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Mariinsky II Delay Rumors Are Denied

Published: August 10, 2011 (Issue # 1669)


Mariinsky Theater artistic director Valery Gergiev dismissed rumors that the opening of the theaters second stage would be delayed until 2015 at a news conference last week.

Responding to media speculation that the new venue, which is currently due to open in a years time, will not open its doors to spectators until 2013 or even 2015, Gergiev said that although the deadline for the end of the construction is currently being finalized, the maestro will personally make sure that no procrastination occurs.

Do not believe the nonsense about the 2015 deadline; work is in full swing and we are keeping a close eye on the construction process to ensure that nobody works half-heartedly, Gergiev said.

The troupe needs the new stage like every living creature needs oxygen. It is shameful that in the 21st century, the Mariinsky Theater has to close for at least five days to mount the sets for Andrei Konchalovskys staging of Prokofievs opera War and Peace.

The Mariinskys 228th season ended in July with soul-searching and experimenting, in the form of a premiere of Claudia Soltis mesmerizing take on Brittens opera A Midsummer Nights Dream.

We had a most productive season, with more than 500 performances both on home soil and abroad, Gergiev told reporters at the news conference.

At this stage, it is crucially important for the company to try new artistic ground and be involved in experiments that offer both the company and audiences daring new angles. That is why we have chosen to work with directors such as Daniele Finzi Pasca, whose productions for Cirque du Soleil have gained international recognition, and Claudia Solti, who has an extensive background in filmmaking.

Finzi Pasca, who staged Verdis Aida for the Mariinsky Theater Concert Hall, is renowned for his unique way of communicating with audiences, regardless of their cultural background or country of origin, and we very much hope that his production will become a bestselling hit, Gergiev added.

The theaters next season opens on Sept. 26 with Finzi Pascas Aida. The next day will see a concert by the eminent pianist Denis Matsuev alongside the Urals Philharmonic Orchestra under the baton of Gergiev at the Mariinsky Concert Hall.

Opera premieres to look out for in the coming season include the musical My Fair Lady by Loewe, originally produced by Robert Carson for the Theatre de Chatelet in Paris, and Graham Vicks take on Mussorgskys Boris Godunov (a joint project with the Baden-Baden Opera Theater). Another operatic treat looks set to be Debussys Pelleas et Melisande which will be staged by Daniel Kramer, who was responsible for the production of Bartoks Duke Bluebeards Castle for the Mariinsky last year.

In June, St. Petersburg co-hosted the prestigious International Tchaikovsky Competition for the first time in the history of the contest, which until now had only been held in Moscow. In the new season, the Mariinsky Concert Hall will organize a series of concerts by the competitions winners and finalists, especially by pianists and cellists, who competed in Moscow and could not therefore be heard by local audiences.

Ahead of the start of the new season, the companys opera and ballet companies and its orchestra have embarked on extensive tours abroad. Upcoming engagements include performances at the Rotterdam International Festival on Sept 8 and 9 of two operas Wagners Parsifal and Berliozs Les Troyens after which the company will appear at the International Music Festival in Bucharest on Sept. 11 and 12.

In the meantime, the Mariinsky ballet troupe is heading to Brazil for a tour from the end of August through the first half of September, before the dancers move on to perform in Singapore and Bangkok from Sept. 16.





 


ALL ABOUT TOWN

Thursday, Aug. 28


Learn more about the citys upcoming municipal elections during the presentation of the project Road Map for the Municipal Elections being presented this evening in the conference hall on the third floor of Biblioteka at 21 Nevsky Prospekt. Steve Kaddins, a coordinator for Beautiful St. Petersburg, which gives residents an online forum to lodge complaints about infrastructure problems in the city, will be on hand to answer any questions. The meeting starts at 7 p.m. and is open to all.



Friday, Aug. 29


Park Pobedy will feature the sights and sounds of the world outside of Russia during the Open Art International Festival today. Taste foreign cuisine, learn how to make tea like the Chinese or relax in a hammock during the free event. Although entrance is free, you must register beforehand if you wish to attend.



Saturday, Aug. 30


Break out the tweed and channel your inner Englishman during the English Hunt Picnic this afternoon organized by the Bagmut stables from Krasny Bor in the Leningrad Oblast. Equestrian stunts, English archery and classic hunting fashion will all be available to visitors hoping to live like the characters in Downton Abbey if only for a day. Tickets for the event cost 7,900 rubles ($219.40).


Bookworms will have their chance to swap out well-read classics for something new for their bookshelves at Knigovorot, a free book exchange that will be held in the Yusupov Garden on Sadovaya Ulitsa today. Come for the chance to get a new book or take the opportunity to discuss the literary merits of your favorite authors with fellow fans.



Sunday, Aug. 31


The Neva Delta International Blues Festival wraps up this afternoon on Vasilevsky Island with a concert featuring not only some of Russias best blues bands but international stars as well. Admission is free for all three days of the festival, which begins on Aug. 29, and the shows starting at 5 p.m. each day.



Monday, Sept. 1


Today marks the beginning of Lermontov-Fest, a fall festival celebrating the life of one of Russias most remarkable poets who, in a fate eerily similar to Pushkins, was killed in a duel at the age of 26. Organized by the Lermontov Library System, the next several months will see art exhibitions, concerts and public lectures focusing on the Lermontovs short yet prolific career. Check the Lermontov Library Systems website for more details.



Tuesday, Sept. 2


Join expats and practice your Russian during the Russian Clubs weekly meetings every Tuesday night at 7:30 p.m. The club is free to participate in although you need to be a registered member of Couchsurfing.



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