Press-releases of 219 season


  • Last Premiere of the Current Season - Eugene Onegin

  • Premiere at the Mariinsky - Turandot

  • Turandot in Vyborg

  • Premiere of the Ballet La Bayadere

  • A New Production of Boris Godunov at the Mariinsky Theatre on 12th May

  • 10th International Festival Stars of the White Nights

  • Premiere of Cinderella at the Mariinsky Theatre

  • The Mariinsky Theatre will be presenting a series of concerts to celebrate Victory Day.

  • MOSCOW EASTER FESTIVAL

  • Mariinsky Theatre soloists Svetlana Zakharova and Andrian Fadeev have been nominated for the international Benois de la Danse prize

  • The Mariinsky Theatre on Tour in the USA

  • The Mariinsky Theatre will once more be running the Sheremetev Evenings from the 19th-24th February 2002.

  • Cosi fan tutte v First Time at the Mariinsky Theatre

  • Programme of New Year Gala

  • Orchestra of the Mariinsky Theatre on tour in USA

  • New season at the Mariinsky Theatre


    Last Premiere of the Current Season - Eugene Onegin

    As the season draws to a close, Pyotr Tchaikovsky's opera Eugene Onegin will be premiered at the Mariinsky Theatre on 14th and 15th August. Valery Gergiev is the production's Musical Director and Conductor. A French production team has been working on the opera. The Directors are Moshe Leiser and Patrice Caurier, set designs are by Christian Fenouillat, costume design by Agostino Cavalka and lighting design by Christophe Forey. The Principal Chorus Master is Andrei Petrenko, Tugan Sokhiev is the Assistant Conductor and Jean-Michel Criquit and Maria Bonch-Osmolovskaya are Assistant Directors.

    Tchaikovsky envisaged Eugene Onegin in a "chamber" style, without "splendour or striking grandeur", which led him to call his opera a series of "lyrical scenes". In a letter to Sergei Taneyev simultaneously defining the essence of his endeavours in opera and the character and style of Onegin, Tchaikovsky wrote: "I am looking for an intimate though powerful drama based on a conflict of circumstances which I have either felt or seen and which affect life." Tchaikovsky started composing the opera in spring in 1877 in Moscow and completed it on 13th January 1878 in Italy.

    In accordance with the composer's wishes, the opera was first staged not at the Imperial Theatre, but with a young cast of students from the Moscow Conservatoire under the baton of Nikolai Rubinstein, the then director of the conservatoire, on 17th March 1879.

    The opera was premiered at the Mariinsky Theatre on 19th October 1884, with Edward Napravnik conducting. Imperial Theatre soloists Emilia Pavlovskaya and Yevgenia Mravina (Tatiana) and Leonid Yakovlev (Onegin) were the first to perform the opera. Performances by the no less celebrated Medea and Nikolai Figner (as Tatiana and Lensky) were to follow in later years. Nikolai Pechkovsky sang as Lensky in the 1920's.

    The Mariinsky Theatre has staged several productions of Tchaikovsky's masterpiece. Designers such as M. Bocharov (1884 and 1900), V. Dmitriev (1929 and 1945) and T. Bruni (1945), directors including P. Olenin (1920) and I. Shlepyanov (1929), choreographers L. Ivanov (1884 and 1900) and V. Vainonen (1929) and conductors A. Gauk (1929), B. Khaikin (1945) and Yu. Temirkanov (1982) have worked on different productions over the years.

    The Mariinsky Theatre's most recent premiere of Onegin, staged under Yuri Temirkanov's management, was in 1982. This production was performed for almost twenty years. Larisa Shevchenko, Larisa Diadkova, Yuri Marusin and Boris Shtokolov sang the first performances.

    The current production is being rehearsed by the Mariinsky Opera's experienced and younger soloists alike, including Svetlana Volkova, Olga Markova-Mikhailenko, Olga Korzhenskaya, Irina Mataeva, Tatiana Pavlovskaya, Yekaterina Semenchuk, Nadezhda Serdyuk, Mikhail Kit, Vladimir Moroz, Vladislav Sulimsky, Daniil Shtoda and Edward Tsanga.

    Directors Patrice Caurier and Moshe Leiser staged their first production together in 1982 at the Opéra National de Lyon (Benjamin Britten's opera A Midsummer Night's Dream). Since then, Caurier and Leiser have staged over sixty productions all over the world. In recent years, the two directors have produced Wagner's tetralogy Der Ring des Nibelungen and Debussy's Pelléas et Mélisande at the Grand Théâtre de Genève, Shostakovich's The Nose at the Opéra de Lausanne, Rossini's La cenerentola at Covent Garden, Beethoven's Fidelio with the Welsh National Opera, Cardiff, and Donizetti's Lucia di Lammermoor at the Théâtre du Châtelet, Paris.

    Caurier and Leiser are planning productions of Thomas' Hamlet and Puccini's Madama Butterfly at Covent Garden, Tchaikovsky's Eugene Onegin at the Théâtre du Châtelet, Verdi's Don Carlos at the Grand Théâtre de Genève, Donizetti's Lucia di Lammermoor with the Chicago Opera, Thomas' Hamlet at the Gran Teatre del Liceu, Barcelona, and Shakespeare's Hamlet for drama theatres in Paris and Montreal.

    The production is being sponsored by the Mariinsky Theatre Trust (Great Britain).

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    Premiere at the Mariinsky - Turandot

    The Mariinsky Theatre will be staging Giacomo Puccini's opera Turandot for the first time ever on 25th and 27th July. The production team includes Charles Roubaud (Director), Isabelle Partiot-Pieri (Set Designer), Katia Denise Duflot (Costume Designer) and Vladimir Lukasevich (Lighting Designer). The theatre's repertoire includes Madama Butterfly and La boheme, Puccini's most famous operas. Turandot, however, has previously only been performed in concert and only now is the Mariinsky Theatre staging the opera in full.

    Turandot was the last opera Puccini wrote. The production team used the traditional version of the opera with the final duet and finale, completed from the composer's sketches by his pupil Franco Alfano. Puccini called his opera a "lyrical drama", as its basic theme is the story of Prince Calaf's love for a cruel and unfeeling Princess, who is defeated by the power of love. The composer rejected the genre of "fairy stories for theatre" that Gozzi had created, composing a drama full of strong passions that unfold against a colourful background, where eastern splendour, bloodthirsty cruelty, reality and symbolism are all fantastically merged.

    Charles Roubaud defines his vision of Puccini's opera thus: "I wanted to show the relationship between Calaf and Turandot and, most importantly, Turandot's transformation through the discovery and acceptance of love". Vladimir Galuzin, one of opera's great contemporary tenors and arguably the finest performer of the role today, will be singing as Calaf at the premiere. Irina Gordei, Larisa Gogolevskaya, Olga Sergeyeva, Larisa Shevchenko, Irma Gigolashvili, Tatiana Borodina, Tatiana Kravtsova, Olga Kondina, Tatiana Pavlovskaya, Yuri Alexeyev and Alexei Steblyanko are rehearsing the opera. Charles Roubaud made his debut as an opera director in 1986 with a production of Jules Massenet's Don Quixote at the Opera de Marseilles. This production continues to enjoy success at the Opera de Liege and San Francisco Opera. Over the years, Charles Roubaud has staged operas for the Opera de Marseilles, the Opera de Bordeaux, the Opera d'Avignon, theatres in Seville, Verona and Monte Carlo and the Kennedy Center, Washington. His works include both classical and contemporary operas such as Donizetti's Lucia di Lammermoor, Mozart's Don Giovanni and Die Entfuhrung aus dem Serail, Rossini's La cenerentola, Massenet's Manon, Verdi's Rigoletto, Borodin's Prince Igor, Wagner's Der Ring des Nibelungen, Debussy's Pelleas et Melisande, Strauss' Die Frau ohne Schatten and Salome and Janacek's Katia Kabanova. Strauss' Die Frau ohne Schatten, which he staged in 1993, was awarded the prize for the best musical production of the year in France.

    Charles Roubaud has staged many productions for Les Choregies d'Orange, France's oldest music festival, including Verdi's Aida(1995), Puccini's Turandot(1997), Bellini's Norma (1999) and Verdi's Don Carlos (2001).

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    Turandot in Vyborg

    On 20th July, the Mariinsky Theatre will be continuing the tradition of staging productions in Vyborg. Following the successful performance of Boris Godunov at Vyborg Castle, Giacomo Puccini's opera Turandot will be shown. The new stage production of Turando will be premiered at the Mariinsky Theatre in St Petersburg on 25th July. A French production team has been working on the opera (Director: Charles Roubaud; Set Designer: Isabelle Partiot-Pieri; Costume Designer: Katia Denise Duflot; Lighting Designer: Vladimir Lukasevich).

    A completely different version of Turandot will be performed at 8.30 p.m. on 20th July at Vyborg Castle. The setting will provide an unusual mix of the bleak landscape around the Scandinavian castle and the 'Chinese motifs' of Puccini's opera. The stage and seating arrangements for Boris Godunov will change places for Turandot. Rows of seats will be placed by the castle wall and the action will unfold on the slope in front of the tower. Valery Gergiev is Artistic Director of the performance, the Organisational Director is Vyacheslav Lupachev, the Production Designer is Vyacheslav Okunev, the Director is Irkin Gabitov and the Lighting Designer is Vyacheslav Lukasevich.

    The opera will be performed by Olga Sergeyeva, Alexei Steblyanko, Irma Gigolashvili, Gennady Bezzubenkov, Georgy Zastavny, Viktor Vikhrov and Edem Umerov.

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    Premiere of the Ballet La Bayadere

    A premiere of Ludwig Minkus' ballet La Bayadere (revival of the 1900 production) will open the 10th international Stars of the White Nightsfestival on 31st May at the Mariinsky Theatre. La Bayadere is being restaged by choreographer Sergei Vikharev, who has already revived Fokine's Petrouchka and Petipa's The Sleeping Beauty for the Mariinsky Theatre. Mikhail Shishliannikov has restored the sets and Tatiana Noginova the costumes. Mikhail Sinkevich will be conducting the premiere. Ludwig Minkus' original score was restored at the Mariinsky Theatre Central Music Library in 2002 from the hand-written version dating from 1876 and is the property of the Mariinsky Theatre. Marius Petipa's choreography has been revived using the Stepanov notation from the Sergeyev Collection in the Harvard Theatre Collection. La Bayadere is connected with some of the most glorious pages in the history of the Mariinsky (Kirov) Theatre. The role of Nikia has been danced by such legendary ballerinas as Mathilda Kshesinskaya and Anna Pavlova, then later by Olga Spesivtseva in the 1920 production, with the music revised by Boris Afanasiev. In 1941, new choreography was added in Vakhtang Chabukiani's production, in which he also danced as Solor. He was partnered by the brilliant Natalia Dudinskaya. In 2002, the theatre is once again turning to Marius Petipa's masterpiece. During the Soviet period, the theatre staged a three-act version of the ballet, with Solor remaining in the Kingdom of Shadows at the finale. Act IV was believed to be lost. The full score for the 1900 production, however, had been preserved in the Mariinsky Theatre Library, and this formed the basis for the current production of the ballet. Choreographer Sergei Vikharev says of the ballet that "this is a return to the source. The true, original Minkus was preserved in the theatre's archives. It was difficult to restore the score as the music had been split up. We basically had to check each hand-written page to determine the correct order, because the music had been moved around in the library so many times that if it had been reorganised once more it would have been impossible to find anything. We were fortunate in being able to restore Minkus' full score for this ballet. The sets and costumes have been restored from sketches and photographs held in the theatre museum."

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    A New Production of Boris Godunov at the Mariinsky Theatre on 12th May

    The Mariinsky Theatre will be staging a new production of Modest Musorgsky's opera Boris Godunov on 12th and 23rd April. Valery Gergiev is the Musical Director of the new production, the director is Viktor Kramer, whose first work with the Mariinsky Theatre was the sensational opera Tsar Demian, sets are by Georgy Tsypin, who has worked on several projects with the theatre including War and Peace, costumes by Tatyana Noginova and lighting by Gleb Filshtinsky. The production was premiered on 12th April in Milan. Judging by the Italian press, bass Ferrucio Furlanetto as Boris and Mariinsky Theatre soloists Tatyana Borodina, Vladimir Vaneyev, Konstantin Pluzhnikov, Yevgeny Akimov, Yuri Alexeyev, Gennady Bezzubenkov and Nikolai Gassiev gave good performances in the Milan premiere. The production team worked with the first version of the opera (1869). The history of the creation of Boris Godunov occupies a very interesting position in Russian music. The historian of Russian literature and Musorgsky's friend Vladimir Nikolsky gave the composer the idea of using Pushkin's Boris Godunov as the dramatic source for an opera in autumn 1868. When working on the libretto, Musorgsky significantly condensed the images and themes in Pushkin's tragedy. The composer, fascinated by the two main plot lines - the tragedy of Tsar Boris and that of the Russian people - removed secondary motifs and completely abandoned the Polish theme. In autumn 1870, Musorgsky presented his opera to the Board of Imperial Theatres. The Board, however, was perplexed by the new and unusual quality of the music and, among other criticism, upbraided the composer for the lack of any significant female role. Musorgsky started work on a second version of the opera, which was completed in 1874. As the director of the new production Viktor Kramer says, "this will be a unique Boris. This staging is completely different from the traditional productions based on the image of Great Mother Russia; here, the focal point is on the inner psychology of the title character. Even today, no one really knows if Tsar Boris was in fact guilty of the murder of the Tsarevich. It is Boris' morbid consciousness and his conscience, tormenting him and leading him to his death, that moves the action from start to finish, uniting music, imagery and words into one unified, grand tragedy". Kramer believes that "in the world of contemporary technology, conscience is more important then ever before. It is, therefore, natural that in this new production of Boris Godunov the main theme is that of conscience." Sponsor of the production is Vnesekonombank.

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    10th International Festival Stars of the White Nights

    The Mariinsky Theatre will be inviting music lovers to concerts and performances from 31st May to 30th June 2002 as part of the International Stars of the White Nights Festival. This year will be an anniversary; it will be the tenth year that lovers of Russian culture have come together for the Festival. The Festival quickly became one of the most prestigious and popular music events, giving audiences the chance to hear such famous musicians as Placido Domingo, Riccardo Muti, Carlo Maria Giulini, Deborah Voigt, Violetta Urmana, Yuri Bashmet, Alfred Brendel, James Conlon, Christophe Eschenbach, Yuri Temirkanov, Maris Yansons, Olga Borodina, Enrico Dindo, Gidon Kremer and many others. The Stars of the White Nights Festival began as an operatic and symphonic festival lasting two weeks, though for the third year now it lasts an entire month. Each year, the Festival programme becomes increasingly extensive, showing both operas and ballets. This anniversary Festival is noteworthy as it will demonstrate the best Russian music, including operas by Alexander Borodin, Modest Mussorgsky, Pyotr Tchaikovsky and Dmitry Shostakovich. All of Sergei Prokofiev's operas will be performed, including the Story of a Real Man in concert. Festival premieres are to include Mussorgsky's opera Boris Godunov, a production that was presented in La Scala directed by Viktor Kramer and designed by Georgy Tsypin. The programme will include ballets that have a historical connection with the St Petersburg stage as well as recent premieres such as Kenneth MacMillan's Manon (Mariinsky Theatre, 2000), Alexei Ratmansky's production of Sergei Prokofiev's Cinderella (Mariinsky Theatre, 2002) and La Bayadere (reconstruction of Marius Petipa's original). Undoubted highlights of the Festival will be the Gala Concert of opera stars Olga Borodina and Vladimir Galuzin and the Gergiev and Friends concert, in which old friends of the Festival Sarah Wolfensohn and Alexander Toradze will be performing alongside newcomers. The Festival is set to have a varied symphonic programme. In line with tradition, soloists from the Academy of Young Singers and the Youth Philharmonic Orchestra will be participating in the Festival. One of the performances by the Youth Orchestra will be a Tribute to Rakhmaninov symphony concert.

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    Premiere of Cinderella at the Mariinsky Theatre

    The Mariinsky Theatre will be premiering Cinderella on 5th March (choreography by Alexei Ratmansky and stage design by Ilya Utkin). Prokofiev's ballet has historical links with the theatre. At the start of the 1940's, when the composer began creating the ballet, based on Charles Perrault's fairytale, he had it in mind for the Kirov Ballet Company. The war prevented the realisation of this plan as the Kirov Theatre was evacuated to Perm. Prokofiev completed the work in the spring of 1944 and the ballet was premiered at the Bolshoi Theatre on 21st November 1945. The choreography was by Rostislav Zakharov and the stage design by Pyotr Williams. The lead roles were danced by Olga Lepeshinskaya and Mikhail Gabovich. Cinderella was first staged at the Kirov Theatre on 8th April 1946. This was the choreographic debut of Konstantin Sergeyev, who also danced the role of the Prince. His partner, the great Natalya Dudinskaya, danced as Cinderella. The ballet remained in the theatre's repertoire for half a century. One of the most famous western productions of the ballet to Prokofiev's music was Frederick Ashton's version, produced in 1948 at Sadler's Wells Ballet, now the Royal Ballet. Ashton's Cinderella was the first 'full', classical English ballet. Today, the Mariinsky Theatre is once again turning its attentions to Prokofiev's Cinderella with a new generation of ballet dancers. Cinderella is not Ratmansky's first ballet for the theatre; the young choreographer and dancer is well known to St Petersburg audiences for his ballets Middle Duet and Le Poème de l'Extase. The ballet is being rehearsed by Zhanna Ayupova, Diana Vishneva, Svetlana Zakharova, Margarita Kulik, Yulia Makhalina, Irma Nioradze, Darya Pavlenko, Natalya Sologub, Islom Baimuradov, Andrei Ivanov, Igor Kolb, Andrei Merkuriev, Andrian Fadeyev and artists of the Mariinsky Ballet Company.

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    The Mariinsky Theatre will be presenting a series of concerts to celebrate Victory Day.

    On 8th May, Gianandrea Noseda, the theatre's Principal Guest Conductor, will be conducting music by Russian composers. The programme includes Modest Musorgsky's Pictures from an Exhibition, arranged by Maurice Ravel, and Reingold Glier's rarely performed concerto for vocalist and orchestra, written in 1943 and full of intimate vocal passages. Olga Trifonova will be performing the solo part.

    Veterans of the Great Patriotic War are invited to the theatre on 9th May to attend the For You, Veterans concert. The theatre's oldest members of staff will also be present at this concert who lived through the war. Among them are Yuri Gamaley, the famous conductor and professor at the Conservatoire, Boris Shtokolov, the famous singer, Vladimir Kravtsov, an opera singer who participated in the capture of Berlin and Viktor Kozlov, a musician and one of few surviving members of the orchestra that performed the historic 1942 concert of Dmitry Shostakovich's Leningrad Symphony.

    On 10th May, the Mariinsky Theatre will be giving concert performances of highlihts from Mascagni's Cavalleria rusticana and Strauss' Ariadne auf Naxos. Both these works are pearls of chamber opera art. Cavalleria rusticana, with its scenes from Sicilian peasant life recreated with great accuracy for the genre, and the modernist Strauss' refined work, uniting parodical ardour with the tragedy of the subject of Ariadne, abandoned by Theseus, are, however, rarely performed operas. Solo parts will be performed by Yuri Marusin and Viktor Chernomortsev. Lenid Korchmar will be conducting.

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    MOSCOW EASTER FESTIVAL

    Artistic Director - Valery Gergiev
    From 5th to 12th May, the Russian capital will be hosting the First Moscow Easter Festival.
    The decision to hold the festival was taken by the city's mayor, Yuri Luzhkov. The festival has been blessed by His Holiness the Patriarch of Moscow and all the Russias Alexei II who, alongside Yuri Luzhkov, is one of the chairmen of the organisational committee preparing and running this musical event.
    Outstanding conductor Valery Gergiev has been invited to be the festival's artistic director.
    There is a long-standing tradition of Easter music celebrations, which are held in many cities including Berlin, Vienna, Salzburg and London. This is the first Orthodox Easter festival.
    The festival programme will include concerts by the Mariinsky Theatre Orchestra and performances by world-class soloists Vadim Repin, Olga Borodina and Anna Netrebko amongst others. The festival will include works by Mikhail Glinka, Pyotr Tchaikovsky and Sergei Rakhmaninov, as well as the world premiere of a work by Vladimir Martynov.
    Apart from the exciting symphony concerts, Muscovites will have the chance to attend performances by Russia's best religious and non-church choirs and Bell-Ringing Week (bell-ringing concerts open to all on squares outside Moscow's main churches).
    Charitable concerts will also be held in music schools and hospitals.
    A grand concert to celebrate Victory Day will be held on 9th May on Poklonnaya Hill, conducted by Maestro Gergiev.

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    Mariinsky Theatre soloists Svetlana Zakharova and Andrian Fadeev have been nominated for the international Benois de la Danse prize

    Mariinsky Theatre soloists Svetlana Zakharova and Andrian Fadeev have been nominated for the international Benois de la Danse prize, which will be awarded on 26th April 2002 on the stage of the Bolshoi Theatre. Svetlana Zakharova will be representing the Opera de Paris, where she danced La Bayadere this season; Andrian Fadeev has been nominated for his performance in John Neumeier?s ballet Sounds of Empty Pages (to music by Alfred Schnitke). Alexei Ratmansky, who recently staged Cinderella at the Mariinsky Theatre, has received a nomination as best choreographer (for his ballet Flight to Budapest

    Benois de la Danse prize was established by the International Dance Association in 1991 in Moscow, and was first presented during a grand ceremony on the stage of the Bolshoi Theatre on 29th April 1992. This date was not chosen by chance; the International Day of Dance falls on 29th April, the birthday of ballet?s great reformer Jean-Georges Noverre (1727-1810). That was also the date when the main ideas of the Benois and of the Prize were stated, namely to rate exceptional events in world ballet, choreographic compositions and specific roles according to the achievements of the last year. The aim of the event is to let the public see the best works and to support a creative dialogue between the artistes, both on the day itself and afterwards, in addition to providing material support to the older ballet generation by directing proceeds from the gala concert to their needs. One year later, UNESCO took note of this important initiative by the International Dance Association. Having placed a high value on the innovative nature of the Prize and the impetus that it gives to stage performance and ballet in general, this eminent international body now holds responsibility for the Benois de la Danse.

    Chaired by Russian choreographer Professor Yuri Grigorovich, President of the International Dance Association, new judges are selected to the International Jury each year.

    The Benois prize includes three main nominations: best choreographer, best ballerina and best male dancer. In recent years, categories have been expanded to include best ballet composer and best designer.

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    The Mariinsky Theatre on Tour in the USA

    Valery Gergiev will be conducting Sergei Prokofiev-s opera War and Peace at the Metropolitan Opera on 14th, 18th, 21st and 26th February and 2nd, 6th and 9th March. Russian soloists Anna Netrebko (Natasha Rostova), Yekaterina Semenchuk (Sonia), Elena Obraztsova (Madame Akhrosimova), Gegam Grigoryan (Count Bezukhov), Dmitry Khvorostovsky (Andrei Bolkonsky) and Vasily Gerello (Napoleon) will be performing in Andrei Konchalovsky-s production.

    The Mariinsky Theatre-s tour began at Washington-s Kennedy Center. The Sleeping Beauty was performed on 12th, 13th and 16th of February and Jewels on 14th, 15th and 17th. There will be a gala concert of opera and ballet on 19th February, including Tchaikovsky-s Serenade, Tchaikovsky pas de deux and fragments from the operas Mazepa and The Queen of Spades. Modest Mussorksky-s opera Khovanshina will be performed on 20th, 21st and 23rd February and on 22nd and 24th February there will be performances of Giuseppe Verdi-s Macbeth.

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    The Mariinsky Theatre will once more be running the Sheremetev Evenings from the 19th-24th February 2002.

    The Mariinsky Theatre will once more be running the Sheremetev Evenings from the 19th-24th February 2002.
    These Evenings continue the tradition the of open-to-all choral and orchestral concerts organised by Count A D Sheremetev, born in St Petersburg in 1898. The first took place in the Alexander Hall of the City Duma. The concerts enjoyed great popularity; ticket prices were moderate, costing from twenty kopecks to one rouble. Interest in the concerts grew with each season and small halls could not accommodate all those who wished to attend. From 1909, these musical events were held in the hall of the Noble Assembly. 1910 saw the grand opening of the Count A D Sheremetev Society of Music and History, organised by representatives of St Petersburg's artistic intelligentsia. The Sheremetev Society arranged free concerts and lectures and issued low-cost publications about music.
    The Sheremetev Evenings at the Mariinsky Theatre are noteworthy for their unusual programme content, including both well-known and loved, and rarely heard or undeservedly forgotten concert pieces.
    The programme of the current Evenings will include three works, each of them embodying an era in musical history.
    Samson et Delilah (1876), one of Camille Saint-Saens- best operas, will open the Evenings on 19th February. The opera is marked with oriental features and is remarkable for its epic oratorical style, heartfelt lyricism and drama. By including this work by Saint-Saens in the current Evenings, the Mariinsky Theatre is following in the footsteps of Count Sheremetev, who introduced Petersburg audiences to the French composer-s symphonic works in November 1915. These open-to-all concerts took place in the Mikhailovsky Theatre and included Symphony C Minor with Organ, Danse Macabreand Triumphant Mass.
    The Mariinsky Theatre will stage a performance of Gioacchino Rossini-s opera Viaggio a Reims on 23rd February, which he composed for the coronation of Charles X. Continuing the ancient tradition of so-called pieces de circonstance v circumstantial pieces v the opera is not a complicated work, but a multi-coloured divertissement, hence its double genre meaning: dramma giocoso, or scenic cantata. The libretto, written by Italian theatre librettist Luigi Balocchi, was based on scenes from the popular novel Corinna, or Italy by Madame de Stal. The opera-s plot is centred in the Golden Lily Hotel (the lily symbolising France), where representatives of various countries meet in order to travel to Reims for the coronation ceremony. The principal guest is the famous improvisational poetess Corinna, who represents freedom-loving Italy and is striving to the ideal of Pan-European harmony in the post-Napoleonic era. The opera-s music is the jewel in the crown of Rossini-s astounding virtuosity. In the vocal ensembles, which include a technically difficult sextet and Gran pezzo concertato a 14 voci, the harmonic elements foretell the new length and level of complexity of his later operas. The opera was performed but once v in Paris on 19th June 1825. A phenomenal cast of 19th century singers came together for the performance: Giulietta Pasta, Ester Mombelli, Laura Cinti, tenors Domenico Donzelli, Marco Bordoni, basses Carlo Zuchelli, Nicolas-Prosper Levasseur, Felice Pellegrini and Vincenzo Graziani. After the performance, the greater part of the score disappeared for a century and a half. It was only in 1983 that it was found in a library in Rome and completely restored. In 1984, the opera was conducted at the Rossini Festival by Claudio Abbado. The music world named it the event of the century.
    Rossini-s opera was first staged at the Mariinsky Theatre at the Stars of the White Nights Festival in 2001, sung by soloists from the Academy of Young Singers and conducted by Yuri Bashmet.
    The Evenings will come to a close on 24th February with a performance of Georg Friedrich Handel-s Messiah oratorio, one of the composer-s finest oratorical works. This work by Handel, written to Charles Jennings- libretto based on biblical themes, was first performed by Count Sheremetev-s choir and orchestra, conducted by him, as part of the Sheremetev Evenings on 9th January 1911 in the hall of the Noble Assembly. Based on 17th century patterns and operatic achievements, Handel created a new kind of oratorio on a grand scale with democratic musical language which influenced the works of many western European and Russian composers.
    In accordance with the traditions of the Sheremetev Evenings, ticket prices will be moderate, ranging from five to one hundred roubles.

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    Cosi fan tutte v First Time at the Mariinsky Theatre

    St Petersburg, 1st February. On 9th February, the Mariinsky Theatre will stage Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart-s opera Cosi fan tutte for the first time. As this is an Italian opera, an Italian team has worked on the production: the musical director and conductor is Gianandrea Noseda, the director is Walter Le Moli, set design is by Tiziano Santi, costumes by Giovanna Avanzi and lighting by Claudio Coloretti. At 14.20 on 1st February, there will be a press conference with the production-s creative team in the White Foyer of the Mariinsky Theatre (entry via the main vestibule).

    In August 1789, Mozart was commissioned by Austrian Emperor Josef II to write an opera for Vienna-s National Court Theatre, where the Italian company performed. The libretto was written by Lorenzo da Ponte, together with whom the composer wrote his finest operatic works. Da Ponte took a true story that happened in Vienna at the end of the 18th century as a basis. The opera-s music borrowed devices from several operatic genres: opera-buffa, opera-seria and Singspiel. The premiere took place on 26th January 1790, conducted by Mozart.

    The creative team has set the scene in Naples on the Mediterranean Sea, which lends a bright, generally blue-green hue to the opera. The open scenic space makes the production airy and helps the characters feel free and independent. The sets are reminiscent of the paintings of Alma-Tadema, a mid 19th century artist whose works correspond to the lightness and brightness of the music.

    Cosi fan tutte is life and theatre at one and the same time: a true story that has become a subject for the theatre, and characters playing a game in which, by deceiving each other, they are themselves deceived in their feelings. It seems that the subject is interwoven with many different genres v farce, lyrical comedy and sentimental drama.

    The main roles are being rehearsed by Irina Matayeva and Lia Shevtsova (Despina), Tatyana Borodina and Tatyana Pavlovskaya (Fiordiligi), Nadezhda Serdyuk and Galina Sidorenko (Dorabella), Daniil Shtoda and Evgeny Akimov (Ferrando), Ildar Abdrazakov and Vladimir Tyulpanov (Guglielmo) and Gennady Bezzubenkov and Yuri Shklyar (Alfonso).

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    Programme of New Year Gala

    Chorus and Orchestra of the Mariinsky Theatre
    Conductor: Valery Gergiev

    Start: 6 p.m.


    PART I    
     
    Richard Strauss Waltz  
     
    Georges Bizet Couplets of Escamillo from the opera Carmen Yevgeny Nikitin
     
    Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart Duet of Susanna and La Contessa di Almaviva
    from the opera Le nozze di Figaro
    Anna Netrebko, Tatiana Pavlovskaya
     
    Pyotr TchaikovskySpanish Dance fron the ballet Swan Lake Andrei Mercuriev, Fedor Lopukhov,
    Ti Yon Riu, Yulia Slivkina
     
    Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov The song of the Venetian merchants from the opera Sadko Vladimir Moroz and ballet's artists
     
    Jaques Offenbach Couplets of Olympia from the opera The Tales of Hoffmann Larissa Yudina
     
    Jules Massenet Werther's arioso from the opera Werther Daniil Shtoda
     
    George Gershwin Clara's lullaby from the opera Porgy and Bess Tatyana Pavlovskaya
     
    Georges Bizet Habanera from the opera Carmen Yekaterina Semenchuk
     
    Alexander Borodin Polovtsian Dances from the opera Prince Igor Andrei Ivanov, Ti Yon Riu, Yulia Slivkina,
    Olga Balinskaya, Valeria Karpina
     
     
    PART II    
     
    Richard Strauss Waltz 
     
    Charles Gounod Couplets of Mephistopheles from the opera Faust Sergei Alexashkin
     
    Giacomo Meyerbeer Dinorah's aria from the opera Dinorah Irina Dzhioeva
     
    Riccardo DrigoPas de deux from the ballet Les Millions d' Arlequin Elena Sheshina, Andrei Ivanov
     
    Jaques Offenbach The song of Frantz from the opera The Tales of Hoffmann Vladimir Felenchak
     
    Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart Serenade from the opera Don Giovanni Yevgeny Nikitin, Edem Umerov
     
    Jules Massenet Scene and gavotte from the opera Manon Anna Netrebko
     
    Ludwig Minkus Pas de deux from the ballet Don Quixote Irma Nioradze, Yevgeny Ivanchenko
     

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    Orchestra of the Mariinsky Theatre on tour in USA

    St. Petersburg, December 5th, - From November 29th till December 17th Orchestra of the Mariinsky Theatre was on tour in US and Canada.

    Orchestra of the Mariinsky Theatre continues touring around the world. After its tour to Germany, that lasted for almost a month in different German towns with a great success, the orchestra went to US and Canada (it was a debut of the Mariinsky Theatre in Canada). Those are countries with which the Mariinsky Theatre continues both political and economical dialog, and the Mariinsky Theatre strengthens cultural relations. Enormous creative activity (15 days v 13 concerts in different towns including rehearsals and commuting) and high artistic level were highlighted by American and Canadian media.

    The Mariinsky Orchestra was in Washington, Toronto, Chicago, Columbus, Ann Harbor, Ithaca, Purchase, Storrs, New York. Together with the Mariinsky Orchestra performed such famous soloists as Vladimir Felzman, Alexander Toradze, Alexander Slobodiannik.

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    New season at the Mariinsky Theatre

    The Mariinsky Theatre opens its 219th season on October 6th, after its tours through England, Germany, South America, France, Netherlands, Italy, Greece and Finland. The summer and fall seasons are ready to start here, in St.Petersburg. This season will start with the last premiere of the previous season: Otello, Verdi's opera, which was directed by Valery Gergiev and staged by Yury Alexandrov. Otello has been shown in Covent Garden (London) this July and in Baden Baden this August. Alexei Steblianko, Olga Guriakova and Sergei Murzaev will sing principal roles this coming Saturday.

    Here are some highlights for the next season. First premiere will be La Traviata, staged by Philippe Arlaud, that was shown already in Baden Baden and now is brought to Russia. The theatre will continue its work on Der Rind des Nibelungen and its third piece will be staged - Siegfrid. All the pieces will be performed in its original language and will be directed by Valery Gergiev. We also will continue working on Mozart, next will be his opera Cosi fan tutti. The theatre plans to restore Prince Igor by Borodin in Melnikova and Tikhonova sets.

    Several festivals will also take place this year. Our traditional Stars of the White Nights festival will consist mostly of Russian performances: operas by Tchaikovsky, Musorgsky, Prokofiev, Shostakovich, all ballets by Tchaikovsky, Romeo and Juliet by Prokofiev. Olga Borodina, Vadim Repin, Alexander Toradze, Maxim Shostakovich, and of course, Valery Gergiev will participate in symphonic concerts. The 2nd International Ballet Festival Mariinsky is planned for March. Two other festivals will be dedicated to Stravinsky and Gogol.

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