News

12.08.2019

In August, Valery Gergiev will be conducting a premiere of Giuseppe Verdi’s opera Simon Boccanegra at the renowned Salzburg Festival. The first performance will take place at the Grosses Festspielhaus on 15 August, followed by further showings on 18, 20, 24, 27 and 29 August

In August, Valery Gergiev will be conducting a premiere of Giuseppe Verdi’s opera Simon Boccanegra at the renowned Salzburg Festival. The first performance will take place at the Grosses Festspielhaus on 15 August, followed by further showings on 18, 20, 24, 27 and 29 August.

The stage director of the new production is Andreas Kriegenburg – one of the greatest German stage directors of his generation, the production designer is Harald B. Thor, the costume designer is Tanja Hofmann and the lighting designer is Andreas Grüter. The lead roles are to be performed by Luca Salsi (Simon Boccanegra), René Pape (Jacopo Fiesco), Marina Rebeka (Maria Boccanegra, known as Amelia Grimaldi), Charles Castronovo (Gabriele Adorno), André Heyboer (Paolo Albiani) and Antonio Di Matteo (Pietro). The Wiener Philharmoniker will be conducted by Valery Gergiev.

The series of performances at the Salzburg Festival, which runs from 20 July to 31 August, also included appearances by Russian opera stars who are Mariinsky Theatre soloists: Anna Netrebko sang the role of Adriana Lecouvreur in the eponymous opera by Francesco Cilea under the baton of Marco Armiliato, while Mariinsky Theatre and Primorsky Stage of the Mariinsky Theatre soloist Elena Stikhina appeared in the title role in Luigi Cherubini’s opera Medea under Thomas Hengelbrock. That performance marked the singer’s festival debut.

06.08.2019

On 4 August the Mariinsky Theatre closed the 2018-19 season. The final performance was of Adolphe Adam’s ballet Le Corsaire with additional music by Cesare Pugni, Léo Delibes, Riccardo Drigo and Pyotr Oldenburgsky performed by the ballet company of the Primorsky Stage of the Mariinsky Theatre

On 4 August the Mariinsky Theatre closed the 2018-19 season. The final performance was of Adolphe Adam’s ballet Le Corsaire with additional music by Cesare Pugni, Léo Delibes, Riccardo Drigo and Pyotr Oldenburgsky performed by the ballet company of the Primorsky Stage of the Mariinsky Theatre.

• Performances and concerts took place at seven venues: the historic Mariinsky Theatre, the Concert Hall, the Mariinsky II and its four chamber venues;
• Over one thousand one hundred events;
• Six opera and two ballet premieres;
• Audiences included visitors from ninety-eight countries including Australia, the USA, Canada, Japan, China, South Korea, Vietnam, Thailand, Taiwan and countries in Europe, Africa and South America;
• Ten festivals in St Petersburg, the II International Caucasus Festival The Mariinsky – Vladikavkaz, the XI International Festival The Mariinsky in Samara, the XVIII Moscow Easter Festival and the IV International Far East Festival Mariinsky (Vladivostok);
• The XVI International Tchaikovsky Competition – competition tours and a Gala Concert of prize-winners and concerts by jury members and prize-winners from previous years at Mariinsky Theatre venues;
• The project The Mariinsky for Children: during the 2018-19 season more than one hundred thousand young spectators attended various theatre performances and cultural and educational programmes;
• Concerts by grant-recipients of the Atkins Young Artists Program and the project Sounds of Change run in conjunction with Hamburg’s TONALi competition.

Mariinsky Theatre tours

In the 2018-19 season the Mariinsky Theatre (opera and ballet companies, chorus and symphony orchestra) toured to nineteen countries, visiting fifty towns and cities abroad and forty in Russia. Major trips undertaken included an extensive tour by Valery Gergiev and the Mariinsky Orchestra, which visited ten cities in the USA and Mexico, and appearances in countries in the Asia-Pacific Region, performing in large cities in China, Japan, South Korea and Taiwan as well as in Vladivostok and a tour of cities in Spain. Among significant musical projects were the Tchaikovsky Festival at the Gasteig Philharmonie in Munich, a series of all of Pyotr Tchaikovsky’s symphonies at Vienna’s Konzerthaus and a musical tribute to Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov as part of the Moscow Easter Festival.

Valery Gergiev also appeared with the Rotterdam Philharmonic, the Berliner Philharmoniker, the Orchestra del Teatro alla Scala, the orchestra of the Wiener Staatsoper, the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, the Metropolitan Opera Symphony Orchestra, the Pacific Music Festival Orchestra, the Wiener Philharmoniker and the Verbier Festival Orchestra, having become Music Director of the latter ensemble in 2018. In the course of the 2018-19 season Valery Gergiev performed for the first time at the Bayreuth Festspiele – he conducted a series of performances of a new production of Richard Wagner’s opera Tannhäuser, and starting on 15 August he will be conducting one of the Salzburg Festival’s premieres – Giuseppe Verdi’s opera Simon Boccanegra. The Münchner Philharmoniker, which Valery Gergiev has directed for the past four seasons, appeared under his baton in concerts in Germany, France, The Netherlands, South Korea, China and Japan. As part of this collaboration Munich hosted Valery Gergiev’s 360 Degrees festival for the fourth time, events of which this year celebrated 125 years since the founding of the Münchner Philharmoniker.

Season premieres

• The first premiere of the season was Gaetano Donizetti’s opera Lucia di Lammermoor staged by Andrea De Rosa at the Mariinsky II;
• As part of the festival marking 175 years since the birth of Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov the Mariinsky Theatre presented premieres of three new productions: the one-act operas Mozart and Salieri and Kashchey the Immortal staged by Vyacheslav Starodubtsev (Concert Hall) and the one-act prologue The Noblewoman Vera Sheloga at the Mariinsky II (staged by Yuri Laptev), which is performed on the same evening as the opera The Maid of Pskov as the composer had envisioned;

• A premiere of Giacomo Puccini’s opera La fanciulla del West staged by Arnaud Bernard at the Mariinsky II opened the XXVII  Stars of the White Nights music festival;

• Another Stars of the White Nights festival premiere came with Richard Wagner’s opera Tannhäuser staged by Vyacheslav Starodubtsev at the Concert Hall;

• A premiere of the ballet Push Comes to Shove by legendary American choreographer Twyla Tharp (recipient of Emmy and Tony awards and America’s National Medal of the Arts) opened the XVIII International Ballet Festival Mariinsky;

• The premiere of the ballet Jeu de cartes choreographed and staged by Ilya Zhivoi expanded the collection of ballets by Igor Stravinsky in the Mariinsky Theatre’s repertoire;

• As part of the project A Creative Workshop of Young Choreographers Melanie Hamrick, Alexander Sergeyev, Vladimir Shklyarov with Alexander Chelidze, Dmitry Pimonov, Ilya Zhivoi, Maxim Petrov and Yuri Smekalov all presented their works;

• Following an absence of eight years, the historic Mariinsky Theatre saw a return of Richard Wagner’s “festival play for the consecration of the stage” Parsifal staged by Tony Palmer (1997 production, current version by the Mariinsky Theatre);

• The theatre saw a return of Pyotr Tchaikovsky’s opera The Enchantress staged by David Pountney (co-production by the Mariinsky Theatre and the Teatro Nacional de Sāo Carlos, 2003). The production was revived following an absence of ten years;

• The Concert Hall of the Mariinsky Theatre hosted significant concert premieres under Valery Gergiev: the world premiere of Rodion Shchedrin’s new work Commemoration Mass, which is dedicated to the composer’s late wife, the great ballerina Maya Plisetskaya, and the Russian premiere of Sofia Gubaidulina’s oratorio Über Liebe und Haß;

• The world premiere of David Krivitsky’s opera Doctor Zhivago after the eponymous novel by Boris Pasternak was presented by soloists and the ensemble of the Mariinsky Academy of Young Opera Singers;

• At the XXVII Stars of the White Nights music festival British singers and the London Chamber Orchestra presented the Russian premiere of contemporary composer Benjamin Benjamin’s opera Lessons in Love and Violence.

Festivals

The II International Caucasus Festival The Mariinsky – Vladikavkaz (30 September – 7 October) opened the second season of the Mariinsky Theatre’s branch in Vladikavkaz. The forum’s programme included appearances by the Mariinsky Orchestra under Valery Gergiev, lead soloists of the Mariinsky Opera and Academy of Young Opera Singers, the National State Opera and Ballet Theatre of the Republic of North Ossetia-Alania (a branch of the Mariinsky Theatre) and a tour by the Leonid Yakobson Ballet Theatre.

The VI International Organ Festival (13 – 21 October) offered seven programmes performed by musicians from Russia, France, Sweden, The Netherlands and South Korea, including by a prize-winner of the Grand Prix de Chartres, one of the world’s most prestigious organ music competitions;

The XI Mariinsky music festival ran in Samara on 10 and 11 November. Performances by the Mariinsky Orchestra under Valery Gergiev formed a continuation of the tradition of running the annual music festival To Mstislav Rostropovich in Samara, which this year changed its format: the eleventh season ran using the title The “Mariinsky” Music Festival in Samara;

The XIII International Piano Festival (13 – 31 December) – this year, the festival playbill focussed particular attention on appearances by young performers. There were several classes by acclaimed Russian teachers, students from the Shanghai Conservatory of Music and soloists from the St Petersburg House of Music as well as a new project – Rising Stars at the Mariinsk which featured the participation of very young musicians. Pianists who appeared at the festival’s concerts included Valery Afanassiev, Sergei Babayan, Boris Berezovsky, Alexei Volodin, Pavel Gililov, Alexandra Dovgan, Denis Matsuev, Rustam Muradov, Dmitry Kalashnikov, Federico Colli, Alexei Kurbatov, Peter Laul, Sergei Redkin, Andrew Tyson, Vadym Kholodenko, Daria Tchaikovskaya and Sa Chen;

• The Concert Hall of the Mariinsky Theatre and the chamber venues of the Mariinsky II played host to the III Virtuosi of the Flute international festival (21 – 25 February), marking 225 years since the birth of Theobald Böhm – a flautist, composer, musical maestro and creator of the flute as we know it today. Festival participants included Mariinsky Orchestra flautists and guests soloists from leading international ensembles such as Julien Beaudiment (Lyon’s Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique et de Danse, Orchestre National de Lyon), Matvey Demin (Tonhalle Orchester, Zurich) and Walter Auer (Wiener Philharmoniker);

The IV Maslenitsa in Song international festival (3 – 10 March) saw the participation of choral ensembles from Russia, Finland and Japan in bright and vivid opera performances and an a cappella marathon;

The festival Rimsky-Korsakov – 175 (17 March – 12 April) was a musical tribute from the Mariinsky Theatre to this great Russian composer. The expansive festival programme took in St Petersburg, Vladivostok, Vladikavkaz and Moscow, including performances of all fifteen operas, seventy-nine romances, the famous ballet Schéhérazade set to music by the composer and most of his symphonies and choral works;

The XVIII International Ballet Festival Mariinsky (21 – 31 March) opened with the Russian premiere of the ballet Push Comes to Shove by legendary American choreographer Twyla Tharp. The festival playbill was adorned by names of guest stars from New York City Ballet, the Opéra de Paris, Great Britain’s Royal Ballet, The Netherlands’ Het Nationale Ballet and the Bolshoi and Mikhailovsky Ballet Companies;

The III Northern Lyre International Harp Festival (21 – 24 March) saw the participation of harpists from France, Belgium, Spain, the Czech Republic, Japan, China and Canada, musicians from St Petersburg orchestras (the Mariinsky Orchestra, the Philharmonic, the Mikhailovsky Theatre and the St Petersburg Chamber Opera Company) and musicians from Moscow, Yekaterinburg and Petrozavodsk. The programme included both classical works and several pieces composed especially for the festival;

The XVIII Moscow Easter Festival did not break any records regarding length this year – it lasted 16 days (27 April – 12 May 2019), but the tour route of the Mariinsky Orchestra under Valery Gergiev remained as intense and impetuous as ever. Concerts of symphony, choral and chamber music as well as a bell-ringing programme took place at key concert venues in Moscow and in Russia’s regions;

• In continuing to develop one of its priority strategies – to support young talent – the Mariinsky Theatre again presented two spring festivals for children: The V Mariinsky NEXT festival for children’s and youth orchestras (31 March – 29 April) and the III Mariinsky for Children: Children at the Mariinsky festival of children’s music and theatre studios (7 – 12 May);

The XXVII Stars of the White Nights music festival ran for sixty-one days (22 May – 21 July). During the festival the Mariinsky Theatre, Concert Hall, Mariinsky II and its chamber halls presented over two hundred events, among them premieres of the opera La fanciulla del West by Giacomo Puccini staged by Arnaud Bernard and Richard Wagner’s Tannhäuser staged by Vyacheslav Starodubtsev, the Russian premiere of George Benjamin’s opera Lessons in Love and Violence performed by the London Chamber Orchestra, events marking 175 years since the birth of Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, a musical tribute to Hector Berlioz (marking 150 years since the composer’s death), participation in a live broadcast of Pyotr Tchaikovsky’s opera Mazepa on French TV channel Mezzo and Mezzo Live HD and much more besides;

• The programme of the IV International Far East Festival Mariinsky (24 July – 9 August) included the Far East premieres of Mariinsky Theatre productions, events marking 175 years since the birth of Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov and 180 years since the birth of Modest Musorgsky and appearances by young stars from China, South Korea and Japan, as well as outstanding musicians and conductors and stars of opera and ballet.

Marking 175 years since the birth of Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov

18 March 2019 marked 175 years since the birth of Nikolai Andreyevich Rimsky-Korsakov. To mark the composer’s anniversary year, the Mariinsky Theatre prepared the expansive festival programme Rimsky-Korsakov – 175 (17 March – 12 April), which took in St Petersburg, Vladivostok, Vladikavkaz and Moscow and included a performance of all fifteen operas, seventy-nine romances, the famous ballet Schéhérazade set to music by the composer and most of his symphonic and choral works. The XVIII Moscow Easter Festival and a series of events as part of the XXVII Stars of the White Nights music festival were dedicated to the composer.

The Mariinsky Theatre may justifiably call itself the “house” of Rimsky-Korsakov – it hosted the world premieres of seven of the composer’s fifteen operas. The name of Nikolai Andreyevich Rimsky-Korsakov never vanished from the playbills first of the Imperial Mariinsky Theatre and, later, those of the Kirov State Theatre, and stars of the St Petersburg/Leningrad company dazzled in his operas. In 1994, marking 150 years since the composer’s birth, on the initiative of Valery Gergiev the Mariinsky Theatre ran a major festival dedicated to Rimsky-Korsakov. Twenty-five years later the theatre dedicated another festival to the maestro, this time on an all-Russian scale.

The festival Rimsky-Korsakov – 175 opened with a Gala Concert conducted by Valery Gergiev at the Mariinsky II. Special festival events included premieres of the one-act operas Kashchey the Immortal and Mozart and Salieri staged by Vyacheslav Starodubtsev at the Concert Hall, the one-act prologue The Noblewoman Vera Sheloga staged by Yuri Laptev, concert performances of such repertoire rarities as Mlada, Servilia and Pan Voyevoda, and performances of all of the great Russian’s romances by soloists of the Mariinsky Academy of Young Opera Singers. The festival marathon also included performances of established repertoire productions of The Maid of Pskov, May Night, The Snow Maiden, Christmas Eve, The Tsar’s Bride, Sadko, The Tale of Tsar Saltan, The Tale of the Invisible City of Kitezh and the Maiden Fevronia and The Golden Cockerel.

Other musical tributes of the 2018-19 season included a marathon of operas by Giuseppe Verdi marking 205 years since the composer’s birth, performances and concert programmes commemorating 105 years since the birth of Benjamin Britten and a series of major events as part of the XXVII  Stars of the White Nights music festival dedicated to Hector Berlioz marking 150 years since his death.

The XVI International Tchaikovsky Competition

The Mariinsky Theatre was one of the most important venues taking part in the XVI International Tchaikovsky Competition, which was held in Moscow and St Petersburg from 17 to 29 June. During the Stars of the White Nights festival, on the eve of the competition, the Mariinsky Theatre hosted the series of concerts Approaching the XVI International Tchaikovsky Competition, as well as concerts by jury members of the XIV competition and prize-winners from previous years. They included Lucas Debargue, Denis Matsuev, Jan Vogler, Mario Brunello, Nelson Freire, Daniil Trifonov, Sergei Roldugin, Kristóf Baráti, Pavel Milyukov, Jonathan Roseman, Ferruccio Furlanetto, Aylen Pritchin, Lukas Geniušas, István Várdai and Dmitry Masleev. On 29 June the competition concluded with a grand Gala Concert of the 2019 prize-winners at the Mariinsky II.

Following the close of the 2018-19 season Valery Gergiev and the Mariinsky Orchestra will be appearing on tour in Austria, Slovenia, France and Switzerland.

The opening of the 2019-20 season will take place on 6 September. The Concert Hall of the Mariinsky Theatre will host a performance by Sergei Dogadin (violin), recipient of the 1st prize at the XVI International Tchaikovsky Competition, accompanied by the Mariinsky Orchestra under Valery Gergiev. The programme is to include Jean Sibelius’ Violin Concerto, Olivier Messiaen’s four symphonic meditations L’Ascension and Igor Stravinsky’s fantasia for full orchestra Feu d’artifice and music from his ballet The Firebird. On 7 and 8 September at the Concert Hall of the Mariinsky Theatre there will be recitals by young pianists who were prize-winners at the XVI International Tchaikovsky Competition: Alexandre Kantorow, recipient of the Grand Prix and 1st prize (7 September) and Tianxu An, recipient of the 4st prize and Special Prize for self-control and courage (8 September). The first performance at the Mariinsky II will take place on 8 September with a premiere from the 2018-19 season – Giacomo Puccini’s opera La fanciulla del West staged by Arnaud Bernard. The lead roles will be performed by Maria Bayankina (Minnie), Akhmed Agadi (Dick Johnson), Kirill Zharovin (Jack Rance), Andrei Popov (Nick), Oleg Sychov (Ashby), Sergei Romanov (Sonora) and Gleb Peryazev (Jake Wallace). Valery Gergiev will be conducting.

Performances at the historic Mariinsky Theatre will commence on 21 September.

25.07.2019

On 7 and 8 September Valery Gergiev and the Mariinsky Orchestra will open the 2019-20 season at the Zaryadye Concert Hall in Moscow. The programme includes all of Pyotr Tchaikovsky's symphonies as well as appearances by prize-winners of the XVI International Tchaikovsky Competition

On 7 and 8 September Valery Gergiev and the Mariinsky Orchestra will open the 2019-20 season at the Zaryadye Concert Hall in Moscow. The programme includes all of Pyotr Tchaikovsky's symphonies as well as appearances by prize-winners of the XVI International Tchaikovsky Competition.

On 7 September the orchestra will make two appearances at the Zaryadye Concert Hall. The programme of the first concert (16.00) includes Symphony No 1 (Winter Daydreams) and Symphony No 4, as well as Mazepa's arioso from the eponymous opera by Pyotr Tchaikovsky in an arrangement for trombone. The soloist will be Alexei Lobikov (Russia), recipient of the 1st prize at the XVI International Tchaikovsky Competition ("Brass Instruments" category). The programme of the evening concert (20.:00) includes Symphony No 2 (Little Russian), Symphony No 5 and Valse-Scherzo for violin and orchestra by Pyotr Tchaikovsky. The soloist will be Marc Bouchkov (Belgium), recipient of the 2nd prize at the XVI International Tchaikovsky Competition ("Violin" category). Both concerts will be conducted by Valery Gergiev.

The next day, 8 September (12.00), the Mariinsky Orchestra under Valery Gergiev will perform Symphony No 3 and Symphony No 6 (Pathétique). There will also be a performance of Lensky's aria from Pyotr Tchaikovsky's opera Eugene Onegin (arrangement for flute), the soloist being Matvey Demin (Russia), recipient of the 1st prize at the XVI International Tchaikovsky Competition ("Wind Instruments" category).

In 2018 Valery Gergiev and the Mariinsky Orchestra performed a cycle of Pyotr Tchaikovsky's symphonies in Switzerland (Lucerne, Geneva and Zurich), as well as during a major tour as part of the XVII Moscow Easter Festival.

23.07.2019

The CVIII Bayreuth Festival opens on 25 July with a premiere of Richard Wagner’s opera Tannhäuser at the Festspielhaus

The CVIII Bayreuth Festival opens on 25 July with a premiere of Richard Wagner’s opera Tannhäuser at the Festspielhaus.

Stage director Tobias Kratzer and his regular collaborator, the set and costume designer Rainer Sellmaier, were invited to work on the production. The title role will be performed by American heldentenor Stephen Gould, the role of Elisabeth by rising opera star Lise Davidsen, the role of Venus by Russian singers Elena Zhidkova and Ekaterina Gubanova, the role of Wolfram von Eschenbach by Markus Eiche, the role of Hermann by Stephen Milling and the role of Walther von der Vogelweide by Daniel Behle. The Festival Orchestra will be conducted by Valery Gergiev. This production will be the ninth stage version of the opera Tannhäuser (Dresden version) at the Bayreuth Festival.

The premiere is to be broadcast via the classical music portal BR-KLASSIK and will also be shown in more than twenty cinemas in Germany.

Performances of Tannhäuser under Valery Gergiev will also take place at the festival on 28 July and 13, 17, 21 and 25 August.

22.07.2019

On 24 July the Primorsky Stage of the Mariinsky Theatre will host the opening of the IV International Far East Festival Mariinsky (Vladivostok), which will run until 9 August and will include Far East premieres of Mariinsky Theatre productions, events marking the 175th anniversary of the birth of Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov and the 180th anniversary of the birth of Modest Musorgsky and appearances by outstanding musicians and conductors and opera and ballet stars

On 24 July the Primorsky Stage of the Mariinsky Theatre will host the opening of the IV International Far East Festival Mariinsky (Vladivostok), which will run until 9 August and will include Far East premieres of Mariinsky Theatre productions, events marking the 175th anniversary of the birth of Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov and the 180th anniversary of the birth of Modest Musorgsky and appearances by outstanding musicians and conductors and opera and ballet stars.

On the eve of the music forum’s opening, there will be a recital by acclaimed French pianist Lucas Debargue, a prize-winner at the XV International Tchaikovsky Competition (23 July). The IV International Far East Festival Mariinsky (Vladivostok) opens with the Far East premiere of Reinhold Glière’s ballet The Bronze Horseman staged by Yuri Smekalov (24 and 25 July). Created in 1949 by Rostislav Zakharov, this ballet was given a new stage treatment in the spring of 2016 as part of the International Ballet Festival Mariinsky. Rostislav Zakharov’s choreography has been passed on to dancers of the Mariinsky Ballet by coaches of the previous generation who had danced in that production in the Soviet era, while choreographer Yuri Smekalov is the creator of new sections in the ballet. The lead roles are to be performed by a stellar cast of the Mariinsky Ballet. On 24 July there will be Renata Shakirova, winner of Russia-K TV channel’s competition Grand Ballet (2016), and Vladimir Shklyarov, principal dancer of the Mariinsky Ballet and the Bayerische Staatsballett, while on 25 July there will be lead Mariinsky Ballet soloists Yekaterina Osmolkina and Alexander Sergeyev. 27 and 28 July will see the first Far East performances of Léo Delibes’ ballet Sylvia with choreography by Frederick Ashton. The lead roles in this neoclassical production will be performed by the finest Mariinsky Theatre dancers – artists both already known to audiences and up-and-coming talent. On 27 July this will be Timur Askerov (Aminta) and Viktoria Tereshkina (Sylvia), followed on 28 July by Kimin Kim (Aminta) and Nadezhda Batoeva (Sylvia). For Viktoria Tereshkina, People’s Artist of Russia and prima ballerina of the Mariinsky Theatre, this will be her first appearance in Vladivostok. During the festival there will also be two gala evenings by Mariinsky Ballet principal dancers who are admired throughout the world – Kimin Kim (26 July) and Vladimir Shklyarov (29 July). The dancers will be presenting one-act ballets, choreographic miniatures and pieces that have become their “calling cards”. The programme compiled by Kimin Kim also includes a vivid ballet premiere from the Mariinsky Theatre’s 2018-19 season – Push Comes to Shove, staged by legendary American choreographer Twyla Tharp. Both gala evenings will feature Viktoria Tereshkina and Nadezhda Batoeva, and Kimin Kim’s evening will also feature Mariinsky Theatre prima ballerina Ekaterina Kondaurova.

The concert programme of the IV International Far East Festival Mariinsky opens on 28 July with a performance by Lorenz Nasturica-Herschcowici, leader of the Münchner Philharmoniker, acclaimed violinist and conductor with the Symphony Orchestra of the Primorsky Stage of the Mariinsky Theatre. Another tradition of the festival comes with Lorenz Nasturica-Herschcowici conducting performances by the Mariinsky Stradivarius Ensemble – Mariinsky Theatre musicians who play unique early instruments crafted by maestri of the Cremona school. The ensemble’s concert will take place in Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk on 30 July, followed by another on 2 August in Vladivostok. The playbill will continue equally strongly with a performance by Japanese pianist Kanon Matsuda, a prize-winner at international competitions, together with a combination of musicians from the Mariinsky and Primorsky Stage Orchestras under the baton of Shizuo Z Kuwahara (30 July). That evening promises to be yet another festive event in the calendar of concerts and performances celebrating one hundred and seventy-five years since the birth of Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov and one hundred and eighty years since the birth of Modest Musorgsky. On 4 August at the Great Hall of the Primorsky Stage the Mariinsky Orchestra under Valery Gergiev will accompany the famed Japanese violinist Miura Fumiaki, recipient of the 1st prize, Critics’ Prize and Audience Award at the Joseph Joachim International Violin Competition in Hannover. Acclaimed international ensembles attending the festival are to include the China Philharmonic Orchestra under the orchestra’s Principal Conductor Xia Xiaotang. On 6 August the musicians will be performing together with young Chinese pianist An Tianxu, prize-winner at the XVI International Tchaikovsky Competition. On 8 August the internationally acclaimed conductor Justus Frantz (Germany) will be appearing in a dual role – as conductor of the Symphony Orchestra of the Primorsky Stage of the Mariinsky Theatre and as a soloist in Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s Piano Concerto No 21.

The festival playbill also includes the Far East premieres of the operas Lucia di Lammermoor by Gaetano Donizetti staged by Andrea De Rosa and conducted by Pavel Smelkov (31 July and 5 August) and Parsifal by Richard Wagner staged by Tony Palmer (3 August), as well as a concert performance of Pyotr Tchaikovsky’s opera The Enchantress with Valery Gergiev conducting (4 August). The main roles will be performed by lead Mariinsky Opera soloists – Albina Shagimuratova, Maria Bayankina, Yulia Matochkina, Anna Kiknadze, Mikhail Vekua, Yuri Vorobiev, Alexei Markov, Yevgeny Nikitin, Sergei Skorokhodov, Vladislav Sulimsky, Stanislav Trofimov and talented young vocalists who are grant-recipients of the Atkins Program.

Primorsky Stage productions that may be seen at the festival with lead soloists of the Mariinsky Theatre and the Primorsky Stage include Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov’s The Tsar’s Bride staged by Vyacheslav Starodubtsev (1 August), Giacomo Puccini’s Tosca staged by Hans-Joachim Frey (7 August) and a premiere from the current season – Giuseppe Verdi’s Aida staged by Alexei Stepanyuk (9 August).

19.07.2019

From 23 July to 4 August the historic Mariinsky Theatre will host a traditional summer tour by the Ballet Company of the Primorsky Stage of the Mariinsky Theatre. This year the company is coming to St Petersburg for the fifth time

From 23 July to 4 August the historic Mariinsky Theatre will host a traditional summer tour by the Ballet Company of the Primorsky Stage of the Mariinsky Theatre. This year the company is coming to St Petersburg for the fifth time. The tour programme includes Giselle with choreography by Jean Coralli, Jules Perrot and Marius Petipa, the one-act ballet Prodigal Son with choreography by George Balanchine and Le Corsaire and The Firebird staged by Eldar Aliev, Principal Choreographer of the Primorsky Stage of the Mariinsky Theatre. During previous visits the Ballet Company of the Primorsky Stage have already performed these productions at the Mariinsky Theatre, proving a great success with St Petersburg audiences.

The tour opens on 23 July with Adolphe Adam's fantasy ballet Giselle with choreography by Jean Coralli, Jules Perrot and Marius Petipa. The ballet will also be performed on 24, 30 and 31 July. On 27 and 28 July and 3 and 4 August there will be performances of Adolphe Adam's ballet Le Corsaire with additional music by Cesare Pugni, Léo Delibes, Riccardo Drigo and Pyotr Oldenburgsky in a production staged by Eldar Aliev, Principal Choreographer of the Primorsky Stage of the Mariinsky Theatre (using highlights of the choreography by Marius Petipa).

As well as these classical productions, on 1 and 2 August St Petersburg audiences will have the opportunity to see the one-act ballets Prodigal Son by Sergei Prokofiev with choreography by George Balanchine and Igor Stravinsky's The Firebird staged by Eldar Aliev.

The lead roles in the tour's performances will be danced by leading soloists of the Ballet Company of the Primorsky Stage of the Mariinsky Theatre including Anna Samostrelova, Irina Sapozhnikova, Kanat Nadyrbek and Sergei Umanets among others.

17.07.2019

On 18 July the XXVI Verbier Festival opens with a concert by the Festival Orchestra under the baton of Valery Gergiev, who since 2018 has been the ensemble's Music Director

On 18 July the XXVI Verbier Festival opens with a concert by the Festival Orchestra under the baton of Valery Gergiev, who since 2018 has been the ensemble's Music Director. At the main venue of the acclaimed Swiss forum – the Salle des Combins – there will be a performance of Dmitry Shostakovich's Fifth Symphony and Béla Bartók's Second Violin Concerto. The solo in the violin concerto will be performed by famed virtuoso Kristóf Baráti. This will be the musician's first appearance with the Verbier Festival Orchestra.

On 22 July Valery Gergiev will conduct a concert performance of Richard Strauss' opera Die Frau ohne Schatten featuring world-class soloists.

The XXVI Verbier Festival runs from 18 July to 3 August and its programme includes fifty-six concerts featuring over seventy-five major musicians from across the globe and more than two hundred and twenty talented young performers. The festival will be hosting appearances by acclaimed Russian musicians including Vadim Repin (violin), Mischa Maisky (cello), pianists Behzod Abduraimov, Evgeny Kissin, Denis Matsuev, Sergei Redkin, Grigory Sokolov and Daniil Trifonov among others. Live broadcasts of the festival's concerts may be watched on medici.tv and RTS Espace 2.

The Verbier Festival was founded in 1994. In 2018 Valery Gergiev, the Festival Orchestra's Music Director, opened the XXV festival.

17.07.2019

On 24 and 28 October at the Concert Hall of the Mariinsky Theatre Valery Gergiev will be conducting the first premiere of the 2019-20 season – Claude Debussy's opera Pelléas et Mélisande. The Stage Director, Costume Designer and Set Designer, in collaboration with Marsel Kalmagambetov, is Anna Matison

On 24 and 28 October at the Concert Hall of the Mariinsky Theatre Valery Gergiev will be conducting the first premiere of the 2019-20 season – Claude Debussy's opera Pelléas et Mélisande. The Stage Director, Costume Designer and Set Designer, in collaboration with Marsel Kalmagambetov, is Anna Matison.

Of the more than ten opera projects that Claude Debussy seriously considered, he completed only one – Pelléas et Mélisande. The work based on the eponymous play by Maurice Maeterlinck was completed in 1895, but attempts to stage it did not meet with immediate success. In 1902 the premiere took place at the Opéra Comique under André Messager. At that time, the score's lack of songs and dances, choruses and ensembles, its undertones and its extremely precise reproduction, which had concerned the composer, left audiences perplexed. But, with time, appreciation of the work grew, and for French people this opera by Claude Debussy became a matter of national pride. In Russia Pelléas et Mélisande was first presented in 1915 at the Petrograd Theatre of Musical Drama and then was not performed again in St Petersburg for almost a century. It was only in 2012 that the Mariinsky Theatre turned to it, offering a production by Stage Director Daniel Kramer.

In October at the Mariinsky Theatre several acclaimed ensembles will be appearing. On 5 October at the Concert Hall of the Mariinsky Theatre there will be a concert by the World Orchestra for Peace conducted by Valery Gergiev. This unique ensemble, which gives just a few performances each year, comprises musicians from seventy orchestras from more than forty countries. It was founded in 1995 by the famed conductor Sir Georg Solti, and in 1997 Valery Gergiev took over at the helm.

On 20 October at the Concert Hall of the Mariinsky Theatre as part of the festival International Conservatoire Week there will be the St Petersburg premiere of British composer Oliver Knussen's opera Where the Wild Things Are (1983), written after motifs from the eponymous children's book by American author and artist Maurice Sendak. The concert version of the work will present festival guests – the Shadwell Opera (London). On 26 October at the Concert Hall there will also be a closing concert of the XIX International Conservatoire Week festival.

On 21 October at the Concert Hall of the Mariinsky Theatre there will be a performance by the orchestra musicAeterna under its Artistic Director Teodor Currentzis. Founded in 2004, today the orchestra musicAeterna is one of the most popular ensembles in the field of authentic performance. The orchestra's recordings, released on Sony Classical, receive prestigious music prizes and awards each year.

From 11 to 19 October at the Concert Hall of the Mariinsky Theatre the International Organ Festival will take place for the seventh time. This year's participants include musicians from Russia, France, Austria and Italy, many of whom will be performing for the first time at the Mariinsky Theatre. At the festival the organ will host solo and duet performances, together with piano and orchestra, and the concert programmes will feature transcriptions, improvisations and classics from the organ repertoire. The festival will celebrate the tenth anniversary of the organ's inauguration at the Concert Hall of the Mariinsky Theatre.

13.07.2019

On 14 July at Odeonsplatz in Munich there will be a concert by Valery Gergiev and the Münchner Philharmoniker as part of the 2018-19 season. The monograph programme of the traditional open-air Klassik am Odeonsplatz will be dedicated to Ludwig van Beethoven and includes the overture Corolian, Symphony No 5 and Piano Concerto No 5

On 14 July at Odeonsplatz in Munich there will be a concert by Valery Gergiev and the Münchner Philharmoniker as part of the 2018-19 season. The monograph programme of the traditional open-air Klassik am Odeonsplatz will be dedicated to Ludwig van Beethoven and includes the overture Corolian, Symphony No 5 and Piano Concerto No 5. The ensemble will be joined by Daniil Trifonov, the acclained pianist, recipient of a  Grammy award and prize-winner at the XIV International Tchaikovsky Competition. The concert will be broadcast live throughout the world by the major classical music channel medici.tv, as well as on TV channel BR-alpha and BR-klassik radio.

The 2018-19 season was an anniversary for the Münchner Philharmoniker – in October 2018 the orchestra celebrated one hundred and twenty-five years since it was founded. This remarkable date was celebrated with Valery Gergiev's festival 360 Degrees, which opened at the Philharmonie in Gasteig on 13 October – esactly one hundred and twenty-five years since the first concert by the orchestra (13 October 1893).

The first collaborations between Valery Gergiev and the Münchner Philharmoniker in the 2019-20 season are scheduled for September as part of a tour by the orchestra in cities in Germany and at the orchestra's home venue in Munich.

07.07.2019

On 9 July as part of the Year of Music of Great Britain and Russia the Concert Hall of the Mariinsky Theatre will host the Russian premiere of contemporary British composer George Benjamin's opera Lessons in Love and Violence (concert performance). Guest soloists and the London Chamber Orchestra – Great Britain's oldest chamber music ensemble – will be led by Oliver Zeffman, a young conductor famed for his active support of contemporary music

On 9 July as part of the Year of Music of Great Britain and Russia the Concert Hall of the Mariinsky Theatre will host the Russian premiere of contemporary British composer George Benjamin's opera Lessons in Love and Violence (concert performance). Guest soloists and the London Chamber Orchestra – Great Britain's oldest chamber music ensemble – will be led by Oliver Zeffman, a young conductor famed for his active support of contemporary music. The vocal roles will be performed by Mark Stone (the King), Susanna Hurrell (Isabel), Ross Ramgobin (Gaveston / the Stranger), Toby Spence (Mortimer), James Way (the Boy / the Young King), Sheva Tehoval (a Witness / a Singer), Angela Simkin (a Witness / a Singer) and Barnaby Rea (the Madman). Stage Director: Jack Furness.

Lessons in Love and Violence, written in 2018 together with playwright Martin Crimp, is George Benjamin's third opera. The libretto is based on the play Edward II by Christopher Marlowe, a predecessor of William Shakespeare. The story tells of the relationship between Edward II and the English courtier Piers Gaveston, whom the King elevated to his Court. The musical structure of the opera is rich in the sounds of instruments that are unusual for an orchestra – the Iranian tombak, the African "speaking" drum and the Hungarian cymbals.

George Benjamin's previous opus Written on Skin (2012), composed for the Aix en Provence Festival, was staged by Kate Mitchell and has become one of the most successful contemporary operas. In 2017 it was brought to Russia, where after its premiere at the Bolshoi Theatre there was a concert performance at the Mariinsky Theatre. The production of Lessons in Love and Violence was also staged by Kate Mitchell, winning praise from London critics and audiences, and it is to St Petersburg – for the first time in Russia – that the production team have brought their new work (concert performance). The opera Lessons in Love and Violence is a shared project between the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, the Staatsoper in Hamburg, the Opéra de Lyon, the Chicago Lyric Opera, the Gran Teatre del Liceu in Barcelona and Madrid's Teatro Real.

George Benjamin began writing music at the age of seven, and at the age of sixteen he became a pupil of Olivier Messiaen. In 1980 an orchestral piece by the twenty-year-old composer was performed at the BBC Proms. Despite that success, the composer's first opera – the forty-minute Into the Little Hill – only appeared in 2006. That event occurred one year after the composer met his now constant collaborator, the librettist and playwright Martin Crimp.

"As a passionate admirer of Russian art, literature, film and (in particular) music, I am indescribably happy to be coming to St Petersburg for the first time in my life. I dream of seeing the city where many of my favourite composers once lived and worked. For me it is a great honour that the Russian premiere of my new opera will take place during the Stars of the White Nights festival," says George Benjamin.

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