News

21.02.2021

Renowned Spanish tenor and legend of world opera Plácido Domingo is to perform at the Mariinsky Theatre on 4 March. On this visit he will be singing the title role in Giuseppe Verdi's opera Simon Boccanegra

Renowned Spanish tenor and legend of world opera Plácido Domingo is to perform at the Mariinsky Theatre on 4 March. On this visit he will be singing the title role in Giuseppe Verdi's opera Simon Boccanegra.

A long-standing friend of the Mariinsky Theatre and of Valery Gergiev, Plácido Domingo has frequently sung in St Petersburg. In the 1990s he appeared here as a tenor in the roles of Otello, Parsifal and Siegmund. Later, after the singer moved to baritone roles, he performed here as Nabucco, Macbeth, Germont and Simon Boccanegra. "For more than fifty years, I performed the tenor repertoire and I always said that when I retired as a tenor I would sing baritone roles – first and foremost that of Simon Boccanegra," Domingo relates.

Infrequently performed and unfamiliar to wider audiences, Simon Boccanegra appeared on the Mariinsky Theatre playbill in 2016, when a co-production by two Italian opera houses – in Genoa and Venice – was brought to St Petersburg. This opera, revised by the composer in 1881, is an example of Verdi's late creativity. It has no efficacious arias that are stand-alone hits, but it does feature the subtle work of a dramatist-composer. The orchestration conveys seascapes of staggering beauty that reflect the character of the protagonist Simon Boccanegra, a corsair and subsequently the Doge of Genoa. Visually, the production is dominated by the beguiling Ligurian sea, depicted on the rear curtain by lighting and video designer Pasquale Mari.

Also engaged in the lead roles for the performance on 4 March are Tatiana Serjan (Amelia), Stanislav Trofimov (Fiesco), Roman Burdenko (Paolo) and Gleb Peryazev (Pietro). Valery Gergiev will be conducting.

Tickets for the performance of Simon Boccanegra are name-specific and are for sale exclusively on the Mariinsky Theatre's website and at the theatre's box-offices.

16.02.2021

This week, Valery Gergiev and the Mariinsky Opera and Orchestra will be appearing at the Zaryadye concert hall in the Russian capital. Over three evenings – 19, 20 and 21 February – there will be performances of the operas Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg by Wagner (Act III), Macbeth by Verdi and Turandot by Puccini. Renowned Mariinsky Theatre singers and guest stars have been engaged for the performances, among them Anna Netrebko, Ekaterina Semenchuk, Irina Churilova, Ildar Abdrazakov, Yusif Eyvazov, Vladislav Sulimsky, Sergei Skorokhodov, Roman Burdenko and Mikhail Petrenko

This week, Valery Gergiev and the Mariinsky Opera and Orchestra will be appearing at the Zaryadye concert hall in the Russian capital. Over three evenings – 19, 20 and 21 February – there will be performances of the operas Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg by Wagner (Act III), Macbeth by Verdi and Turandot by Puccini. Renowned Mariinsky Theatre singers and guest stars have been engaged for the performances, among them Anna Netrebko, Ekaterina Semenchuk, Irina Churilova, Ildar Abdrazakov, Yusif Eyvazov, Vladislav Sulimsky, Sergei Skorokhodov, Roman Burdenko and Mikhail Petrenko.

Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg is the only one of Wagner's mature operas not as yet in the repertoire of the Mariinsky Theatre. The ensemble first began studying the score of this latest work when still in lockdown, and in August and October Valery Gergiev presented a concert performance of Acts I and III of the opera in St Petersburg. As with Tannhäuser, here the plot centres on a singers' competition, and the protagonist is also a lyrical personality – the poet and singer Hans Sachs who lived in the 16th century. The lyrical line in the opera follows the love of the young knight Walther for Eva, the daughter of a goldsmith. The lengthy monologues and ensembles of Die Meistersinger afford a glimpse of Wagner's scale: the entire opera lasts over four hours. In Moscow Act II is to be performed. The concert offers a rare opportunity to hear the music of Die Meistersinger performed live.

The opera Macbeth, composed by Verdi as a young man, has long been in the repertoire of Valery Gergiev and the Mariinsky Theatre: since 2001 it has been performed at the historic theatre. A semi-staged version is being taken to Moscow. The lead roles are to be performed by outstanding singers of the Verdian repertoire at the Mariinsky: mezzo-soprano Ekaterina Semenchuk (Lady Macbeth) and baritone Vladislav Sulimsky (Macbeth). The role of Banco is to be performed by Ildar Abdrazakov.

The tour will conclude with a concert performance of Puccini's opera Turandot with Anna Netrebko in the title role. She will be singing the role for the first time in Russia, and for the first time with the finale by Franco Alfano. Yusif Eyvazov will be performing the role of Calaf and Irina Churilova that of Liù. The same cast will be appearing in Charles Roubaud's production, to be seen by the Mariinsky Theatre audience on 25 February.

07.02.2021

The Mariinsky Theatre has announced the programme for a double instrumental festival – for the flute and the harp. It is to run from 7 to 12 April at the Concert Hall. Before the pandemic, these festivals, entitled Virtuosi of the Flute and Northern Lyre, were held on an annual basis independently of each other. This year, their founders – orchestra musicians the flautist Denis Lupachov and the harpist Sofia Kiprskaya – have joined forces

The Mariinsky Theatre has announced the programme for a double instrumental festival – for the flute and the harp. It is to run from 7 to 12 April at the Concert Hall. Before the pandemic, these festivals, entitled Virtuosi of the Flute and Northern Lyre, were held on an annual basis independently of each other. This year, their founders – orchestra musicians the flautist Denis Lupachov and the harpist Sofia Kiprskaya – have joined forces.

The theatre's orchestra numbers many prize-winners of international competitions and outstanding solo performers who have honed their skills at conservatoires throughout Europe. The festival affords the opportunity to see them not in their usual role as orchestral musicians but as virtuoso soloists, refined chamber musicians and performers of new music. The festival's concerts also provide an opportunity to meet professional colleagues: the Mariinsky will be hosting musicians from the Bolshoi Theatre, the Novaya Opera theatre and the National Philharmonic Orchestra of Russia among other acclaimed ensembles.

The five evenings will be united by the programme of the double festival. At the opening and the close of the festival, flautists and harpists will be performing to orchestral accompaniment. The three chamber programmes are to feature fantasias on operatic themes and arrangements for jazz as well as rarities – pieces from the Imperial Sheet Music Collections that are kept by the library of the Russian Institute of the History of the Arts. Specially for the festival, new compositions have been commissioned and written.

In past years, the Northern Lyre and Virtuosi of the Flute have shown that the Mariinsky Theatre's flautists and harpists have the skills and the ability to structure their performances in the most varied of genres, yet they are always ready to surprise the public again and again.

07.02.2021

The Mariinsky Theatre is launching celebrations for the Year of Stravinsky – a composer whose legacy occupies a special place in the repertoire of the theatre and of its orchestra. In late February, audiences may look forward to a major concert programme to be conducted by Valery Gergiev, the opera Le Rossignol after the fairytale by Hans Christian Andersen and the ballets The Firebird and Pétrouchka with choreography by Michel Fokine

The Mariinsky Theatre is launching celebrations for the Year of Stravinsky – a composer whose legacy occupies a special place in the repertoire of the theatre and of its orchestra. In late February, audiences may look forward to a major concert programme to be conducted by Valery Gergiev, the opera Le Rossignol after the fairytale by Hans Christian Andersen and the ballets The Firebird and Pétrouchka with choreography by Michel Fokine.

To mark the 75th birthday of Alexander Tchaikovsky, one of the most renowned and active Russian composers of the present day, there will be a performance of his opera Chess King. Following its premiere in 2017, the work based on the acclaimed The Royal Game by Zweig has been performed on just a few occasions at concerts of the Mariinsky Academy of Young Opera Singers. For the composer's birthday it is to be presented in a semi-staged format.

The opera playbill includes festive winter productions such as Christmas Eve, A Christmas Tale and Die Fledermaus as well as Mozart's Don Giovanni and Le nozze di Figaro. At the Concert Hall there will be another performance of Tannhäuser under Valery Gergiev and a semi-staged version of The Love for Three Oranges. Following a lengthy absence, the stage will see the return of Ruslan and Lyudmila, the hero and heroine of the eponymous Russian fairytale epos. Glinka's opera is to be staged for the first time at the Mariinsky II.

The playbill for classical ballet includes Giselle, Le Corsaire and the Soviet-era masterpieces The Fountain of Bakhchisarai and Romeo and Juliet (moved from 29 May). Audiences at the Mariinsky II will see Ilya Zhivoi's The Four Seasons and The Nutcracker in a staging and with designs by Mihail Chemiakin. On 12 February the production will mark its twentieth birthday.

The concert playbill for holidays and weekends is sure to delight with its variety of programmes for younger audiences and family visits to the theatre. There will be a performance of the fantasy Le Carnaval des animaux and the symphonic tale Peter and the Wolf, the role of the Narrator to be enacted for the first time by Bolshoi Drama Theatre actress Polina Malikova (Tonstun). Through symphony music, these theatrical concerts will bring familiar plots and images from Russian and Italian fairytales to life. Adult audiences may expect the vast cantata Carmina Burana and an evening of French music which is being rehearsed by Ekaterina Semenchuk and Christian Knapp.

03.02.2021

The Mariinsky Theatre is launching an unofficial Wagner Festival: in the course of one week, from 3 to 7 February, Valery Gergiev will be conducting Parsifal, Tannhäuser and Lohengrin. In addition to operas, there will also be an opportunity to hear the cycle Wesendonck Lieder (Fünf Gedichte für eine Frauenstimme), to be performed at the Concert Hall by mezzo-soprano Yulia Matochkina

The Mariinsky Theatre is launching an unofficial Wagner Festival: in the course of one week, from 3 to 7 February, Valery Gergiev will be conducting Parsifal, Tannhäuser and Lohengrin. In addition to operas, there will also be an opportunity to hear the cycle Wesendonck Lieder (Fünf Gedichte für eine Frauenstimme), to be performed at the Concert Hall by mezzo-soprano Yulia Matochkina.

At the Mariinsky Theatre, a new Wagnerian age began in 1997, when Valery Gergiev resolved to stage Parsifal – the German maestro's final and most enigmatic opus. This production first heralded the revival of the Wagnerian tradition in Russia (before the Revolution, the Mariinsky Theatre had had its own subscription series for Der Ring des Nibelungen as well as Meyerhold's production of Tristan und Isolde). Over the past two decades, the theatre in St Petersburg has emerged as a citadel of Russian Wagnerianism, while the company has assimilated almost the entire legacy of the composer. Future plans include Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg, individual acts of which were performed in concert last August and October.

Productions of Parsifal (1997) and Lohengrin (1999) at the Mariinsky Theatre feature sets executed from sketches by the Ukrainian designer Yevgeny Lysik. Tannhäuser is a more recent addition to the repertoire; the premiere took place at the Concert Hall in 2019.

In each of the three operas, the theatre has prepared itself to present audiences with exemplary casts of soloists. The role of Ortrud in Lohengrin at the Mariinsky will be sung for the first time by guest star Ekaterina Gubanova who has long collaborated with Valery Gergiev and the St Petersburg company. Also making her debut as Elsa in the same opera will be Irina Churilova (moreover, she will appear as Elisabeth in Tannhäuser). Sergei Skorokhodov will be performing the title roles in Tannhäuser and Lohengrin, while Mikhail Vekua will appear as Parsifal in the eponymous opera. Engaged for other lead roles are Yuri Vorobiev (Gurnemanz), Yulia Matochkina (Kundry), Yevgeny Nikitin (Amfortas, Telramund), Mikhail Petrenko (Klingsor, Heinrich der Vogler), Tatiana Pavlovskaya (Venus) and Pavel Yankovsky (Wolfram).

30.01.2021

In February fans of opera may look forward to appearances by Anna Netrebko in Eugene Onegin – a repeat performance of her December appearance with a magnificent cast of soloists – and the singer's debuts in Mariinsky Theatre productions of Tosca and Turandot with Yusif Eyvazov. Tickets for these performances will be name-designated

In February fans of opera may look forward to appearances by Anna Netrebko in Eugene Onegin – a repeat performance of her December appearance with a magnificent cast of soloists – and the singer's debuts in Mariinsky Theatre productions of Tosca and Turandot with Yusif Eyvazov. Tickets for these performances will be name-designated.

Verdi's Don Carlo will bring a quintet of outstanding voices together on the stage – Irina Churilova, Yulia Matochkina, Yusif Eyvazov, Roman Burdenko and Ildar Abdrazakov will be performing under the baton of Valery Gergiev. In Macbeth it will be possible to hear Ekaterina Semenchuk and Vladislav Sulimsky. The latter will also be appearing in Otello and The Enchantress together with Maria Bayankina.

Those who are unable to attend Lohengrin on 7 February will have a second chance ten days later to hear the acclaimed Wagnerian singers Ekaterina Gubanova, Sergei Skorokhodov, Yevgeny Nikitin and Mikhail Petrenko in this romantic opera about a mysterious knight.

The playbill also features recent premieres of the current season: the opera Christmas Eve at the historic stage, the operetta Die Fledermaus at the Mariinsky II and the evening of ballets Violent Dances by Vladimir Varnava at the Concert Hall.

The long-awaited La Bayadère and Romeo and Juliet are to return to the stage. The playbill also includes La Sylphide, Swan Lake and ballets by Michel Fokine.

At the Concert Hall there will be appearances by organist Leonid Karev, the Renaissance Percussion ensemble, the Mariinsky Orchestra under Lorenz Nasturica-Herschcowici and the Mariinsky Brass Ensemble with a special programme for 14 February.

27.01.2021

On 27 January the Mariinsky Theatre traditionally marks the Day of the Lifting of the Siege of Leningrad with a performance of ballets to music by Dmitry Shostakovich: Igor Belsky's Leningrad Symphony and Konstantin Boyarsky's The Young Lady and the Hooligan

On 27 January the Mariinsky Theatre traditionally marks the Day of the Lifting of the Siege of Leningrad with a performance of ballets to music by Dmitry Shostakovich: Igor Belsky's Leningrad Symphony and Konstantin Boyarsky's The Young Lady and the Hooligan.

In Belsky's twenty-five-minute-long Seventh Symphony, staged at the Kirov (Mariinsky) Theatre in 1961, the principle of "dance symphonism" was taken to the absolute. Its characters of a Youth, a Girl, a Traitor and the powers of evil are abstract, while the stage is devoid of complex sets and props. The specific setting of the plot is indicated only by the silhouette of a tower with a spire, conveyed in a few brush strokes on the white rear curtain – the ballet was designed not by a venerable set designer but by a graphic poster artist – Mikhail Gordon.

Following the sixth performance (6 June 1962), Belsky's ballet became known as Leningrad Symphony. Having proved popular with audiences and receiving Communist Party approval, the production was licensed to opera houses throughout the Soviet Union. At the theatre which staged the premiere it was revived in 1991 and reconstructed in 2001. In line with tradition, it is performed twice each season, on dates of immense significance to the people of St Petersburg: the Day of the Lifting of the Siege and Victory Day.

On 27 January the lead roles in Leningrad Symphony are to be performed by Yekaterina Kondaurova and Andrei Yermakov, while the title roles in The Young Lady and the Hooligan will be danced by Elena Yevseyeva and David Zaleyev.

23.01.2021

On 25 and 26 January Valery Gergiev and the Mariinsky Orchestra will be presenting two concert programmes at the Zaryadye hall. This time, Moscow will see the conductor bringing Schubert's Ninth Symphony and Rachmaninoff's Third Piano Concerto with Denis Matsuev to the capital along with Verdi's Requiem featuring Tatiana Serjan, Ekaterina Semenchuk, Sergei Skorokhodov and Ildar Abdrazakov

On 25 and 26 January Valery Gergiev and the Mariinsky Orchestra will be presenting two concert programmes at the Zaryadye hall. This time, Moscow will see the conductor bringing Schubert's Ninth Symphony and Rachmaninoff's Third Piano Concerto with Denis Matsuev to the capital along with Verdi's Requiem featuring Tatiana Serjan, Ekaterina Semenchuk, Sergei Skorokhodov and Ildar Abdrazakov.

The first evening will begin with the overture from Rimsky-Korsakov's opera Christmas Eve, which returned to the Mariinsky Theatre in a revived stage version in early January. This will be followed by Schubert's Ninth Symphony, performed by the orchestra to great acclaim while on tour in Madrid on 19 January, and Rachmaninoff's famous Third Piano Concerto. For many years, this opus has been included in programmes of combined appearances by the artistic tandem of maestro Gergiev and Denis Matsuev. They have performed it together in New York, Chicago, Berlin, St Petersburg, Moscow and Vladivostok, while in 2009 a recording of the work was released on the Mariinsky label.

On 26 January there will be a performance Verdi's monumental "operatic-liturgical" score. The vocal roles in the Requiem are to be sung by the finest singers of the Mariinsky Opera: Tatiana Serjan (soprano), Ekaterina Semenchuk (mezzo-soprano), Sergei Skorokhodov (tenor) and Ildar Abdrazakov (bass).

In two weeks' time the Mariinsky Theatre will be returning to Moscow once again to present Rodion Shchedrin's opera Lolita staged by Sláva Daubnerová. The production, nominated for the Golden Mask award for the work by the soloists and as best production, may be seen on 8 February at the historic Bolshoi Theatre.

21.01.2021

Today is the eightieth birthday of maestro Plácido Domingo – an outstanding singer and conductor and one of the most vibrant artistes of world opera

Today is the eightieth birthday of maestro Plácido Domingo – an outstanding singer and conductor and one of the most vibrant artistes of world opera.

Having begun his career as a lyrical dramatic tenor, with time Domingo has moved into the dramatic repertoire and now he performs baritone roles. Triumphs at the most prestigious theatres, roles in acclaimed opera films and active involvement in civic life are all among the maestro's achievements.

Plácido Domingo has collaborated with the Mariinsky Theatre and Valery Gergiev since 1992 – that was when he first appeared on-stage in St Petersburg to perform the title role in Otello, one of the finest in his entire career.

"On the birthday of this legendary artiste, amazing musician and my own personal friend, I hope for him to be able to continue to do what he currently does best: warming people's hearts," Valery Gergiev says. "Thirty years ago, the Mariinsky Theatre found a fantastic friend in Plácido Domingo. For many years, he has headed a huge international association of friends of the theatre and his magical name has made everything even more dazzling, if I might say so. Maestro Domingo has sung alongside younger artistes of the Mariinsky Opera and has often visited us; we have performed together in New York, Salzburg, Paris and Tokyo. On one occasion, for a surprise, without warning anyone he appeared in St Petersburg for the premiere of a production of Les Contes d'Hoffmann at the Mariinsky Theatre, the production being staged by his wife Marta. He's that kind of man – quick off the mark and capable of anything."

At the Mariinsky Theatre, Plácido Domingo has sung the roles of Parsifal, Siegmund and Macbeth among others, while he has conducted performances of Aida, La Traviata and Die Walküre. In February last year the singer visited St Petersburg for the title role in Simon Boccanegra while even more recently, just last December, he appeared as Nabucco in a concert performance of the eponymous opera. According to Valery Gergiev, "this was staggering confirmation not just of how nature can give someone brains, talent, an amazing voice and the capacity for work but also of how all of this can still be carried on at the age of eighty. This is a truly chivalrous approach to a much-loved career."

We wish Plácido Domingo a very happy birthday and look forward to seeing him once more at the theatre's venues!

21.01.2021

From 15 to 22 January the ballet company of the Primorsky Stage of the Mariinsky Theatre will be on tour in St Petersburg for the seventh time. Despite the unstable epidemiological situation, the theatre management took the decision not to cancel this annual visit. The company has brought three productions to the Mariinsky Theatre and it opened its tour with the St Petersburg premiere of the ballet A Thousand and One Nights. In August 2020 this production by the Primorsky Stage became the first world premiere of a major story-ballet following the enforced interruption to activities on-stage. The second part of the tour includes Le Corsaire and The Sleeping Beauty

From 15 to 22 January the ballet company of the Primorsky Stage of the Mariinsky Theatre will be on tour in St Petersburg for the seventh time. Despite the unstable epidemiological situation, the theatre management took the decision not to cancel this annual visit. The company has brought three productions to the Mariinsky Theatre and it opened its tour with the St Petersburg premiere of the ballet A Thousand and One Nights. In August 2020 this production by the Primorsky Stage became the first world premiere of a major story-ballet following the enforced interruption to activities on-stage. The second part of the tour includes Le Corsaire and The Sleeping Beauty.

The visit to St Petersburg by Oleg Nikolaevich Kozhemyako, Governor of the Primorsky Krai, also speaks volumes about the significance of the current tour; on 17 January he attended the final performance of A Thousand and One Nights. At the end of the evening, Oleg Kozhemyako congratulated the company on its success and expressed the hope that soon the Primorsky Stage might be able to perform this ballet not just in Russia but internationally as well. "I am tremendously grateful to the performers for their skill and responsiveness, and also for this magnificent production. They have shown a level of skill that St Petersburg audiences might not, perhaps, have been expecting. This is the result of the combined efforts of choreographer Eldar Aliev, designer Pyotr Okunev, the orchestra, the chorus and, of course, the ballet company. One may judge the success of the tour by the sell-out performances, lengthy applause and positive reviews that these performances have garnered," the governor stated when being interviewed.

Also on 17 January, a meeting was held between the Governor of the Primorsky Krai and Valery Gergiev. Oleg Kozhemyako and maestro Gergiev discussed development plans for the Primorsky Stage, including the construction of a museum and theatre education complex set to include the branch of the Mariinsky Theatre.

"During the pandemic we took a succession of difficult decisions, and one of them was to run the V Far East Festival Mariinsky in August 2020 featuring world-class stars including Elena Stikhina, Yulia Matochkina, Ekaterina Semenchuk, Sergei Skorokhodov, Vladislav Sulimsky, Yevgeny Nikitin and Ildar Abdrazakov. It was important for us that alongside these names there were also the names of new stars of the Primorsky Stage. Among the latter were Alyona Diyanova, Anastasia Kikot, Laura Bustamante, Tatiana Makarchuk, Mergen Sandanov, Yevgeny Plekhanov and Vyacheslav Vasiliev. The ballet performances by the Primorsky Stage simultaneously featured Mariinsky Theatre soloists Renata Shakirova, Yekaterina Chebykina and Roman Belyakov and Primorsky Stage soloists Anna Samostrelova, Irina Sapozhnikova, Liliya Berezhnova, Sergei Umanets and Kanat Nadyrbek," commented Valery Gergiev.

The maestro stressed that hosting the now-traditional tour by the Primorsky Stage at such a difficult and demanding time was an indicator of both the dynamic and the harmonious development of the company. "The St Petersburg visit by the company, now already 'one of our own' despite having had to travel so far, is an amazing phenomenon. The jewel of these performances has been, first and foremost, their new production of the ballet A Thousand and One Nights. Everything in it was a pleasure: the music by Fikret Amirov, the choreography by Eldar Aliev, the work by the dancers and Azerbaijani conductor Eyyub Guliyev, whom we will involve more frequently in our projects in the future. One particular element of the current tour was the eagerly anticipated visit by Oleg Nikolaevich Kozhemyako. We have discussed many important issues regarding the development of the Primorsky branch and the construction of a theatre education complex in Vladivostok. We managed to attend the premiere performance, at which we received genuine pleasure not just from the ballet but also from the reception it was given by St Petersburg audiences."

The Artistic Director of the Mariinsky Theatre also shared the plans which pose serious tasks for the Primorsky Stage. "Ballet plans include the famed production of La Bayadère by Marius Petipa, revised version by Vladimir Ponomarev and Vakhtang Chabukiani, and Raymonda in addition to other classical and contemporary works. We also plan to expand the opera repertoire significantly. This may mean new productions as well as older ones transferred from the Mariinsky Theatre. Turandot and Die Fledermaus are just a couple of titles we aim to stage over the course of the 2020-21 season. Moreover, we are examining the possibility of bringing the ballet A Thousand and One Nights, created for the Primorsky Stage, to the Mariinsky Theatre's principal stage. This in itself says a great deal. The artistic links between St Petersburg and Vladivostok are becoming ever stronger. In the near future, we will increasingly see the finest performers and productions of the Primorsky Stage at the various Mariinsky Theatre venues and vice versa."

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