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 email@example.com
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”.
15–20 April 2014 at the Concert Hall and the Mariinsky II there will be thirteen concerts featuring seventeen pianists.
The Mariinsky Theatre is presenting the latest International Piano Festival; there will be concerts with the Mariinsky Orchestra under the baton of Valery Gergiev and recitals by talented musicians from different generations and schools – each of them vivid personalities in piano music today. For the first time, festival concerts will also be held at the chamber venues of the Mariinsky II.
The current festival will focus on the piano music of Bach and Beethoven, though it will not be limited by any chronological framework, also featuring such Romantic composers as Chopin, Schumann and Liszt as well as Scarlatti, Mozart, Tchaikovsky, Musorgsky, Rachmaninoff, Scriabin, Britten, Foster and Hindemith.
As always, the current festival will see concerts by acclaimed Russian and international pianists.
Returning to the festival will be the pianist Yevgeny Korolyov who enjoys a reputation as one of the finest interpreters of Bach and Mozart. Korolyov does not enchant his audiences with visual effects, instead conveying to them his deep understanding of the works he performs. He trained under several outstanding performers and teachers – at the Central School of Music in Moscow he studied under Anna Artobolevskaya as well as under Genrikh Neigauz and Maria Yudina, while at the Moscow Conservatoire his teachers included Lev Oborin and Lev Naumov. In 1978 Korolyov moved to Hamburg where he currently teaches at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater.
The musician also appears together with the pianist Ljupka Hadzi-Georgieva. This is a duo that has stood the test of time – they have performed together in concerts since 1976. The duo of Yevgeny Korolyov and Ljupka Hadzi-Georgieva has won prizes at several international competitions, with each musician also enjoying independent recital and teaching careers. In St Petersburg they will be performing a programme of Bach concerti for one, two, three and four pianos with orchestra (15 April, Concert Hall).
Yulianna Avdeeva is already well known to St Petersburg audiences, including from appearances at the Concert Hall. Broader acclaim came to the pianist following her sensational win at the International Frédéric Chopin Competition in Warsaw in 2010. Her recital at the festival features a series of preludes by Frédéric Chopin, Franz Liszt’s sonata Après une Lecture du Dante and works by Franz Schubert (17 April, Concert Hall).
For the first time, the piano festival will see a performance by Italian pianist Andrea Lucchesini with a programme of four sonatas by Domenico Scarlatti, four impromptus by Franz Schubert and Ludwig van Beethoven’s Thirtieth and Thirty-First Sonatas (18 April, 20:00, Concert Hall).
The festival affords a repeat opportunity to hear the acclaimed Brazilian pianist Nelson Freire. Freire will be performing the solo in Sergei Rachmaninoff’s Fourth Piano Concerto with the Mariinsky Orchestra under Valery Gergiev (19 April, 20:00, Concert Hall). This concert forms part of the XIII Moscow Easter Festival programme.
St Petersburg audience favourite Miroslav Kultyshev will be performing Frédéric Chopin’s Twenty-Four Études and Pyotr Tchaikovsky’s Grand Piano Sonata at his recital (20 April, 15:00, Concert Hall).
Also appearing at the festival will be the Mariinsky Theatre’s frequent guests Denis Matsuev who will be performing the solo in Alexander Scriabin’s Prométhée (19 April, 15:00, Concert Hall) and Alexei Volodin who will present a unique piano marathon by performing – in one evening – all of Ludwig van Beethoven’s piano concerti (20 April, 19:00, Concert Hall).
In line with tradition, the festival will present students from one school – this time it will be pupils of Yevgeny Korolyov’s class at Hamburg’s Hochschule für Musik und Theater who will be appearing in two concerts: on 15 April together with their teacher in a programme of keyboard concerti by Johann Sebastian Bach as well as in a concert on 19 April with the Mariinsky Orchestra under Valery Gergiev.
Varvara Nepomnyashchaya graduated from the Moscow Conservatoire (class of Mikhail Voskresensky). Subsequently studied under Yevgeny Korolyov in Hamburg. Has been a prize-winner at several international competitions and frequently tours. She will perform Frédéric Chopin’s First Piano Concerto (19 April, 15:00, Concert Hall).
Adam Laloum began to study under Yevgeny Korolyov after graduating from the Conservatoire National de Paris. Prize-winner at the International Clara Haskil Piano Competition. Trained under Dmitry Bashkirov and Paul Badura-Skoda. Also performs with chamber ensembles and frequently tours. He will be performing Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s Piano Concerto No 24 (19 April, 15:00, Concert Hall).
After graduating from the Rostov State Rachmaninoff Conservatoire Anna Vinnitskaya trained under Yevgeny Korolyov at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater in Hamburg where she currently teaches. The pianist appeared at the Mariinsky Theatre during the last International Piano Festival. Anna Vinnitskaya’s awards include 1st prize at the Queen Elisabeth Competition in Brussels (2007). The pianist has produced recordings on France’s Naïve label which have received prizes from Classica magazine and ECHO Klassik. She will be performing the solo in Bach’s Keyboard Concerto in F Minor (15 April, 19:00, Concert Hall).
After graduating from the Moscow Conservatoire Stepan Simonian began a postgraduate study at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater in Hamburg under Yevgeny Korolyov. Simonian has won prizes at numerous international competitions and frequently performs in recital. Teaches at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater in Hamburg. At the festival he will be performing the solo in Bach’s Keyboard Concerto in A Major (15 April, 19:00, Concert Hall).
In addition to recitals and concerts with orchestra, the current festival will present chamber duets: violin with piano and voice with piano. For the second time the festival will feature the duet of pianist Mira Yevtich and tenor Andrew Goodwin. This time the concert programme includes the incredibly famous yet unfortunately very rarely performed – in Russia – vocal cycle Dichterliebe by Schumann as well as Beethoven’s song Adelaide, Britten’s vocal cycle Who Are These Children? and romances by Foster (16 April, Concert Hall).
Mira Yevtich is one of the founders of the International Piano Festival. Born in Belgrade, as a talented youngster she was sent to study at the Central School of Music of the Moscow Conservatoire. Graduated from the Moscow Conservatoire (class of Stanislav Neuhaus). Has taught at the Sydney Conservatorium and the St Petersburg Conservatoire. Has frequently served as a jury member at international competitions. Since 2007 the Southern Highlands International Piano Competition (New South Wales, Australia) which she established has taken place every two years. Mira Yevtich has performed in recital since 1980. Frequently tours. Has an extensive discography. Currently lives in Italy and France.
The duet of pianist Alexander Kobrin and violinist Roman Mints will be performing four violin sonatas by Paul Hindemith. Alexander Kobrin has been compared by several music critics to Van Cliburn, which characterises the pianist as one of the most vivid representatives of the young generation of the Russian piano school. Prize-winner at several prestigious international competitions and winner of the Van Cliburn Competition in 2005. Graduated from the Moscow Conservatoire (class of Lev Naumov). Lives in the USA and teaches at the Steinhardt School of Music of the New York University (18 April, 16:00, Musorgsky Hall, Mariinsky II).
The festival programme will include a lecture for the first time. It will be delivered by Maya Pritsker, a music historian and critic and author of articles and educational cultural programmes. Since 1991 Maya Pritsker has lived in New York. She works for RTN television as well as delivering lectures about Russian and world culture in Russian and English. Pritsker’s lectures take place at the Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, international festivals and the universities of Harvard, Princeton, Columbia and Yale.
For fifteen years she has been the editor of the culture section of the newspaper The New Russian Word which was founded on her initiative. Regularly works with other publications and has produced myriad articles, reviews, interviews and programme annotations. The theme of her lecture in St Petersburg is Piano Music or Pianists: The Audience Chooses (17 April, 16:00, Shchedrin Hall, Mariinsky II).
The festival will make use of the chamber venues at the Mariinsky II. Several festival programmes in the familiar format of “Music Hour” will be held at the Mariinsky II’s chamber venues. Ludwig van Beethoven’s last two sonatas will be performed by Irina Berkovich, a graduate of the Moscow Conservatoire (class of Yakov Flier), prize-winner at the International Bach Competition in Leipzig and a teacher at the Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance (15 April, 16:00, Prokofiev Hall).
The programme for Aleksandar Serdar’s “Music Hour” includes all of Frédéric Chopin’s ballades and impromptus (16 April, 16:00, Prokofiev Hall). Serbian pianist Aleksandar Serdar has been a prize-winner at numerous international competitions including those in Palm Beach and Cincinnati (USA) and Monza, Vercelli and the Carlo Zecchi Competition (Italy). He also took 4th prize at the International Arthur Rubinstein Competition in Tel Aviv. Graduated from the Academy of Arts in Novi Sad and received his master’s degree from the Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore (class of Leon Fleisher). The pianist then furthered his studies under Sergio Perticaroli at the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia in Rome. Serdar currently teaches piano in Serbia at the Belgrade Academy of Arts and at the faculty of arts of the University of Niš. The pianist’s debut CD was released in 1988 by EMI Classics.
Finnish pianist Uki Ovaskainen studied at the Sibelius Academy under Hui-Ying Liu-Tawaststjerna and at Copenhagen’s Royal Academy of Music under Jose Ribera. In 2006 he entered Hannover’s Hochschule für Musik und Theater (class of Matti Raekallio). Moreover, he has attended master-classes conducted by Pnina Salzman, András Schiff, Charles Rosen and Yahli Wagman.
Uki Ovaskainen appears as a soloist and with chamber ensembles and takes part in numerous music festivals. In 2007 at the Premio Jaén competition in Spain he took 1st prize, the Special Prize for the best performance of a contemporary work and the Audience Award for his performance of Beethoven’s Fifth Piano Concerto.
His St Petersburg concert features works by Robert Schumann – the Fantasie for Piano and Études symphoniques (17 April, 18:00, Prokofiev Hall).
The chamber series at the venues of the Mariinsky II will come to a close with Alexander Kobrin’s Music Hour featuring a programme of piano music by Johannes Brahms and Modest Musorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition (20 April, 17:00, Prokofiev Hall).
On 13 April at the gala concert of the Mariinsky ballet festival there will be a performance of Balanchine’s Symphony in C. This annual event – being run by the theatre for the thirteenth time – and its closing gala concert both strive not just to introduce Russian audiences to touring performers but also to showcase all that is great in the Mariinsky Ballet today – the varied repertoire, its new productions, stars, soloists and the corps de ballet.
Symphony in C is an ideal vehicle for showing off the company’s skills: the four movements of the ballet are performed by four pairs of soloists, and this ballet offers an opportunity for the company to shine and deal with the incredibly complex fioritura pas assemblés battus in the allegros and proudly and majestically “soar” in the adagio. Festival galas invariably feature the company’s top dancers – both already acclaimed and rising stars. To be making a debut in such a gala is quite an honour. On 13 April the lead female role in the second movement of Symphony in C will be performed by Oxana Skorik for the first time, with Yaroslav Pushkov making his debut as one of the soloists in the same movement. Nadezhda Batoeva, Kimin Kim, Yulia Stepanova and Andrei Arseniev will be making their debuts in the third movement and Viktoria Brilyova in the fourth.
Ilya Bannik’s stage career began with the Mariinsky Academy of Young Opera Singers, following which – having won prizes at various international competitions – he became a soloist with the Mariinsky Opera, performing several lead bass roles with the company to great acclaim. In the 2013-2014 season the singer made his debut as Ferrando (Il trovatore), again successfully demonstrating his brilliant command of the Verdian performing style.
In the opera Macbeth the soloist will be appearing as Banco, a general in Duncan’s army to whom the three Witches reveal his destiny: “Non re, ma di monarchi genitore!” (Thou shalt get kings, though thou be none.). Macbeth, who the Witches prophesy will ascend the throne of Scotland, resolves to secure his future heirs’ right to the throne from those of Banco and employs hired assassins to get rid of him.
On 14 April at 16:00 we are delighted to invite you to the Shchedrin Hall at the Mariinsky II for a premiere press-screening of Anna Matison’s film During the Journey. The lead roles are enacted by Valery Gergiev and Konstantin Khabensky.
The ninety-minute feature – based on Sergei Prokofiev’s diaries – was filmed during the XI Moscow Easter Festival which saw performances of all of the composer’s symphonies and piano concerti. The film not only offers the opportunity to discover the music of the prodigious Prokofiev but also to understand and get a sensation of the musician’s complex journey through life. This metaphysical journey is interwoven with the movement of a train and the eternal journeys undertaken by Mariinsky Theatre musicians.
The film’s director draws a parallel, comparing Sergei Prokofiev with Valery Gergiev. It is not by chance that Prokofiev is the maestro’s favourite composer. A life on the road is a life chosen by people who dedicate themselves to music. The genre of the film goes beyond the confines of a typical documentary; it includes acting scenes featuring Konstantin Khabensky. The involvement of this popular actor will make the story of Sergei Prokofiev’s life accessible to a much wider audience.
Director Anna Matison will provide an introduction to her film.
Date/time of the press-screening: 14 April, 16:00
Venue: Mariinsky II, Shchedrin Hall, admission via the main entrance
Accreditation via the Press Service of the Mariinsky Theatre; firstname.lastname@example.org, tel. +7-812-7144164
On 19 April the ballet Spartacus with choreography by Leonid Yakobson will be dedicated to the memory of the famed ballerina Inna Zubkovskaya.
There were legends about Inna Borisovna Zubvovskaya’s beauty. Nature was generous with her gifts – a beautiful face with huge and expressive eyes, beautiful and feminine lines of the body, dutiful “ballet” legs and enviable dance skills. Zubkovskaya did not rely on her beauty on the stage, instead working on her roles so that her own physical harmony formed part of the beauty of the dance. And when at the very outset of her artistic career the management of the theatre, placing great hopes on the young dancer’s stunning looks, suggested she immediately begin to rehearse the role of Zarema in The Fountain of Bakhchisarai she turned it down, uncertain of her acting skills. Inna Zubkovskaya came to this role later when her skill allowed her to appear alongside other brilliantly-talented Kirov Theatre performers.
Zubkovskaya joined the Leningrad company in 1941 after graduating from the Moscow School of Dance – evacuated together with the Kirov Theatre to Perm, she came to class to keep in professional shape and remained with the Leningrad company for many years to come. At the Kirov Theatre she danced numerous roles – the lyrical Odette and the magnetically alluring Odile, the temperamental Kitri, the tragic Nikia and one of the comical Ugly Sisters in Cinderella. Her talent was most fully revealed in roles where the character was created by purely dance means, where the dramatic tension was not focussed in just the pantomimic scenes but was danced and conveyed through the expressiveness of her lines, movements and poses. That was why Zubkovskaya became the darling of audiences at ballets by Leonid Yakobson and Yuri Grigorovich. Torn apart by gloomy thoughts as the loving and suffering Mekhmeneh Bahnu in Grigorovich’s The Legend of Love, the poetic bird-maiden Syuimbike who danced with a sense of flight in Yakobson’s Shurale and Phrygia in his Spartacus, with her emotionally sculptural poses relating the tragedy of love... As Phrygia Inna Zubkovskaya was a symbol of this acclaimed production.
Always famed for the beauty of her dance, Inna Borisovna Zubvovskaya taught at the Vaganova Academy of Russian Ballet. She inspired her students’ love of dance and trained them to perfection. The names of Zubkovskaya’s students say a great deal – Altynai Asylmuratova, Larisa Lezhnina, Elvira Tarasova, Veronika Part and Yekaterina Osmolkina all graduated from her class. Zubkovskaya passed on her example of impeccable elegance and taste to subsequent dancers, and in these dancers’ and audience’s memories she remains forever the embodiment of a beauty without which the art of ballet is unimaginable.