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VI Festival Maslenitsa (Shrove-tide)
07 February 2010 - 14 February 2010

SCHEDULE 07 February 2010 - 14 February 2010

The V Festival Maslenitsa (Shrove-tide). Mariinsky (Kirov) Opera and Ballet theatre

Maslenitsa, or Pancake Week, one of Russia‘s most traditional festivals, was celebrated in style in the country‘s pre-Revolutionary capital. Maslenitsa festivities entered every home and were welcomed by every family. The most august figures and officials, the intelligentsia and the city‘s nobles all took part in the revelry. Throughout Maslenitsa, Tsaritsino Meadow and the Admiralty Gardens played host to folk celebrations, and in the city‘s palaces and mansions there were parties and masked balls, with theatre playbills listing the finest productions.

Several years ago the Mariinsky Theatre returned to the wonderful tradition of Maslenitsa festivities. The Festival programme invariably includes wonderful productions, among them works based on fairy-tales as well as interesting vocal and instrumental programmes. Continuing the tradition of open-to-all celebrations established by the Imperial Theatres for Maslenitsa, the Mariinsky Theatre will be running a series of charity concerts. The Mariinsky Theatre and the University of St Petersburg have revived the ancient Russian tradition of Pancake Week, organising student balls for several years now, to bid farewell to winter. The University programme includes parties, dancing, music (with Mariinsky Theatre performers), pancakes, fireworks and, of course, the burning of the straw scarecrow of Maslenitsa.

This season, Russia’s oldest and much-loved celebration of Maslenitsa will be celebrated at the Mariinsky Theatre in particular style, and it is to be held under the banner of three giants in Russian music – Sergei Rachmaninoff, Igor Stravinsky and Fyodor Chaliapin. For the VI Maslenitsa festival, two premieres are planned –one an opera and one a ballet.
7 February, the opening of the festival at the Mariinsky Theatre, will see the premiere of Jules Massenet’s opera Don Quichotte, dedicated to the memory of Fyodor Chaliapin. Ferruccio Furlanetto, one of the most renowned bass singers of our own time, has been engaged for the lead role for the premiere performance. As well as appearing in Massenet’s opera, Ferruccio Furlanetto will also be performing a recital towards the close of Maslenitsa Week on 13 February.
The second premiere will be of Igor Stravinsky’s ballet Pétrouchka. It was first performed during the saisons russes in Paris in 1911. The choreographer was the legendary Michel Fokine. Fokine’s ballet was staged at the Mariinsky Theatre in 1920 by Leonid Leontiev. Today the Mariinsky Theatre is once again restoring this wonderful ballet to its repertoire.
Performances of Igor Stravinsky’s works by the Mariinsky Theatre Orchestra under Valery Gergiev open the Maslenitsa concert programme. A festive musical soirée at the Concert Hall on 7 February will see performances with singing and music including L’Histoire du soldat and Le Renard, continuing with the Concerto for Piano and Wind Instruments, the piano solo to be performed by Alexei Volodin.
A special place in the festival’s concert programme has been set aside for works by Sergei Rachmaninoff. On 9 February, Denis Matsuev and the Mariinsky Theatre Symphony Orchestra (conducted by Valery Gergiev) will be performing Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto (a transcription by Alexander Varenberg of the great Russian composer’s Second Symphony). Additionally, Maslenitsa Week will see performances of two works by Rachmaninoff – the Spring cantata and the opera The Miserly Knight.
2010’s Maslenitsa will be a festival of stars. As well as highly acclaimed pianists, there will be stars of violin music including Sergey Khachatryan and Vadim Repin, who will be performing in concert together with Itamar Golan (piano), as well as stars of the Mariinsky Opera and Ballet Companies

Maslenitsa 2010: Mariinsky (Kirov) Opera and Ballet theatre | Mariinsky hall plan | Mariinsky Slide Show | Mariinsky 3D View | About Valery Gergiev
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SCHEDULE 07 February 2010 - 14 February 2010

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