News

18.07.2021

The Mariinsky Theatre mourns the loss of Britain's Graham Vick, one of the most celebrated opera directors of our time, an extraordinary and influential artist and master of his art. His bold works – at times provocative in their effect – spoke out to audiences about important and painful themes

The Mariinsky Theatre mourns the loss of Britain's Graham Vick, one of the most celebrated opera directors of our time, an extraordinary and influential artist and master of his art. His bold works – at times provocative in their effect – spoke out to audiences about important and painful themes.

In St Petersburg Graham Vick staged two versions of Prokofiev's War and Peace (1991 and 2014), Musorgsky's Boris Godunov (2012) and Janáček's Věc Makakropulos (The Makropulos Affair) (2010).

In memory of the stage director and of his collaborations with the Mariinsky Theatre, we are publishing some highlights from an interview he gave in December 2020 for Muzykalnaya Zhizn magazine:

***

Opera grants us a precious opportunity to become familiar with ourselves, with our souls, and in this meeting space you find yourself with hundreds and thousands of other souls. That is how opera is structured: we see how we ourselves, our experiences and our lives are reflected in others. And this is how we learn empathy, modesty, tolerance and understanding. Opera allows us to speak of things that we can only belittle by naming them. And the participants in that secret can be any unbelievable number of people, because singing stories is what makes us human beings.

***

Valery Gergiev displayed real courage when he invited me, a foreigner, to stage War and Peace. Twice! Meaning he wanted a view of Russia from the sidelines. In 1991 I staged a completely different production. I deeply admire Russian culture, and I have many happy memories associated with the country. But in the twenty-five years that I have worked in Russia there have been immense changes in so many ways. The production deals with that.

It is hard for the audience, and no less so for the performers. When I presented my idea to the chorus, I told them "If Tolstoy only knew that we are staging an opera in a State opera house he would be spinning in his grave." And I will attempt to give it its due.

I wanted to depict the "cushion" city, strident and imbued with Prokofiev's satire. And yet the clear pomposity of the music, all this nationalism – this is not the voice of Prokofiev, it's a quotation – the voice of authority.

14.07.2021

The Mariinsky Theatre continues to present performances and concerts. Here is the playbill up to 5 August

Dear Patrons,

The Mariinsky Theatre continues to present performances and concerts. Here is the playbill up to 5 August:

On 30 and 31 July another opera premiere for the season is planned: the Mariinsky Theatre will be staging a new production of Jacques Offenbach's Les Contes d'Hoffmann (with Stage Director Daniel Kruglikov and Stage Designer Ymanol Perset).

The Hibla Gerzmava concert, postponed from 1 June, will take place at the Mariinsky-II on 22 July. Valery Gergiev will be conducting.

As part of a mini-festival the playbill will feature works by Hector Berlioz: it will be possible to hear his Requiem, Benvenuto Cellini and Les Troyens.

The Maid of Pskov by Rimsky-Korsakov, The Nose by Shostakovich, The Queen of Spades by Tchaikovsky, Carmen by Bizet and Il barbiere di Siviglia by Rossini are to be performed at the Mariinsky-II. At the historic Mariinsky Theatre there will be performances of Eugene Onegin, Iolanta and a new production of Lakmé.

For the first time at the Mariinsky Theatre there will be a concert performance of Alberto Franchetti's opera Cristoforo Colombo (to be conducted by Alvise Casellati). A concert to be conducted by Valery Gergiev will feature a performance of the opera Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg.

The ballet playbill includes the audience-favourites Don Quixote, Giselle and The Nutcracker as well as gala concerts of stars and the now traditional tour by the company of the Primorsky Stage of the Mariinsky Theatre.

07.07.2021

Dear Patrons,
Please note that the scheduled performance of A Midsummer Night's Dream on 8 July at 19.00 will not take place. Tickets purchased for this date remain valid for the performance on 9 July at the Concert Hall

Dear Patrons,

Please note that the scheduled performance of A Midsummer Night's Dream on 8 July at 19.00 will not take place. Tickets purchased for this date remain valid for the performance on 9 July at the Concert Hall.

Benjamin Britten's opera based on the eponymous comedy by William Shakespeare is performed at the Mariinsky Theatre in a production by Claudia Solti. The roles of Oberon and Titania, the King and Queen of the Fairies, will be sung by Artyom Krutko and Larisa Yudina and the lovers Hermia and Lysander by Nadezhda Serdyuk and Andrei Ilyushnikov. Irina Mataeva will be appearing as Helena and Sergei Romanov will be singing the role of Demetrius. The role of Bottom will be performed by Andrei Serov. Vladislav Karklin will be conducting.

06.07.2021

This year Mariinsky Theatre prima ballerina Ekaterina Kondaurova celebrates an artistic anniversary: twenty years ago she joined the Mariinsky Ballet – and very quickly she made a name for herself thanks to the brilliant ballets of William Forsythe. The ballerina's gala will take place on 6 July at the New Mariinsky Theatre

This year Mariinsky Theatre prima ballerina Ekaterina Kondaurova celebrates an artistic anniversary: twenty years ago she joined the Mariinsky Ballet – and very quickly she made a name for herself thanks to the brilliant ballets of William Forsythe. The ballerina's gala will take place on 6 July at the New Mariinsky Theatre.

Ekaterina Kondaurova's journey to becoming a prima ballerina at the Mariinsky was not a traditional one – she actually approached lead roles in the classical repertoire via contemporary choreography. One decisive event in her biography came with a meeting with William Forsythe: it was in his productions of the ballets Steptext and In the Middle, Somewhat Elevated that the ballerina's temperament was truly revealed. "After that, she grew so exponentially that she was able to dance Le Corsaire, Swan Lake, La Bayadère and the entire classical repertoire" comments Yuri Fateyev, Director of the Mariinsky Ballet.

Important in the development of Ekaterina Kondaurova's career have been roles in ballets by Balanchine including Prodigal Son (Siren), Serenade, Symphony in C, The Four Temperaments (Choleric) and Jewels among others. With her in mind, productions at the Mariinsky Theatre have been staged by Angelin Preljoca, Wayne McGregor, Sasha Waltz and Alexei Ratmansky. Ekaterina will be dancing in a forthcoming ballet premiere – Le Baiser de la fée by Maxim Petrov to music by Stravinsky.

Over the three sections of her gala, the ballerina will be demonstrating three different styles: the audience will see her fiendish Carmen in Alonso's acclaimed Carmen-Suite and her trembling Juliet in Act III of Lavrovsky's Romeo and Juliet; At the core of the evening is Anton Pimonov's Violin Concerto No 2 to music by Prokofiev, staged in 2016, a marvellous example of strict neo-classicism.

01.07.2021

This multi-genre production is being staged by Golden Mask recipient Maxim Petrov, while the costumes have been created by Uldus Bakhtiozina, an "ambassador of Slavonic aesthetics in Europe". Maestro Valery Gergiev will be conducting.
Renard. Mavra. Le Baiser de la fée – under this title the Mariinsky Theatre is launching a production comprising works by Igor Stravinsky from the 1920s. The premiere performances are to take place at the Mariinsky-II on 11 and 14 July. The project was conceived as part of Valery Gergiev's plan for a Year of Stravinsky at the Mariinsky Theatre

This multi-genre production is being staged by Golden Mask recipient Maxim Petrov, while the costumes have been created by Uldus Bakhtiozina, an "ambassador of Slavonic aesthetics in Europe". Maestro Valery Gergiev will be conducting.

Renard. Mavra. Le Baiser de la fée – under this title the Mariinsky Theatre is launching a production comprising works by Igor Stravinsky from the 1920s. The premiere performances are to take place at the Mariinsky-II on 11 and 14 July. The project was conceived as part of Valery Gergiev's plan for a Year of Stravinsky at the Mariinsky Theatre.

The first to stage all three works as part of Diaghilev's Saisons russes was Bronislava Nijinska. Today's stage director and production choreographer is Maxim Petrov – a graduate of the Vaganova Academy and regular choreographer of the Mariinsky Theatre who this year received the Golden Mask award for his opus Russian Dead-Ends II to music by Nastasia Khrushcheva. As co-creators he has invited honoured theatre artist Alyona Pikalova (set design) and fashion artist and director of the film Fisherman's Daughter Uldus Bakhtiozina (costumes). The lighting design is by Konstantin Binkin and the video projection design by Sergei Rylko.

The new production combines works from three genres and two periods of the composer's creativity – the "Russian" and the "neoclassical". Renard (originally Le Renard, le coq, la chèvre, le chat) is an "histoire burlesque chantée et jouée". Mavra is an opera. Le Baiser de la fée is a ballet. For a musical entr'acte the choreographer is taking the piano cycle Les Cinq doigts, composed by Stravinsky the same year as Mavra. At the Paris premiere, this operatic jest based on Pushkin's The Little House in Kolomna proved a dismal failure: today, too, European audiences may find it difficult to read the "Russian code" of this opus.

It was Valery Gergiev who proposed that Maxim Petrov stage Mavra, which has not been performed at the Mariinsky Theatre for quite some time. This was a logical decision: the dance allows the musical relief to be underscored, combining an accent from literature – for Stravinsky it was phonetics and rhythms that were of the utmost importance rather than historic stylisation. Renard is the choreographer's response. Somewhat later, the programme came to include the forty-five-minute-long Le Baiser de la fée, which to date has been staged at the Mariinsky Theatre only once, when Alexei Ratmansky made his St Petersburg debut as a choreographer.

01.07.2021

Dear Patrons,
We are unfortunately forced to announce that due to pandemic limitations the pianist Rudolf Buchbinder wil be unable to appear at the Mariinsky Theatre as part of the 2021 Stars of the White Nights festival

Dear Patrons,
We are unfortunately forced to announce that due to pandemic limitations the pianist Rudolf Buchbinder wil be unable to appear at the Mariinsky Theatre as part of the 2021 Stars of the White Nights festival.

The planned performances of van Beethoven's piano sonatas (6-9 and 11–13 July), as well as the Beethoven-Diabelli concert (14 July) have been postponed until July 2022. We hope that in one year's time life will have returned to normal and that St Petersburg audiences will be able to hear all of van Beethoven's sonatas performed by one of the greatest interpreters and researchers of his works.

27.06.2021

Dear Patrons, please note that due to restrictions connected with the coronavirus pandemic Daniil Trifonov will be unable to appear at the Mariinsky Theatre. His recital scheduled for 29 June has been postponed (new date TBA), and on 27 June van Beethoven's Fifth Concerto will be performed by another acclaimed pianist – Boris Berezovsky. The programme also includes music from Stravinsky's ballet Le Baiser de la fée.
One of the most popular pianists in the world, on Sunday, following his scheduled main appearance at the Concert Hall, the virtuoso Boris Berezovsky will now also be performing an encore concert in the new Rachmaninoff Hall

Dear Patrons, please note that due to restrictions connected with the coronavirus pandemic Daniil Trifonov will be unable to appear at the Mariinsky Theatre. His recital scheduled for 29 June has been postponed (new date TBA), and on 27 June van Beethoven's Fifth Concerto will be performed by another acclaimed pianist – Boris Berezovsky. The programme also includes music from Stravinsky's ballet Le Baiser de la fée.

One of the most popular pianists in the world, on Sunday, following his scheduled main appearance at the Concert Hall, the virtuoso Boris Berezovsky will now also be performing an encore concert in the new Rachmaninoff Hall.

22.06.2021

Dear Guests,
It is with regret that we announce that due to illness Ferruccio Furlanetto will be unable to appear in the operas Don Quichotte and Eugene Onegin.
The title role in the performance of Jules Massenet's Don Quichotte on 22 June at the historic Mariinsky Theatre will be performed by Yuri Vorobiev, and his faithful sword-bearer will be Andrei Serov. The role of the object of Don Quichotte's love, the fair Dulcinée, will be sung by Yulia Matochkina

Dear Guests,
It is with regret that we announce that due to illness Ferruccio Furlanetto will be unable to appear in the operas Don Quichotte and Eugene Onegin.
The title role in the performance of Jules Massenet's Don Quichotte on 22 June at the historic Mariinsky Theatre will be performed by Yuri Vorobiev, and his faithful sword-bearer will be Andrei Serov. The role of the object of Don Quichotte's love, the fair Dulcinée, will be sung by Yulia Matochkina

19.06.2021

The Mariinsky Theatre is presenting a new production of the opera Tannhäuser by Richard Wagner. The first performances are to take place on 17 and 18 June at the Mariinsky II as part of the Stars of the White Nights festival. Valery Gergiev will be conducting

Dear Patrons, please note revisions to the playbill.
In late June as part of the Stars of the White Nights festival the Mariinsky Orchestra will be performing together with guest conductors – Germany's Christoph Eschenbach and Finland's Santtu-Matias Rouvali. On 26 June Eschenbach will conduct a performance of Bruckner's Seventh Symphony, while on 30 June under Rouvali's baton there will be a performance of Dvořák's symphony From the New World. Also invited to the festival together with Eschenbach is the young virtuoso Stathis Karapanos,who will be performing Jacques Ibert's Flute Concerto.

This festival period will also include performances of the operas La Bohème by Giacomo Puccini at the historic theatre under Alexei Aslanov and a concert performance of Richard Strauss' Ariadne auf Naxos with Christian Knapp conducting. The playbill for next week also features Vladimir Varnava's ballet Daphnis et Chloé to music by Maurice Ravel.

August will see the ballet company of the Primorsky Stage touring to St Petersburg with productions of A Thousand and One Nights, Le Corsaire, The Sleeping Beauty and Giselle.

10.06.2021

The Mariinsky Theatre is presenting a new production of the opera Tannhäuser by Richard Wagner. The first performances are to take place on 17 and 18 June at the Mariinsky II as part of the Stars of the White Nights festival. Valery Gergiev will be conducting

The Mariinsky Theatre is presenting a new production of the opera Tannhäuser by Richard Wagner. The first performances are to take place on 17 and 18 June at the Mariinsky II as part of the Stars of the White Nights festival. Valery Gergiev will be conducting

Tannhäuser is the ninth opera in the Mariinsky Theatre's Wagnerian project. Two years ago, in the summer of 2019, its premiere took place at the Concert Hall; now the opera is to be staged at the Mariinsky II. And though the production team remains unchanged (stage director Vyacheslav Starodubtsev and designer Pyotr Okunev) the public may look forward to a completely new production – with new sets and costumes and featuring new shades of meaning.

Of the several versions of the score, it is the so-called "Dresden edition" that is performed at the Mariinsky Theatre – this version is named after the city where the opera's world premiere took place. This means that one of Wagner's most impressive works – the overture to Tannhäuser – is performed here in its entirety, and performed by one of the finest Wagnerian orchestras in the world at that.

The protagonist of the opera is the conflict-ridden poet-knight Tannhäuser. The love-and-philosophy triangle he faces features the characters of the pagan goddess Venus and the Christian prophetess Elizabeth. The conflict between the worldly and the heavenly is conveyed in the overture, and it is later developed in the subsequent three acts of the opera. On the one hand we have the triumphant power of choral refrains, and on the other we have tedious and passionate chromatics, conveying sensual attraction. Confronted by the present and the eternal, by sin and virtue, Wagner employs the universal language of myth, and so his plots easily respond to actualisation, to being transformed into the realities of today.

At the Mariinsky Theatre the role of Tannhäuser is being performed by Sergei Skorokhodov, Mikhail Vekua and Avgust Amonov. As well as the new stage version, the audience will see the latest endeavours of the opera company's soloists: singing in Tannhäuser for the first time will be Elena Stikhina and Maria Bayankina (Elisabeth), Kirill Zharovin and Roman Burdenko (Wolfram), and Gleb Peryazev (Hermann). Rehearsals are featuring the same cast as in the previous production. This is published in its entirety on the theatre's website.

"I'm expecting a lot from this production of Tannhäuser," says maestro Valery Gergiev. "We are essentially staging a new production, and this production involves incredibly powerful singers. In so doing, we are expanding and cementing the Mariinsky Theatre's Wagneriana. If you also take into account the fact that soon we want to stage Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg as well, then by late 2021 we will have ten of Richard Wagner's operas in our repertoire."

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