22.11.2017

On 21 November the Mariinsky Theatre will commence a major tour of the Asia-Pacific region with the ballet The Sleeping Beauty in Beijing

On 21 November the Mariinsky Theatre will commence a major tour of the Asia-Pacific region with the ballet The Sleeping Beauty in Beijing. Over three weeks the St Petersburg company will be appearing at major venues in the Democratic People's Republic of China, Japan and South Korea, as well as giving concerts at the Primorsky Stage of the Mariinsky Theatre in Vladivostok. The tour ends on 13 December in Seoul.

On 21, 22 and 23 November the Mariinsky Ballet and Orchestra will appear at the National Centre for the Performing Arts (Beijing) – one of the greatest Asian centres that this year celebrates ten years since its opening. The tour programme includes three performances of Pyotr Tchaikovsky's ballet The Sleeping Beauty choreographed by Marius Petipa and revised by Konstantin Sergeyev. The roles of Princess Aurora and Prince Désiré will be performed by Anastasia Matvienko and Vladimir Shklyarov (21 November), Renata Shakirova and Filipp Stepin (22 November) and Maria Shirinkina and Alexander Sergeyev (23 November). The role of the Lilac Fairy will be performed by Kristina Shapran and Yekaterina Chebykina. The Mariinsky Orchestra will be conducted by Alexei Repnikov.

The Mariinsky Ballet and Orchestra will then depart to Shanghai, where from 26 to 28 November the Shanghai Grand Theatre will host the Mariinsky festival. On 26 and 27 November there will be performances of Sergei Prokofiev's ballet Cinderella choreographed by Alexei Ratmansky. The lead roles of Cinderella and the Prince will be performed by Maria Shirinkina and Filipp Stepin (26 November, 14.00), Anastasia Matvienko and Vladimir Shklyarov (26 November, 19.00) and Kristina Shapran and Alexander Sergeyev (27 November). The role of the Stepmother will be performed by Anastasia Petushkova and Zlata Yalinich, Khudyshka by Yekaterina Chebykina and Laura Fernandez and Kubyshka by Nadezhda Gonchar and Tatiana Tkachenko. The Mariinsky Orchestra will be conducted by Valery Gergiev.

The festival will continue with a Mariinsky Orchestra concert under Valery Gergiev – An Evening of Stravinsky (28 November). The programme includes the suite from the ballet The Firebird, music from the ballet Pétrouchka and Capriccio for Piano and Orchestra. Soloist: Denis Matsuev.

On 29 and 30 November, Denis Matsuev and the Mariinsky Orchestra under Valery Gergiev will present a Rachmaninoff Series at the Primorsky Stage of the Mariinsky Theatre (Vladivostok). Both concerts will feature all of Sergei Rachmaninoff's works for piano and orchestra.

From Vladivostok, the St Petersburg ensemble will depart for Japan, where as part of the Russian Seasons project from 1 to 11 December there will be twelve concerts in various cities. The series of performances begins with a charity concert at the Kumamoto Prefecture Theatre. For child victims of the earthquakes that occurred in the prefecture in 2016 there will be a performance of Sergei Prokofiev's symphonic tale Peter and the Wolf. The evening programme includes Pyotr Tchaikovsky's Serenade for Strings with the Mariinsky Stradivarius Ensemble, Hector Berlioz' Symphonie Fantastique and Sergei Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto No 4 (soloist – Denis Matsuev). Valery Gergiev will be conducting. The appearances in Kumamoto, the homeland of the Mariinsky Theatre's long-standing friend and partner the Countess Yoko Nagae Ceschina - thanks to whom many of the theatre's projects have come to life, are dedicated to her memory.

On 2 December Denis Matsuev and the Mariinsky Orchestra under Valery Gergiev will present a programme at the Bunka Gakuen Concert Hall in Hiroshima. The programme includes Pyotr Tchaikovsky's Fifth Symphony, the overture to Richard Wagner's opera Parsifal and Sergei Rachmaninoff's Second Piano Concerto (soloist – Denis Matsuev).

On 3 December there will be a concert at Symphony Hall in Osaka. The programme includes Claude Debussy's Prélude à l'après-midi d'un faune, Pyotr Tchaikovsky's Fifth Symphony and Tchaikovsky's Violin Concerto. The violin concerto will feature the acclaimed Japanese violinist and international competition prize-winner Sayaka Shoji.

On 4 December in the Kagawa Prefecture at the Rexxam Hall there will be a repeat performance of the overture to Richard Wagner's opera Parsifal and Pyotr Tchaikovsky's Fifth Symphony as well as Sergei Rachmaninoff's Second Piano Concerto with the young Japanese pianist Kanon Matsuda.

On 5 December the Mariinsky Orchestra under Valery Gergiev will present a concert at the State Musasino Concert Hall. The programme includes Sergei Prokofiev's Sixth Symphony, Claude Debussy's Prélude à l'après-midi d'un faune and Modest Musorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition.

On 7 December at the Seitoku University (Matsudo) the St Petersburg musicians will perform Pyotr Tchaikovsky's Violin Concerto (soloist – Sayaka Shoji) and Hector Berlioz' Symphonie Fantastique. A similar programme will be performed on 9 December at the Ark Hall Civic Cultural Centre in the city of Tokorozawa. Also being performed will be Henri Dutilleux' Métaboles and Richard Wagner's overture to the opera Parsifal.

There will be four tour concerts by the Mariinsky Orchestra at Tokyo's Suntory Hall. On 6 December the programme includes Hector Berlioz' Symphonie Fantastique, the suite from Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov's opera The Golden Cockerel and Dmitry Shostakovich's Violin Concerto No 1, the solo to be performed by Sayaka Shoji. The next concerts at this prestigious venue will take place on 10 and 11 December marking the colclusion of the Japanese tour. On 10 December Denis Matsuev and the Mariinsky Orchestra under Valery Gergiev will repeat the Rachmaninoff Series, performing all of the composer's piano concerti as well as his Symphonic Dances and Symphony No 2.

On 11 December the Mariinsky Stradivarius Ensemble featuring the brilliant soloists Yukio Yokoyama (piano) and Vadim Repin (violin) will conclude the series of Japanese concerts with a programme of works by Russian composers. The programme includes Pyotr Tchaikovsky's Serenade for Strings and Dmitry Shostakovich's First Piano Concerto.

On completing the tour of Japan, Valery Gergiev and the Mariinsky Orchestra will depart for South Korea to perform two concerts at the Seoul Arts Center (12 and 13 December). The programme of performances includes the overture to Mikhail Glinka's opera Ruslan and Lyudmila, Pyotr Tchaikovsky's Fifth Symphony and Sergei Rachmaninoff's Second Piano Concerto, the solo to be performed by Denis Matsuev.

21.11.2017

On 22 November the opera Idomeneo is being performed in honour of the jubilee of Honoured Artist of Russia Yevgeny Akimov. The artist's solo recital will take place at the Concert Hall on 10 December

On 22 November the opera Idomeneo is being performed in honour of the jubilee of Honoured Artist of Russia Yevgeny Akimov. The artist's solo recital will take place at the Concert Hall on 10 December.

People began to speak of the tenor Yevgeny Akimov in St Petersburg in the mid 1990s. The young soloist of the Zazerkalye theatre caused a furore at the premiere of L'elisir d'amore in1996, dazzlingly performing the role of Nemorino: "With a rare voice in terms of power and beauty as well as acting skills Akimov was rightly awarded the starring role in the production, and one may have no doubts as to his future as a star" (Anna Bulycheva). Following this came Russia's most important theatre prize, the Golden Mask, and an invitation to join the Mariinsky Opera.

At the St Petersburg Conservatoire Yevgeny Akimov studied under Lev Nikolaevich Morozov and, at the same time, assimilated the opera repertoire while appearing at the Zazerkalye theatre. The rise of his career as an opera singer luckily coincided with the rise of the Mariinsky Theatre, which has sttod at the avant-garde of artistic life and has boldly broadened its repertoire. Here he has sung some forty key roles – from the Duke in Rigoletto to Pierre Bezukhov in War and Peace. The range of characters sung and performed by Yevgeny Akimov at the Mariinsky Theatre is impressive: he has been Almaviva and Rodolfo, Don Ottavio and Lensky, Alfredo Germont and José, the Holy Fool and Elvino, Ferrando and Andrei Khovansky. Yevgeny Akimov's clear, fresh and mellifluous voice is not only invaluable in the Italian bel canto repertoire, as he can also be heard in Das Rheingold (Froh), Der Fliegende Holländer (Daland’s Steersman), The Love for Three Oranges (the Prince), Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk (Zinovy Borisovich) and The Fiery Angel (Mephistopheles). Akimov's greatest accomplishments include the role of the Holy Fool in Boris Godunov, in which he found such timbre and such intonational sub-texts thanks to which his character is seen as a symbol of the opera.

In 2002 Yevgeny Akimov received another Golden Mask for the role of Rodolfo in the opera La Bohème at the Zazerkalye theatre, and he became the hero of the premiere of Rodion Shchedrin's new opera The Enchanted Wanderer in New York. The five roles allocated to the tenor in The Enchanted Wanderer were also performed by him at the work's premiere in St Petersburg (recording available on the Mariinsky label). Yevgeny Akimov has appeared at the Metropolitan Opera, Covent Garden, the Opéra de Paris and the Teatro Regio in Turin. In 2007 he was awarded the title of Honoured Artist of Russia. Still performing, Yevgeny Akimov is today passing on his talents to the next generation of singers at the Elena Obraztsova Academy.

The Mariinsky Theatre is celebrating the singer's jubilee with a performance of Idomeneo with the performer appearing in the title role.

19.11.2017

On 19 November (12.00 and 15.00) at theProkofiev Hall (Mariinsky II) there will be a premiere of Sergei Banevich's opera Murych the Cat

On 19 November (12.00 and 15.00) at theProkofiev Hall (Mariinsky-II) there will be a premiere of Sergei Banevich's opera Murych the Cat. The composer's new work has been written for the Mariinsky Academy of Young Opera Singers directed by Larisa Gergieva. The libretto was written by Inga Bochanova, the stage director is Alexei Stepanyuk and the assistant stage director and choreographer is Ilya Ustyantsev.

The lead roles will be performed by Shota Chibirov (Murych the Cat), Luisa Gubieva (Murka Barsikovna), Xenia Grigorieva (Musya), Regina Rustamova (Musilda) and Rustam Sagdiev and Andrei Belov (Vasily and Timofei). Piano: Vasily Popov.

Murych the Cat is Sergei Banevich's fifth opera for the Mariinsky Theatre. In the 2016-17 season the historic Mariinsky Theatre saw the revival of The Story of Kai and Gerda, while the chamber Prokofiev Hall hostedthe premiere of the opera The Brave Hare. One year earlier came performances of An Opera about Porridge, a Cat and Milk andScenes from the Life of Nikolenka Irtenev, which have proved very popular with younger audiences at the Mariinsky Theatre. The story about the resourceful and somewhat boastful cat Murych, who celebrates his birthday with his family and friends, is targeted at the youngest audiences and finds a keen response from both children and their parents.

"To write operas and operettas for children, based on contemporary intonations. And at the same time to use the experience of Sergei Prokofiev, but to combine its achievements with the music of modern life, taking the best it has to offer," is how Sergei Banevich describes the task he faces.

The opera may be seen again on 16 December (12.00 and 15.00) and 6 January (12:00 and 15:00) at the Prokofiev Hall (Mariinsky-II).

18.11.2017

From 18 to 25 November Valery Gergiev and the Münchner Philharmoniker will be appearing at major classical music venues in China

From 18 to 25 November Valery Gergiev and the Münchner Philharmoniker will be appearing at major classical music venues in China. At concert halls in Nanjing, Xi’an, Tianjin and Beijing the musicians will repeat the programme they presented in October this year at the Gasteig Philharmonie, Frankfurt's Alte Oper and the Essen Philharmonie.

The tour opens with two concerts by the Münchner Philharmoniker and Valery Gergiev at the Jiangsu Performing Arts Center (Nanjing) – currently the largest cultural venue in Asia (18 and 19 November). The programme for the first evening includes Ludwig van Beethoven's overture Leonore No 3, Anton Bruckner's Third Symphony and the overture from Richard Wagner's opera Tannhäuser. The next day, the German orchestra under maestro Gergiev will present Pyotr Tchaikovsky's Sixth Symphony (Pathétique) and Sergei Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto No 4.

A similar programme will be presented at the Concert Halls of Xi’an and Tianjin (21 and 23 November) and at the National Center for the Performing Arts in Beijing (24 November). All four evenings will feature Denis Matsuev as the soloist in the piano concerto.

The tour will conclude at the National Center for the Performing Arts in Beijing (25 November), again featuring Ludwig van Beethoven's overture Leonore No 3, Anton Bruckner's Third Symphony and the overture from Richard Wagner's opera Tannhäuser.

The final joint performances in 2017 by Valery Gergiev and the Münchner Philharmoniker will take place at the Gasteig Philharmonie (Munich) in December.

16.11.2017

On 18 November at 19:00, the Mariinsky-II will host the first ballet premiere of the 2017-18 season – Pétrouchka with choreography by Vladimir Varnava. The performance will celebrate 135 years since the birth of Igor Stravinsky

On 18 November at 19.00, the Mariinsky-II will host the first ballet premiere of the 2017-18 season – Pétrouchka with choreography by Vladimir Varnava. The performance will celebrate 135 years since the birth of Igor Stravinsky.

The roles are being rehearsed by Alexander Sergeyev and Vladimir Shklyarov (Pétrouchka), Yaroslav Baibordin, David Zaleyev and Vasily Tkachenko (Death of Pétrouchka), Tatiana Tkachenko and Zlata Yalinich (the Diva) and Roman Belyakov, Yevgeny Deryabin and Yuri Smekalov (the Strong Man).

"Before approaching Le Sacre du printemps, on which I had to work long and hard, I wanted to amuse myself with the composition of an orchestral piece in which the piano would play a dominant role. (...) When I was composing that music, before my very eyes I saw the image of a dancing puppet who suddenly snaps his chains, who with his cascades of devilish arpeggios makes the orchestra lose its patience, the orchestra in turn responding to him with threatening fanfares," Igor Stravinsky recalled about working on the ballet, which appeared on the composer's initiative. Bringing the idea to life involved the involvement of Alexandre Benois – he had to produce the libretto and design the ballet-to-be. And only once the score was complete did Michel Fokine begin creating the choreography for the now ready scene plan.

The world premiere of Pétrouchka took place in Paris as part of Sergei Diaghilev's Ballets russes on 13 June 1911. In Russia the ballet was staged almost ten years later (in 1920), when Leonid Leontiev and Alexandre Benois revived the production "after Fokine". Later, such choreographers as Maurice Béjart, John Neumeier and Oleg Vinogradov set their sights on this vivid opus.

This new reading of Igor Stravinsky's ballet has been undertaken by one of the most popular young Russian choreographers – Vladimir Varnava. He first presented Pétrouchka at the close of the Diaghilev Festival in Perm in 2017. Speaking of the production, he said that "I really love Fokine's Pétrouchka. In my opinion, it's a brilliant ballet. For me, it was important to retain the thread of the ballet created in 1911, but at the same time not to repeat it: to borrow somethings, but to rethink them with regard to the present day, to find cultural codes and to draw out those threads to a modern audience." Also working with the choreographer on the 21st century Pétrouchka is the team who created Yaroslavna, which proved to be a true event of the previous theatre season: the Production Designer is Galya Solodovnikova, the Lighting Designer is Igor Fomin and the Librettist is Konstantin Fyodorov.

The evening of the premiere will also feature another key ballet for Igor Stravinsky – The Firebird with choreography by Michel Fokine. The lead roles will be performed by Ekaterina Kondaurova (the Firebird), Roman Belyakov (Ivan-Tsarevich), Olga Belik (the Princess of Great Beauty) and Vladimir Ponomarev (Kashchei the Immortal). Alexei Repnikov will be conducting.

The next performances of the ballet Pétrouchka will take place on 19 November (12.00) and 3 January (12.00 and 17.00).

15.11.2017

On 15 November at the Concert Hall of the Mariinsky Theatre soloists of the Mariinsky Opera and the Mariinsky Academy of Young Opera Singers will present Gioachino Rossini's opera La gazza ladra (concert performance)

On 15 November at the Concert Hall of the Mariinsky Theatre soloists of the Mariinsky Opera and the Mariinsky Academy of Young Opera Singers will present Gioachino Rossini's opera La gazza ladra (concert performance).

The lead roles will be performed by Yaroslav Petryanik (Fabrizio), Anna Kiknadze (Lucia), Ivan Kulikov (Giannetto), Evelina Agabalaeva (Ninetta), Pavel Shmulevich (Fernando), Dinar Dzhusoev (Gottardo), Elena Tsvetkova (Pippo) and Carlos d'Onofrio (Isacco). Zaurbek Gugkaev will be conducting the Mariinsky Orchestra.

"Rossini had become bored of bowing to audiences who had become bored of applauding" – such was the description of the opera La gazza ladra's success by Stendahl who attended the premiere at the Teatro alla Scala on 31 May 1817. The work, composed as an opera semiseria where the "serious" elements are combined with comic ones, enjoyed great popularity with the public in the 19th century. The opera's libretto was based on Louis-Charles Caigniez and Jean-Marie d'Aubigny's play La Pie voleuse, ou la Servante de Palaiseau (the play itself, presented in Paris in 1815, was also eagerly attended by the public). The opera's overture won particular popularity – it created a sensation at the premiere and drew stormy applause at the first twenty-seven performances. In the 20th century it was generally the overture to La gazza ladra that was performed in musical theatres – the opera itself was rarely performed.

The performance of the opera La gazza ladra at the Concert Hall of the Mariinsky Theatre opens the subscription of the Mariinsky Academy of Young Opera Singers (directed by Larisa Gergieva) Masters of Bel Canto, which will also see performances of Vincenzo Bellini's Il pirata (12 December), Gaetano Donizetti's La Favorite, La Fille du régiment and Anna Bolena (1 February, 30 April, 11 May) and Gioachino Rossini's Il signor Bruschino and La scala di seta (2 March).

14.11.2017

On 17 November the Mariinsky label is releasing a new disc in DVD and Blu-ray formats of Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov's opera The Tale of Tsar Saltan. The disc is already available to pre-order

On 17 November the Mariinsky label is releasing a new disc in DVD and Blu-ray formats of Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov's opera The Tale of Tsar Saltan. The disc is already available to pre-order.

The recording of the opera directed by Alexander Petrov (2005 production) was made at the historic Mariinsky Theatre during the XXIII Stars of the White Nights music festival in July 2015. The lead roles were performed by Albina Shagimuratova (the Swan Princess), Mikhail Vekua (Tsarevich Guidon), Irina Churilova (Tsaritsa Militrisa), Varvara Solovyova (Tkachikha), Tatiana Kravtsova (Povarikha) and Elena Vitman (the Elderly Mother-in-Law Babarikha). The role of Tsar Saltan was performed by Eduard Tsanga, who sadly died in in January 2017.

Conducting the Mariinsky Orchestra was Valery Gergiev.
This release will be the tenth DVD of a Mariinsky Theatre video recording and it continues a series of video recordings of operas by Russian composers on the Mariinsky label. The most recent include Rodion Shchedrin's The Lefthander, Sergei Prokofiev's Semyon Kotko and Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov's The Golden Cockerel (DVD and Blu-ray).

14.11.2017

In honour of People's Artist of the RSFSR Elena Yevteyeva, the performance of Swan Lake on 14 November is being dedicated by the Mariinsky Theatre to Elena Yevteyeva, a teacher and coach of the ballet company who has dedicated more than twenty-five years to the Mariinsky Theatre and is today passing on her experience to the next generation of dancers

In honour of People's Artist of the RSFSR Elena Yevteyeva, the performance of Swan Lake on 14 November is being dedicated by the Mariinsky Theatre to Elena Yevteyeva, a teacher and coach of the ballet company who has dedicated more than twenty-five years to the Mariinsky Theatre and is today passing on her experience to the next generation of dancers.

At the Mariinsky Theatre, Elena Yevteyeva is a guardian, first and foremost, of the traditions of lyrical classical dance. It was lyrical roles that were this ballerina's "bread and butter", it was in such roles plastique gift for cantinela in dance was revealed, as was her talent for creating the characters of timid and gentle heroines. Throughout her performing career at the theatre, which lasted over twenty-five years, she never betrayed her role.

A pupil of the Leningrad school, Elena Yevteyeva learned the ABC of her professional skills under Lidia Tyuntina, she graduated from her class at the Vaganova School of Dance in 1966. At the theatre she learned roles in the classical masterpieces from the great dancers of the previous generation – Natalia Dudinskaya and Ninel Kurgapkina. Elena Yevteyeva captivated audiences with her grace, intelligence and inspiration in Giselle, Chopiniana, as Nikia in La Bayadère, Princess Florine in The Sleeping Beauty and the Queen of the Dryads in Don Quixote. The ballerina's dancing inspired critics to produce poetic metaphors and epithets: it was known as "impressionistic", for the airy lightness and "moods of light and shade" it was compared to a water-colour, and they wrote that it "calls forth associations with water flowing gently". Naturally, this quality determined the management of the Kirov Ballet's choice when the young ballerina - who had not yet danced as Odette-Odile at the theatre – was appointed for the lead role in a ballet film of Swan Lake. Yevteyeva's stage career as the Queen of the Swans, which had begun in a film studio, was to prove a lengthy one, but her first attempt at that image, captured on film in 1968, became for many the embodiment of lyrical poetry in movement.

For audiences, the incredibly magnetic impression of the intimacy of Yevteyeva's dance came thanks to the way the ballerina seemed to "fill" the stage. "She doesn't just create beautiful poses – each movement contains some meaning, it conveys a condition, psychical anxiety, they all mean something, they are inspired," they wrote of her work. This justification and meaningfulness of the gestures and pauses in the performer's dance also attracted choreographers, who asked her to appear in their new productions. Elena Yevteyeva was one of the first performers of roles in Leonid Yakobson's ballet Land of Miracles, Konstantin Sergeyev's Hamlet and The Lefthander, she danced as Shyrin in The Legend of Love and as Katerina in The Stone Flower by Yuri Grigorovich, the Girl in Igor Belsky's Leningrad Symphony, and she appeared in choreographic works by Natalia Kasatkina and Vladimir Vasilyov, Igor Chernyshov, Dmitry Bryantsev and Boris Eifman. Her career also involved collaborations with foreign choreographers – she truly touched audiences as Esmeralda in Notre Dame de Paris by Roland Petit, the role of the Moor's Wife in The Moor's Pavane by José Limón, she worked with Pierre Lacotte on the pas de deux from Le Papillon and has performed lead roles in August Bournonville's La Sylphide and Napoli, restaged in Leningrad by Danish ballet masters.

On ending her performing career, Elena Yevteyeva dedicated herself to passing on her rich experience to the next generation. At the Vaganova Ballet Academy, graduates from her class include Svetlana Zakharova and Daria Pavlenko, and at the theatre among those who have had the good fortune to be mentored by Elena Yevteyeva in rehearsing roles are Sofia Gumerova, Daria Pavlenko, Anastasia Kolegova and Oxana Skorik.
Olga Makarova

14.11.2017

From 16 to 18 November the Mariinsky Theatre will be presenting a series of events under the aegis of the VI St Petersburg International Cultural Forum: a concert by the Mariinsky Orchestra and Denis Matsuev under the baton of Valery Gergiev and opera premieres of the 2016-17 season – The Diary of Anne Frank by Grigory Frid and Not Love Alone by Rodion Shchedrin

From 16 to 18 November the Mariinsky Theatre will be presenting a series of events under the aegis of the VI St Petersburg International Cultural Forum: a concert by the Mariinsky Orchestra and Denis Matsuev under the baton of Valery Gergiev and opera premieres of the 2016-17 season – The Diary of Anne Frank by Grigory Frid and Not Love Alone by Rodion Shchedrin.

On 16 November at the Concert Hall of the Mariinsky Theatre there will be a concert by the Mariinsky Orchestra under Valery Gergiev. The soloist is Denis Matsuev. The concert begins at 20.00.

On 17 November (19.00) at the Mariinsky II sees the grans opening ceremony of the VI St Petersburg International Cultural Forum featuring the Mariinsky Orchestras and soloists of the Opera and Ballet Companies.

That same evening at the Concert Hall of the Mariinsky Theatre will host Grigory Frid's mono-opera The Diary of Anne Frank staged by Mstislav Pentkovsky. The performance will mark seventy years since the diary's publication, the actual text of which has been used as the literary basis of the libretto. The diary was first published in 1947 with the collaboration of Anne's father, Otto Frank. The titular – and only – role will be performed by Natalia Pavlova, a soloist with the Mariinsky Academy of Young Opera Singers. Zaurbek Gugkaev will be conducting.

On 18 November (20.00) at the Concert Hall of the Mariinsky Theatre there will be a performance of Rodion Shchedrin's opera Not Love Alone staged by Alexander Kuzin. The lead roles will be performed by Nadezhda Serdyuk (Varvara Vasilievna), Vitaly Dudkin (Volodya Gavrilov), Pavel Shmulevich (Fedot Petrovich), Yekaterina Latysheva (Natasha), Yaroslav Petryanik (Ivan Trofimov), Ilya Selivanov (Mishka) and Savva Khastaev (Grishka). The Mariinsky Orchestra will be conducted by Zaurbek Gugkaev. The performance of the opera marks Rodion Shchedrin's eighty-fifth birthday.

The VI St Petersburg International Cultural Forum runs from 16 to 18 November. The forum is being organised by the Government of the Russian Federation and the City Government of St Petersburg.

11.11.2017

Valery Gergiev and the Mariinsky Orchestra are continuing a major tour of the 2016-17 season in cities in the USA and Canada. The musicians have already visited Stanford, Costa Mesa, Los Angeles, Davis, Berkeley, Kansas City, Chicago and Urbana

Valery Gergiev and the Mariinsky Orchestra are continuing a major tour of the 2016-17 season in cities in the USA and Canada. The musicians have already visited Stanford, Costa Mesa, Los Angeles, Davis, Berkeley, Kansas City, Chicago and Urbana. On 10 and 11 November the orchestra is appearing in Canada before returning to the USA for the final concerts of the tour at America's most prestigious venues – the Kennedy Center (Washington) and Carnegie Hall (New York), as well as at Washington Cathedral.

One American critic was very interested in the choice of programmes. Of the performance at the Walt Disney Concert Hall the critic of The Los Angeles Times wrote wrote that "Scriabin's symphony Le Divin Poème was stirring. The middle movement, with its gorgeous tune (impossible to get out of your head for days), swelled with a rapturous grandeur that seemed like it would never stop. Climax topped climax." The internet portal Classical Voice commented on the soloist of the evening – Denis Matsuev: "(Maestro Gergiev's) conducting style has changed little and mellowed not one whit, always charging ahead relentlessly and excitingly. (...) In the Prokofiev Piano Concerto No 2, Gergiev met his match in pianist Denis Matsuev, who stunned in the power and clarity of his playing, romping through the four movements of the concerto with equal fun and ease."

The Mariinsky Orchestra under Valery Gergiev received most comments following their appearance at the Zellerbach Hall in Berkeley, where they presented Sergei Prokofiev's Piano Concerto No 2, Dmitry Shostakovich's Ninth Symphony, Alexander Scriabin's Third Symphony Le Divin Poème on the first evening, and Richard Strauss symphonic poem Don Juan, Sergei Prokofiev's Sixth Symphony and Rodion Shchedrin's Piano Concerto No 2, commemmorating the composer's birthday, on the second evening.

"In this concert the musicians sent out a brilliant glow, and responded to Gergiev’s mercurial conducting style, all wiggling fingers and body thrusts. Chief among the assets on display was the luminescence of the string playing, a warm blanket that provided a soft bed for rapturous utterances from the brass and more delicate touches from the woodwinds. Through it all, Gergiev and his toothpick corralled this programme into exactly what he wanted with the Mariinsky Orchestra. It’s a magnificent collaboration." Seen and Heard International

SFGATE commented: "If there’s one thing Valery Gergiev and the Mariinsky Orchestra do superbly well, it’s playing the music of Russian composers. (...) The centerpiece and highlight of the Mariinsky’s largely dramatic concert in Berkeley’s Zellerbach Hall (...) was a performance of a piece we don’t ever get to hear: Rodion Shchedrin’s Piano Concerto No 2. The piece is hard to swallow at first, but before long its manic energy and eagerness to please – even if that means turning somersaults right into your lap – win you over. The iron-man keyboard prowess of pianist Denis Matsuev comes tearing out of the gate as if on steroids and doesn’t take a breath until its three movements are complete."

"Gergiev has truly turned the Mariinsky Orchestra into his own ‘instrument’ – and he plays it like no other. How he does that, is not always exactly clear. His style has always been unorthodox, to say the least. The level of musicianship that Gergiev reaches with the Mariinsky Orchestra is absolutely phenomenal. Theirs is really music from another world." – San Francisco Classical Voice.

The immense three-hour-long programme presented at Chicago Symphony Center was commented on by Chicago Classical Review: "Under Gergiev’s leadership, the Mariinsky remains an impressive ensemble with rich, dark strings, big, characterful winds and commanding brass. The corporate sound is more punchy than refined and occasionally raucous but always responsive."
The Chicago Tribune wrote that "Tone glowed brightly and unremittingly, with deliberateness and minimal relaxation, whether the music was by Shostakovich, Prokofiev, Wagner or Richard Strauss. No one could complain the interpretations were tepid or faceless."

Valery Gergiev and the Mariinsky Orchestra's tour runs from 29 October to 15 November and features sixteen concerts in cities in the USA and Canada.

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