Interviews

29.07.2021

Towards the close of the season, the Mariinsky Theatre is rehearsing an opera premiere: on 30 and 31 July at the Mariinsky-II there are to be performances of Jacques Offenbach's Les Contes d'Hoffmann.

Towards the close of the season, the Mariinsky Theatre is rehearsing an opera premiere: on 30 and 31 July at the Mariinsky-II there are to be performances of Jacques Offenbach's Les Contes d'Hoffmann. The lead roles in the premiere performance on 30 July will be performed by Sergei Skorokhodov (Hoffmann), Olga Pudova (Olympia), Elena Stikhina (Antonia), Tatiana Serjan (Giulietta), Yekaterina Sergeyeva (Nicklausse), Stanislav Trofimov (Lindorf, Coppélius, Dr Miracle, Dapertutto) and Oleg Sychov (Crespel).

One of the founders of French operetta, Jacques Offenbach only turned to the genre of opera towards the end of his own life. The composer did not, however, succeed in completing this work, leaving his followers numerous versions to interpret this eclectic subject. In each and every act Hoffmann falls in love anew — with the doll Olympia, the actress Antonia and the courtesan Giulietta — and every time it ends not just with disappointment but in disaster.

The full-scale production of this fantastical opera has been entrusted to young American film director Daniel Kruglikov. He says that Les Contes d'Hoffmann is a "tragic comedy" about a broken heart and the dark side of love: "Offenbach's Hoffmann is the embodiment of a 'poète maudit', who through his own experience knows the meaning of pain, suffering and bidding farewell to love, the necessary pre-requisites to being a true creator." As the opera's character of the Muse/Nicklausse notes, love makes a person great, but tears have the power to make him greater.

Daniel Kruglikov and costume designer Ymanol Perset have chosen to present the universe of Les Contes d'Hoffmann in a clinic where broken hearts are treated: this is where, as the action commences, the broken romantic Hoffmann finds himself. The hero is surrounded by doctors, patients and the characters his own imagination has created. Under the effects of medication, he sinks into the world of his own psychological traumas, where the borders are blurred between memories and reveries, reality and phantasmagoria. Here the costumes reflect both the actual reality of a hospital (Hoffmann himself, for example, is dressed in hospital-issue pyjamas) and the illusory world of fantasies.

The last time that the opera Les Contes d'Hoffmann was staged at the Mariinsky Theatre was ten years ago; then it was directed by Vasily Barkhatov. The opera company then returned to Offenbach's score this season, and in March at the new theatre there came a semi-staged version by Kristina Larina with choreography by Alexander Sergeyev (who has created the choreography for the new production).

At the Mariinsky-II, Les Contes d'Hoffmann will be performed as part of the Stars of the White Nights arts festival, which this year has been extended to the end of the season — until 15 August.

29.07.2021

The Mariinsky Theatre website and box-offices have opened ticket-sales for events from 8 to 30 September

Dear Friends, the Mariinsky Theatre website and box-offices have opened ticket-sales for events from 8 to 30 September.

The new season opens with a performance of Alexei Stepanyuk's production of The Maid of Orleans. Audiences will also have the opportunity to see recent new productions of Tannhäuser, Les Contes d'Hoffmann, Christmas Eve, the operetta Die Fledermaus and a semi-staged version of Lakmé. For the first time following a long interval, the stage will see Richard Strauss' fantastical Die Frau ohne Schatten staged by Jonathan Kent; the role of the Empress will be performed by Elena Pankratova.

At the new theatre there will be continued performances of Maxim Petrov's witty multimedia production Renard. Mavra. Le Baiser de la feé to music by Igor Stravinsky. Balletomanes may look forward to a special programme of masterpieces by Michel Fokine that came to the world through Diaghilev's Saisons russes: Chopiniana, Le Spectre de la rose, The Dying Swan and Schéhérazade.

The playbill for the Concert Hall includes a recital evening by pianist Boris Berezovsky, performances by Nikita Lyutikov (clarinet) and Vasily Stepanov (cello) with Dimitris Botinis conducting. Mariinsky Theatre soloist Albina Shagimuratova will present a chamber programme with Ivari Ilja performing the piano in a programme of works by Mahler, together with the orchestra conducted by Valery Gergiev.

24.07.2021

24 July the Primorsky Stage host the opening of the VI Far-East Festival Mariinsky, to feature soloists from the St Petersburg company as well as striking premieres.

24 July the Primorsky Stage host the opening of the VI Far-East Festival Mariinsky, to feature soloists from the St Petersburg company as well as striking premieres.

The Mariinsky Ballet — Elena Yevseyeva, Anastasia Lukina, Anastasia Nuikina, Yevgeny Konovalov, Danila Korsuntsev, Alexei Timofeyev, Yekaterina Chebykina, Tatiana Tkachenko, Alexei Kuzmin, Aaron Osawa-Horowitz, Ervin Zagidullin, Yekaterina Popova and Elena Bazhenova — will be presenting The Fountain of Bakhchisarai and La Sylphide in Vladivostok.

Opera soloist Albina Shagimuratova will be singing the role of Violetta in La traviata together with Ariunbaatar Ganbaatar as Giorgio Germont. The opera playbill also features Turandot with Mlada Khudoley in the title role and Mariinsky Theatre guest soloist Najmiddin Mavlyanov as Calaf.

Gamid Abdulov will be appearing as Lensky, while Yuri Vorobiev will be performing the role of Prince Gremin in Eugene Onegin. The festival will close on 8 August with The Queen of Spades with Najmiddin Mavlyanov (Herman), Yulia Matochkina (Polina) and Ariunbaatar Ganbaatar (Prince Yeletsky). Audiences may also look forward to a gala concert of opera soloists.

The symphony music programme of the VI Far-East Festival Mariinsky opens with a recital by virtuoso pianist Sergei Redkin, who will be appearing at the Primorsky Stage for two performances. On 31 July at the Great Hall the musician will perform the solo in Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's Piano Concerto No 17 as part of the symphony music evening Mozart. Schubert. The evening's programme also includes Frantz Schubert's Fifth Symphony and Mozart's motet Exsultate, Jubilate, the soprano role to be performed by the acclaimed opera singer Albina Shagimuratova, Honoured Artist of Russia. On 3 August there will be a recital by Sergei Redkin at the Theatre's Great Hall — the programme will feature works for piano by Franz Schubert and Alexandre Scriabin.

The concerts with stars from St Petersburg and Vladivostok will be conducted by Anton Torbeev and Pavel Smelkov.

Tickets for performances at the VI Far-East Festival Mariinsky are available via the website of the Primorsky Stage.

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.

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