News

24.01.2020

On 23 and 25 January at the chamber halls of the Mariinsky II there will be two evenings of cycles by the Academy of Young Opera Singers directed by Larisa Gergieva: Masterpieces of Russian Vocal Music and Legendary Soloists of the Mariinsky Theatre

On 23 and 25 January at the chamber halls of the Mariinsky II there will be two evenings of cycles by the Academy of Young Opera Singers directed by Larisa Gergieva: Masterpieces of Russian Vocal Music and Legendary Soloists of the Mariinsky Theatre.

On 23 January at the Musorgsky Hall, soloists from the Academy will be performing romances by Nikolai Tcherepnin. “An uncommon lyricist, a landscapist, a master of psychological and rural sketches, a Russian Impressionist – he created an entire gallery of wonderful musical miniatures. One has to be a master in order to be able to uncover these images and create that mood,” says Larisa Gergieva, the Academy’s Director. The composer’s original style expressed itself with particular refinement in his chamber and vocal lyricism – romances to verse by Mikhail Lermontov, Fyodor Tyutchev, Apollon Maykov, Afanasy Fet, Arseny Golenishchev-Kutuzov, Konstantin Balmont and Konstantin Fofanov.

On 25 January the Stravinsky Foyer will be hosting the next concert from the series Legendary Soloists of the Mariinsky Theatre, which speaks of the lives and art of outstanding singers of the past. As part of exhibition-concerts, this gallery of images has already presented Leonid Yakovlev and Yevgeny Mravin, with plans to feature the life story of Valentina Kuza (8 February).
The concert on 25 January is dedicated to Daria Leonova – “Queen Azucena”, an opera singer (contralto), singing teacher and dramatic actress.

For each concert an exhibition is organised containing archive materials; Larisa Gergieva speaks of the destiny of the concert’s “hero”, while soloists from the Academy add vocal illustrations, performing arias from the repertoires of these brilliant musicians.

23.01.2020

From 26 to 28 January the Mariinsky Theatre will be hosting a series of concerts and performances to mark the Day of the Lifting of the Siege of Leningrad. On this important day in the history of St Petersburg, Valery Gergiev will be conducting Shostakovich’s legendary Seventh Symphony (Leningrad)

From 26 to 28 January the Mariinsky Theatre will be hosting a series of concerts and performances to mark the Day of the Lifting of the Siege of Leningrad.
On this important day in the history of St Petersburg, Valery Gergiev will be conducting Shostakovich’s legendary Seventh Symphony (Leningrad). The majestic music about man and mankind’s resistance to violence and tyranny, to the machinery of evil and destruction, has, even today – almost eighty years since the premiere – a colossal power of influence on the listener. The same evening will also see a performance of Shostakovich’s Second Piano Concerto and Schnittke’s Piano Concerto for Four Hands and Chamber Orchestra. The famed pianist and acclaimed virtuoso Alexander Toradze and Siwon Kim, one of his students from Indiana University South Bend, have been invited to perform the solo parts.

At the Concert Hall on 27 January there will be a performance of works by St Petersburg-Leningrad composers in which one may hear echoes of the Great Patriotic War. The Chamber Symphony – String Quartet No 8, arrangement for chamber orchestra – was dedicated by Shostakovich to the memory of victims of Fascism and war, although he wrote it first and foremost concerning himself and his own losses. The War Letters by Gavrilin set to lyrics by the composer himself strives to express the great admiration at the efforts and endeavours of those people who preserved all that is good and humane for future generations. Sviridov’s Miniature Triptych encompasses more generalised images of a vast nation at times of peace and times of storm. Finally, Prokofiev’s rarely performed oratorio On Guard for Peace to lyrics by Samuil Marshak was written at a time when in all countries there rose a movement of those supporting peace. This movement also saw the active participation of Soviet composers. That evening, the vocal parts will be performed by soloists and the ensemble of the Academy of Young Opera Singers under the direction of Larisa Gergieva. The conductor will be Nikolai Khondzinsky.

There will be other Mariinsky Theatre events, too, to commemorate these anniversary dates. The chamber halls of the Mariinsky II will host the concert Music from the Concentration Camp to mark the seventy-fifth anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz and International Holocaust Remembrance Day, and there will be a performance of Frid’s mono-opera The Diary of Anne Frank, which was written on the basis of the young girl’s actual diary. At the Concert Hall there will be a performance of Krása’s children’s opera Brundibár. Composed in 1942, and subsequently recreated by the composer in Theresienstadt to be performed by children imprisoned in the camp, the opera emerged as one of the symbols of the history of the war. The historic stage will be presenting ballets which in line with tradition are performed on the most important dates for the residents of St Petersburg: the Day of the Lifting of the Siege of Leningrad and Victory Day. Created in the 1960s, Igor Belsky’s Leningrad Symphony and Konstantin Boyarsky’s The Young Lady and the Hooligan today continue to live on, brought to life by a new generation of Mariinsky Theatre dancers.

23.01.2020

On 25 January a performance of the ballet The Fountain of Bakhchisarai is being dedicated to Galina Ulanova to mark one hundred and ten years since the birth of the great ballerina

On 25 January a performance of the ballet The Fountain of Bakhchisarai is being dedicated to Galina Ulanova to mark one hundred and ten years since the birth of the great ballerina. The lead roles in this anniversary performance at the historic Mariinsky Theatre will be danced by Yekaterina Osmolkina (Maria), Andrei Yermakov (Vaslav), Yuri Smekalov (Ghirei), Maria Bulanova (Zarema) and Maxim Izmestiev (Nurali).

The name of Galina Sergeyevna Ulanova is a synonym for the poetry of dance. Bewitched by her staggering talent and undaunted by the grand style, contemporaries referred to Ulanova as an “everyday goddess” and “the elusive soul and genius of Russian ballet”. Galina Ulanova’s repertoire featured comparatively few roles: she would only undertake those that suited the nature of her own talent, those that she truly “felt”. The ballerina was in her element in lyrically dramatic roles. The natural quality of her plastique intonations and the truthfulness of the gestures of her heroines whose destinies she enacted on-stage were things that Ulanova sought out selflessly.

Her lead roles – those in which she was incomparable – were created by Ulanova in Leningrad, at the Kirov Theatre. It was here that her Juliet in Romeo and Juliet and her Maria in The Fountain of Bakhchisarai were born; staged for her, these roles when performed by Ulanova were masterpieces of acting talent in ballet, legends of choreographic expressiveness. Of the classics, Galina Sergeyevna had a particular fondness for Giselle and Odette – having learnt the roles in Leningrad, she maintained them in her repertoire when, in 1944, she moved to Moscow to continue her career.

Having become a ballerina at the Bolshoi Theatre, Ulanova often returned to her native city to dance, and each and every performance by her was a true event. The theatre was unable to accommodate all of the grateful and loving audience members who came to her performances to be amazed. On the stage, the dance of Ulanova – in life restrained and impassive – was filled with temperament, making the heart flutter even for those seated at the very back of the uppermost balcony. And stories of worldly passions as performed by her became heartfelt narratives of the greatness of the soul.

21.01.2020

On 30 January at the Concert Hall of the Mariinsky Theatre there will be a performance of Messiaen’s Turangalîla-Symphonie – a major opus of French orchestral music of the 20th century. It will be performed by the Ural Philharmonic Orchestra under the baton of Dmitry Liss – one of relatively few ensembles in Russia to include this grandiose score in its repertoire

On 30 January at the Concert Hall of the Mariinsky Theatre there will be a performance of Messiaen’s Turangalîla-Symphonie – a major opus of French orchestral music of the 20th century. It will be performed by the Ural Philharmonic Orchestra under the baton of Dmitry Liss – one of relatively few ensembles in Russia to include this grandiose score in its repertoire. The orchestra performed the symphony to great acclaim last December in Yekaterinburg, and following its performance in St Petersburg the ensemble will be presenting the piece at the Zaryadye Concert Hall in Moscow.

The name of Turangalîla comes from Sanskrit roots and denotes a song of love, a hymn to joy, to time, to movement, to rhythm, to life and to death. Messiaen, a veritable cosmopolitan in musical terms, was inspired by the musical traditions of various cultures: the sound of jazz, Indian ragas and the Indonesian gamelan. In the symphony they are embodied in a capricious combination together with elements of the avant-garde style. The music of the opus is threaded with rhythms of ecstatic dance and the birdcalls so beloved by the composer.

The ten-movement symphony is on a truly vast scale – it lasts almost one and a half hours and was written for a massive orchestra. Solos are provided by the piano and the ondes Martenot – an electronic musical instrument which was invented in France in 1928 and which, thanks to its unusual “cosmic” timbre, came to be loved by composers of both classical and experimental genres. The voice of this instrument, in the words of the composer’s wife Yvonne Loriod, was something he “expected to hear in Heaven”. At the concert the solos will be performed by French musicians whose artistic careers have been linked to Messiaen: Roger Muraro (piano) and Nathalie Forget (ondes Martenot). Roger Muraro, whose performance received lofty praise from the composer himself, has recorded all of Messiaen’s music for piano, while Nathalie Forget was a student of Jeanne Loriod, the first performer of the ondes Martenot part in numerous works by Messiaen.

14.01.2020

From 14 to 23 January the Mariinsky Theatre will be hosting the traditional tour by the ballet company of the Primorsky Stage. For several years in a row now, at the end of the January holidays the Far-East stage of the Mariinsky Theatre has been bringing its versions of popular productions to St Petersburg which have their own unique and inimitable style. During the previous five visits the dancers succeeded in winning acclaim from St Petersburg audiences

From 14 to 23 January the Mariinsky Theatre will be hosting the traditional tour by the ballet company of the Primorsky Stage. For several years in a row now, at the end of the January holidays the Far-East stage of the Mariinsky Theatre has been bringing its versions of popular productions to St Petersburg which have their own unique and inimitable style. During the previous five visits the dancers succeeded in winning acclaim from St Petersburg audiences.

This year the company will be presenting the very best of world ballet classics: the ballet-féerie The Sleeping Beauty, the vivid story of Le Corsaire and one of the most famous French romantic ballets – Giselle.

Tour performances will take place at the historic Mariinsky Theatre and at the Mariinsky II.

10.01.2020

On 10 January at the Concert Hall of the Mariinsky Theatre there will be an evening in memory of Yoko Ceschina – a musician, patron of the arts and friend of the Mariinsky Theatre who died in January 2015. The programme About Love, Joy and Woe on the Strings of the Harp includes the Harp Concerto and Suite No 2 from the ballet Daphnis et Chloé by Ravel, the introduction to the ballet The Bronze Horseman by Glière and Concierto de Aranjuez by Rodrigo, arranged for the harp

On 10 January at the Concert Hall of the Mariinsky Theatre there will be an evening in memory of Yoko Ceschina – a musician, patron of the arts and friend of the Mariinsky Theatre who died in January 2015. The programme About Love, Joy and Woe on the Strings of the Harp includes the Harp Concerto and Suite No 2 from the ballet Daphnis et Chloé by Ravel, the introduction to the ballet The Bronze Horseman by Glière and Concierto de Aranjuez by Rodrigo, arranged for the harp.

Countess Yoko Nagae Ceschina studied the harp in Tokyo and Florence, was a prize-winner at the International Harp Contest in Israel and, when her performing career came to an end, she dedicated herself to philanthropic works. She provided support to Carnegie Hall, the Israel Symphony Orchestra and Maxim Vengerov and was one of the initiators of the historic concert by the New York Philharmonic Orchestra in North Korea in 2008. Longstanding ties of friendship and partnership connected Countess Ceschina with the Mariinsky Theatre. As a true devotee and refined connoisseur of Russian culture, she considered the Mariinsky Orchestra to be her “home ensemble”. Her generous support saw the opening of the Concert Hall of the Mariinsky Theatre, projects of the Mariinsky recording label came about and series of concerts at both the Moscow Easter Festival and the Stars of the White Nights festival were organised.

The Mariinsky Theatre has dedicated its Northern Lyre international harp festival to the memory of Yoko Nagae Ceschina. It is being run this year from 19 to 22 March and will include several major concert programmes featuring musicians from the theatre’s orchestra as well as guest performers from Great Britain, the USA, Israel, Japan and Colombia, performances by young harpists from music schools in St Petersburg and master-classes. In addition to the classical harp, audiences at the festival will have the opportunity to discover the sound of rare national instruments: the Japanese koto, the Colombian and Celtic harp and the eastern plucked instrument the oud – the predecessor of the European lute.

08.01.2020

In January, Valery Gergiev will be running a series of performances in Vienna – one of the world’s oldest music capitals. The maestro will conduct Wagner’s opera Lohengrin at the Wiener Staatsoper and present a series of concerts with the Wiener Philharmoniker

In January, Valery Gergiev will be running a series of performances in Vienna – one of the world’s oldest music capitals. The maestro will conduct Wagner’s opera Lohengrin at the Wiener Staatsoper and present a series of concerts with the Wiener Philharmoniker.

On 9, 12, 16 and 19 January at the Wiener Staatsoper under the baton of Valery Gergiev there will be performances of Lohengrin (production by Andreas Homoki). The 2014 staging is a co-production with the Opernhaus Zürich where Homoki is Intendant. An impressive international cast has been assembled for this latest series of performances in Vienna: the title role will be performed by famed Polish tenor Piotr Beczała, the role of Elsa by young Swedish soprano Cornelia Beskow and the role of Ortrud by Linda Watson, one of America’s leading Wagnerian sopranos. Friedrich of Telramund will be sung by Latvian bass-baritone Egils Siliņš, who currently directs the Latvian National Opera, while renowned Estonian bass Ain Anger will be appearing as Heinrich der Vogler. The collaboration between Valery Gergiev and the Wiener Staatsoper has lasted for many years now. On numerous occasions the maestro has appeared with the theatre’s orchestra on tour, several years ago conducting the ensemble in a production of Parsifal at the Salzburg festival and, last season, this grandiose stage mystery was conducted by him at the Wiener Staatsoper.
Continuing the Vienna concert series, Valery Gergiev will be appearing with the Wiener Philharmoniker. On 10, 11 and 12 January at the Goldener Saal of the Musikverein and on 14 January at the Großer Saal of the Konzerthaus the programmes will feature works by Russian composers: Tchaikovsky’s First Symphony (Winter Dreams) and Rimsky-Korsakov’s symphonic suite Schéhérazade.
After the close of the series of performances in Vienna, Valery Gergiev will continue to tour in Europe with the Münchner Philharmoniker and the Rotterdam Philharmonic.

27.12.2019

On 30 December the historic Mariinsky Theatre will host the 500th performance of Tchaikovsky's opera Mazepa since the premiere

On 30 December the historic Mariinsky Theatre will host the 500th performance of Tchaikovsky's opera Mazepa since the premiere.

Mazepa was first performed in February 1884 with three days between the Moscow and St Petersburg premieres. The composer, tired following the rehearsals in Moscow, did not come to the capital, but at the Mariinsky Theatre the new opus was given an ovation. Emperor Alexander III awarded Tchaikovsky the Order of St Vladimir, fourth class, and decreed that Eugene Onegin should be produced at the imperial stage in the capital without delay, it having been previously performed in St Petersburg only in amateur circles. One month later, the composer informed the conductor of the Imperial Russian Opera Eduard Nápravník of his desire to make amendments to the score of Mazepa: henceforth the strident opera, filled with seething dark passions, would conclude with Maria's gentle cradle-song.

A natural lyricist, in this work Tchaikovsky focussed on the emotions of the characters: a fateful drama unfolding against a historical backdrop. Here, traced in the folk spirit, there are depictions of brutal heroic episodes and intimate expressions in the perturbed arioso style typical of the composer. Boris Asafiev referred to Mazepa as the first of Tchaikovsky's tragic operas, ranking it alongside The Enchantress and The Queen of Spades.

The production performed at the Mariinsky Theatre today is the fourth production of six ever staged there. It was created in 1950, and has been revived on numerous occasions: in 1966, 1968, 1974, 1998 and 2009. It has been conducted by Sergei Yeltsin, Konstantin Simeonov and Valery Gergiev. In 2000 this version, widely regarded as definitive, was taken on tour to London, and in June 2019 it was broadcast by a major TV channel dedicated to classical music - Mezzo and Mezzo Live HD.

On 30 December the performance will see the same dazzling cast of Mariinsky Theatre soloists who performed the opera live on-air in the summer: Vladislav Sulimsky (Mazepa), Maria Bayankina (Maria), Ekaterina Semenchuk (Lyubov) and Sergei Semishkur (Andrei). The anniversary performance will be conducted by Valery Gergiev.

27.12.2019

Ticket sales have opened for events in March at the Mariinsky Theatre. That month, the theatre will be running three festivals at the same time – two instrumental music festivals and the much-loved ballet festival

Ticket sales have opened for events in March at the Mariinsky Theatre. That month, the theatre will be running three festivals at the same time – two instrumental music festivals and the much-loved ballet festival.

From 4 to 9 March the Mariinsky Theatre will be hosting the Virtuosi of the Flute festival for the fourth time, while the Northern Lyre harp festival will run from 18 to 22 March. These small instrumental festivals have become an annual tradition of the theatre. They allow attention to be focussed on the musicians of the Mariinsky Orchestra and afford a rare opportunity to hear leading soloists from European orchestras in one concert space.

Yet another traditional event which brings together dance aficionados on an annual basis is the Mariinsky International Ballet Festival. This year it will run from 11 to 22 March and will include an Artistic Soirée of Vladimir Shklyarov, repertoire productions with stars of the Mariinsky Theatre and renowned dancers from European companies as well as the Creative Workshop of Young Choreographers, which promises many surprises for audiences.

On 24 and 25 March Valery Gergiev will be conducting the first two evenings of Wagner's grandiose tetralogy Der Ring des Nibelungen. The concluding two parts of the cycle – the operas Siegfried and Götterdämmerung – may be heard on 11 and 12 April.

27.12.2019

On 28 December at 13.00 the Mariinsky II will be hosting the one hundredth performance of Konyok-Gorbunok (The Little Humpbacked Horse). This ballet combines many successful ingredients: a fairy-tale plot (engaging for children), its ironic interpretation (interesting for adults), the extravagant and stylish designs by Maxim Isaev, the talented and inventive choreography of Alexei Ratmansky and the emotional music of Rodion Shchedrin

On 28 December at 13.00 the Mariinsky II will be hosting the one hundredth performance of Konyok-Gorbunok (The Little Humpbacked Horse). This ballet combines many successful ingredients: a fairy-tale plot (engaging for children), its ironic interpretation (interesting for adults), the extravagant and stylish designs by Maxim Isaev, the talented and inventive choreography of Alexei Ratmansky and the emotional music of Rodion Shchedrin.

The score of the ballet Konyok-Gorbunok was composed by Shchedrin when he was a young man, still a student at the Moscow Conservatory. With his humour, wit, colourfulness and joie de vivre it has inspired many musicians and choreographers, yet each of them has found something for him or herself in it. Alexander Radunsky, who created the first choreographic version of Shchedrin's Konyok at the Bolshoi Theatre (1960), heard a traditional ballet fairy-tale in it. In the same piece, Igor Belsky, who staged his own version of Konyok at the Maly Opera Theatre in 1963, heard sharp satire. In 1981 at the Kirov Theatre, Dmitry Bryantsev staged a version of his own, combining fair-like decorativeness with entirely human portraits of the protagonists.

Ratmansky's ballet is a child of the early 21st century. In this dynamic, merry and ironic production there is also room for dance, both classical and character, and mime scenes, serious virtuoso skill and reckless humour. The dances crafted by the choreographer are interesting to perform, each role opening up a broad spectrum for creativity: on the one hand, for acting embodiment and improvisation and, on the other, to assert oneself in a technically complex dance text. If, in the role of the odd and grotesquely presented duffer of a King, the playful element is richer than the dance and expression of the "popular print" images of the Father and Ivan's Brothers and is simple in terms of plastique, then Ivan the Fool, Ivan the Virgin, appears in some scenes as childishly capricious and in others as virginously tender, and the nimble and adroit Horse reveals his nature namely through the dance.

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