked maestro Gergiev and the musicians on behalf of the Northern Fleet sailors for the project which is being run at Russian garrisons for those who have dedicated their lives to serving their country.
Prior to that, on 15 April, there were two concerts in Kaliningrad. One of them, a charity concert, took place at the Baltic Fleet Officers’ House for those serving in the Baltic Fleet and their families as well as students of the Baltic Naval Institute.
Immediately following the performance in Petrozavodsk, the musicians left by train for St Petersburg and then for Moscow. The series of Easter concerts by the Mariinsky Orchestra under Valery Gergiev in Russia’s regions will come to a close on 10 May in Pskov. The tour covers a combined total of over thirty thousand kilometres. With its record-breaking geography and exceptionally intense programmes the Moscow Easter Festival is once again confirming its lofty status as a music event of international significance.
Leonid Yakobson’s Spartacus is one of the most luxuriant and visually stunning ballets in the repertoire of the Mariinsky Theatre; the production has the scale of a historic canvas, conceived as an ancient fresco with huge crowd scenes and a vast number of characters, the corps de ballet and extras. The monumental canvas of Spartacus, which brings to life the era, life, bloody battles of gladiators and the hedonistic luxury of the patriarchs’ feasts, is formed from numerous different images. In terms of the dance, Yakobson strove to recreate the spirit of antiquity and was convinced that antiquity en-pointe with turn-out would seem artificial. The performers of the lead roles in this ballet must be able to produce not so much dazzling virtuoso pas as expressive poses, “picturesque” precision and emotional gestures. Viktoria Brilyova and Tatiana Tkachenko, who will be making their debuts in the lead female roles of Phrygia and Aegina in the matinee performance on 20 April, will have to portray artistry and a sense of the style.
In addition to the protagonists, the ballet will see vibrant hues of dance in the countless episodic characters. On 20 April Roman Belyakov will be appearing for the first time as the African Jester alongside Ernest Latypov (11:30) and Yaroslav Pushkov (19:00) as a Satyr, Kirill Leontiev as Brezover, Andrei Yakovlev as Chrysogonus, Anastasia Zaklinskaya as one of the Heterae (11:30), David Zaleyev will be appearing for the first time as Gallus (19:00), Alexander Fyodorov (11:30) and Andrei Arseniev (19:00) dancing as Retiarius and the Dying Slave, Dmitry Pykhachov as Lentulus Batiatus (11:30) and Alexander Beloborodov as the African (19:00). Appearing as Spartacus’ fellow campaigners in the ballet will be Trofim Malanov(19 April), Ilya Karpovich, Nail Khairnasov and Artemy Ibryanov (20 April, 11:30).
Valery Gergiev will be hosting a press-conference to mark the grand opening of the XIII Moscow Easter Festival on 20 April in the foyer of the Great Hall of the Conservatoire after the daytime concert by the Mariinsky Orchestra which he will also be conducting (the concert begins at 15:00).
Estimated time of the press-conference: 17:00. Accredited journalists will be admitted from 14:30 via the staff entrance of the Great Hall of the Conservatoire. Concert invitations for 20 April and press materials will be available at the staff entrance.
Please confirm if you will be attending the press-conference
by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
or by phoning +7-909-2433290, +7-905-5319010
(Elena Naumochkina, Assistant Press Secretary of the Moscow Easter Festival)
The maestro will speak of the record-breaking twenty-six-day Russian tour being undertaken from 15 April to 10 May as well as of its first results. The Easter Festival’s geography has already taken performers to Kaliningrad, Severomorsk, Murmansk, Belomorsk, Petrozavodsk and St Petersburg. Over five days – from 15 to 20 April – there will be nine performances at eight venues with an additional agreement to form a children’s chorus of one hundred singers in the Murmansk Region and Valery Gergiev being made an Honorary Citizen of Belomorsk.
To open the XIII Moscow Easter Festival, musicians will be arriving in the capital from St Petersburg where on 18 and 19 April at the Mariinsky II and the Concert Hall of the Mariinsky Theatre there will be performances as part of the festival marathon. Following the grand opening of the XIII Moscow Easter Festival at the Great Hall of the Conservatoire the musicians will depart on the special Moscow Easter Festival train for Kazan, where on 21 April there will be two concerts at the State Bolshoi Salikh Saidashev Concert Hall. The Mariinsky Orchestra and Valery Gergiev will then leave for Yekaterinburg, Omsk, Krasnoyarsk, Irkutsk, Yakutsk, Vladivostok, Khabarovsk, Tomsk, Novosibirsk, Tyumen, Perm, back to Moscow for 2 and 3 May, then Lipetsk, Voronezh, Volgograd, Orenburg, Penza, Nizhny Novgorod, Moscow for 8 and 9 May then Pskov. The musicians will be travelling a total of over thirty thousand kilometres.
Our congratulations to Ernest Latypov on his victory at the Yekaterina Maximova Arabesque-2014 Ballet Competition in Perm.
The Mariinsky Ballet dancer was named a laureate of the international competition and received second prize in the category “Ballet Dancer”. Moreover, the jury also selected Ernest in the contemporary choreography competition – he received second prize for his performance of the miniature Prometheus (choreography by Emil Faski).
Gennady Selyutsky, Ernest Latypov’s coach, received a special diploma as “Coach of a Competition Participant”.