The theatre’s new season will be a season of great expectations and changes. Late spring 2013 will see the opening of the Mariinsky Theatre’s new stage – contemporary, equipped with the last word in theatre technology, a building focussed on the audience and which is comfortable for performers and has unique acoustic features.
The first ballet “mini” premiere will take place on 27 September at the Concert Hall: the evening programme of one-act ballets will feature the Russian premiere of the miniature Gentle Memories by Jiří Bubeníček, choreographer and principal dancer of the Dresden Ballet, created especially for Yekaterina Kondaurova. Islom Baimuradov, Alexander Sergeyev and Anton Pimonov will also be performing in the ballet.
Premieres of the Mariinsky ballet festival, which will run from 28 February until 10 March 2013, include Serge Lifar’s Suite en blanc and revivals of ballets by William Forsythe. The festival will open with Sergei Prokofiev’s ballet Romeo and Juliet with choreography by Leonid Lavrovsky and Diana Vishneva as Juliet; Valery Gergiev will be conducting.
Alexei Ratmansky will be returning to the Mariinsky Theatre once again; the choreographer will be returning to St Petersburg to stage a ballet to music by Shostakovich.
German choreographer Sasha Waltz will be staging her original version of Le Sacre du printemps to music by Igor Stravinsky for the Mariinsky Ballet Company as part of a joint project between the Mariinsky Theatre and Paris’ Théâtre des Champs Élysées. The project marks one hundred years since the premiere of Le Sacre du printemps with choreography by Vaslav Nijinsky which took place at the Paris theatre. The premiere of Sasha Waltz’ ballet in St Petersburg will take place on 14 May, followed by the Paris premiere in late May in a programme also including Vaslav Nijinsky’s Le Sacre and another famous ballet of Diaghilev’s Saisons russes – George Balanchine’s Prodigal Son.
During the season, the Mariinsky Ballet Company will be appearing on tour in America (in major towns and cities in California and in Washington at the Kennedy Center in October 2012), Asia (Taiwan, Seoul and cities throughout Japan in late October – early December 2012) and Abu-Dhabi, capital of the United Arab Emirates (March 2013). In spring 2013 in Moscow the Mariinsky Ballet Company will be performing a premiere of last season – George Balanchine’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream – during the Golden Mask festival.
Particularly noteworthy is the company’s first visit to the Trinity Festival in Salzburg with ballets to music by Igor Stravinsky to be conducted by Valery Gergiev.
At the close of the season as part of the Stars of the White Nights festival there will be a tour by Israel’s acclaimed Batsheva Dance Company and the Nederlands Dans Theater with works by Paul Lightfoot.
The new season has seen fifteen graduates of the Vaganova Academy of Russian Ballet join the Mariinsky Ballet Company.
The season’s opera and symphony music programme
A series of events and premieres of the opera and symphony music programme of the 2012-2013 playbill will commemorate important dates: eighty years since the birth of Russia’s greatest living composer Rodion Shchedrin (December 2012) and two centuries since the births of Giuseppe Verdi and Richard Wagner, both to be celebrated in 2013.
The Mariinsky’s performances and concerts of Wagnerian music will cover the entire season: following a three-year absence, in late September the grandiose Der Ring des Nibelungen returns (26–30 September), while on 5 October at the Concert Hall Valery Gergiev will be conducting a Wagner gala featuring Nina Stemme, one of the world’s greatest Wagnerian singers. 10 December will see renowned French conductor Marc Minkowski conduct the theatre’s orchestra once again in a programme featuring highlights from Wagner’s operas Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg, Der Fliegende Hollдnder and Die Walküre as well as a symphony by Bruckner.
The Year of Verdi at the Mariinsky Theatre begins with a premiere of Don Carlo (29 November) to be staged by renowned Italian director Giorgio Barberio Corsetti who has worked with maestro Gergiev at La Scala.
The season’s opera premieres include the eagerly awaited stage version of Jules Massenet’s opera Don Quichotte with Ferruccio Furlanetto in the title role to be staged by Yannis Kokkos (28 December), Alexander Dargomyzhsky’s Rusalka staged by Vasily Barkhatov (February 2013) and the April premiere of another French opera – Charles Gounod’s Faust to be staged by Isabella Bywater who worked as the designer on Benjamin Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream and who is now making her debut as a director.
To mark Rodion Shchedrin’s eightieth birthday the Mariinsky Theatre will be running a two-day festival in St Petersburg (22 and 23 December) and Moscow (24 and 25 December). One evening will see performances of four of the composer’s six piano concertos featuring soloists Denis Matsuev, Alexei Volodin and Yeol Eum Son (recipient of the 2nd prize at the XIV Tchaikovsky Competition) and Olli Mustonen. Yet another evening will include the Russian premiere of the mono-opera Cleopatra and the Serpent, commissioned from the composer by Salzburg’s Trinity Festival.
During the 2012-2013 season at the Concert Hall there will be a series of three concerts (1 November, 2 January and 3 July) by the Borodin Quartet featuring a programme of quartets by Tchaikovsky and Brahms. The Moscow Soloists chamber ensemble and Yuri Bashmet will be performing at the hall during their own anniversary season. The Mariinsky Theatre Symphony Orchestra will once again be conducted by young conductors Nikolaj Znaider and Pablo Heras-Casado; the latter will also be conducting a performance of Mahler’s Second Symphony with Olga Borodina in October among other appearances.
This season, the International Piano Festival at the Concert Hall runs from 27 November until 2 December. The programme includes all of Beethoven’s piano concerti with pianist Nicholas Angelich, performances by pianists from the class of highly acclaimed tutor Marina Wolf, a recital by Polina Osetinskaya and much more besides.
Important tours of the theatre’s Symphony Orchestra in the 2012-2013 season include an October tour to Canada and the USA culminating with a concert at Carnegie Hall in New York, a large-scale tour of the Far East in November taking in Seoul and major cities in Japan and China, a January tour to Spain, an April tour to Italy including concerts in Rome and Milan and an appearance at the Trinity Festival in Salzburg.
This season the Mariinsky Theatre Symphony Orchestra under Valery Gergiev and Paris’ Salle Pleyel commence their joint project All of Shostakovich’s Symphonies: over two years at the Salle Pleyel the Mariinsky Theatre Symphony Orchestra under Valery Gergiev will perform all of the composer’s symphonies as well as several of his concerti. The project begins in January 2013, and the Mariinsky label will subsequently be releasing video recordings of the concerts.
The Mariinsky Opera Company will be appearing at the Golden Mask festival in Moscow with last season’s premieres – Claude Debussy’s Pelléas et Mélisande and Jacques Offenbach’s Les Contes d’Hoffmann. In Kazan the theatre will be performing a Wagner gala as well as a performance of one of this season’s premieres – Jules Massenet’s Don Quichotte.
The season will come to a close with the Stars of the White Nights festival, which will run from 24 May to 14 July 2013 and unite events in three venues – the theatre’s historic stage, the new stage and the Concert Hall.
The theatre also plans to produce video recordings of ballets and operas that comprise the glory of the Mariinsky Theatre. Leonid Baratov and Fyodor Fedorovsky’s legendary production of Khovanshchina which opened the season was recorded for subsequent broadcast on Kultura TV on 23 September at 21:25 and which will later be released on DVD.
In 2013 there will be DVD releases of recordings of the operas Iolanta with Anna Netrebko, Die Frau ohne Schatten, Attila with Ildar Abdrazakov and Dead Souls.
During the Year of Wagner, the Mariinsky label will produce an audio recording of two operas from the tetralogy Der Ring des Nibelungen – Das Rheingold and Die Walküre featuring the Mariinsky Opera Company’s leading Wagnerian singers and guest stars Nina Stemme, Jonas Kaufmann and René Pape.