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14th International Fest. Stars of the White NightsMay 8-July 26, 2006


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#1 Dale

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Posted 09 November 2005 - 10:52 AM

14th International Festival "Stars of the White Nights"
May 8 - July 26, 2006
Dedicated to the 100th Anniversary of Dmitri Shostakovich
Artistic Director: Valery Gergiev

Highlights of the Festival
Complete programme to be announced on December 31, 2005

Shostakovich Centenary
In honour of the 100th Anniversary of Dmitri Shostakovich, the
Festival will present all 15 of his symphonies. The cycle will be
opened by the composer's son, Maxim Shostakovich, who conducted the
world premiere of the 15th symphony in the presence of his father.
Riccardo Muti, Christoph Eschenbach, Esa Pekka Salonen, Paavo Jarvi,
Mariss Jansons and - of course - Valery Gergiev will lead the
orchestra of the Mariinsky Theatre in this marathon. The London
Symphony Orchestra will also join the celebrations in this, the
orchestra's first visit to St Petersburg under its future Principal
Conductor. In addition, the Festival will present Shostakovich's
operas Lady Macbeth and the less known Katerina Izmailova, The Nose, a
selection of his ballets, including the world famous Leningrad
Symphony, as well as chamber music. On June 20, Valery Gergiev and the
Mariinsky Orchestra will open the Mariinsky Concert Hall with
Shostakovich's Symphony No. 7, the Leningrad.

AND MORE…
May 12 - 20 Tchaikovsky Classics
Tchaikovsky's most popular operas and ballets, many of which were
composed or premiered in St Petersburg, as well as rarities and
chamber music

May 22 - June 17 250th Anniversary of the Russian Imperial Theatres,
Pages of Musical History
These "pages" will include operas of the 18th century written in the
'Venice of the North' by court composers such as Cimarosa, the
Mariinsky premieres of the 19th century, such as Glinka's Life for the
Tsar and Ruslan and Lyudmila, Boris Godunov and Prince Igor, the great
works of Marius Petipa and works of composers who have visited St
Petersburg such as Berlioz, Verdi, Strauss and Wagner.

Wagner in St Petersburg will be celebrated between June 9 and 17, when
the Mariinsky presents the most recent productions from its extensive
Wagner repertoire. Christoph Eschenbach will conduct the Mariinsky's
Tristan und Isolde on June 9 and Valery Gergiev will conduct the
Company's highly acclaimed Ring Cycle between June 13 and 17. Over the
weekend of May 27, we will be celebrating the city's anniversary, with
fireworks and festivities in Theatre Square and performances including
Balanchine's Jewels and a Gala Concert conducted by Valery Gergiev
with the Stars of the Mariinsky Opera and Ballet.

July 3 - 9 120 Years of the Mariinsky Ballet on the Mariinsky Stage
A journey through ballet history as it has developed on the stage of
the Mariinsky Theatre, from the classic works of the company's great
director Marius Petipa, through the radical changes of the Diaghilev
era and Mikhail Fokine, followed by the upheaval of Revolution and the
development of Soviet ballet, right through to the collaboration with
international choreographers of the early 21st century.

July 16 - 26 Gogoliada
The great Russian author Nikolai Gogol has been loved by generations
for his humor and biting satire. The Mariinsky celebrates his genius
by presenting adaptations of his work for the stage, including operas
by Rimsky-Korsakov and Tchaikovsky as well as the premiere of three
one-act operas that have been commissioned by the Mariinsky Theatre
for these celebrations.

#2 Leigh Witchel

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Posted 09 November 2005 - 11:59 AM

Hmm. I'm thinking of using my miles to see Russia for the first time. I *was* going to go June 8-14, but thank you Dale (and Natalia for bringing it to my attention - otherwise I would have traveled half the globe to see ballet and gotten the Ring Cycle) and now I'm thinking May 24-31 (and then London after instead of before).

Anyone else thinking about going?

#3 Natalia

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Posted 09 November 2005 - 12:26 PM

Hmm.  I'm thinking of using my miles to see Russia for the first time.  I *was* going to go June 8-14, but thank you Dale (and Natalia for bringing it to my attention - otherwise I would have traveled half the globe to see ballet and gotten the Ring Cycle) and now I'm thinking May 24-31 (and then London after instead of before).

Anyone else thinking about going?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>



My husband & I will be there for part of the time. Certainly we'll be aiming for the ballet-heavy period.

The end of May is fabulous, esp. May 27 - the city's annual holiday. You'll get to see the Strelka's (old stock exchange on the Neva, opposite the Hermitage) gigantic torches lit. I've seen this happen only on May 27. Great weather, too.

Can't wait to hear your impressions, Leigh!

#4 Dale

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Posted 09 November 2005 - 12:39 PM

Just a note, don't go to see the Ring Cycle in Russia because the Kirov Opera and Orchestra will be doing the Cycle at the Lincoln Center Fest. in 2007.

#5 Leigh Witchel

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Posted 14 January 2006 - 11:16 AM

Has anything further been published about the program for the festival?

I've got my plane ticket reserved (I'll book it next week) and hotel laid out. If you find miles and points machinations amusing, you can read about my progress here:

http://www.leighwitc...ng_every_1.html
http://www.leighwitc...res_my_pla.html
http://www.leighwitc..._plan_is_1.html
http://www.leighwitc...vil_plan_c.html
http://www.leighwitc...n_training.html

Any suggestions for reading (my book/movie list is the last link) are appreciated.

#6 drb

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Posted 17 January 2006 - 11:58 AM

Just a note, don't go to see the Ring Cycle in Russia because the Kirov Opera and Orchestra will be doing the Cycle at the Lincoln Center Fest. in 2007.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Just received notice from the Met regarding the Ring Cycle. It may cost less to go to Russia. A subs to all four performances:
Location (Contribution) Total Price
Prime Orchestra ($450.00) $1,250
Balance Orchestra ($250.00) $950
Rear Orchestra ($100.00) $700
Side Parterre ($250.00) $950 SOLD OUT
Front Grand Tier ($450.00) $1,250
Rear Grand Tier ($250.00) $950
Dress Circle ($200.00) $600
Balcony ($150.00) $450
Family Circle ($100.00) $260

#7 Leigh Witchel

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Posted 10 March 2006 - 11:59 AM

Any news on the programming for this?

Got my ticket (but have to get my Visa). I'll be there May 25-30.

Will anyone else be in St. Petersburg at that time?

#8 Leigh Witchel

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Posted 28 March 2006 - 07:18 AM

White Nights programming is now up.

http://www.mariinsky...ha/fest/wnf2006 for the May repertory.

#9 Natalia

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Posted 28 March 2006 - 09:11 AM

Lucky you, Leigh! You'll have Swan Lake, Bayadere, the two 'Chemyakin Nuts' and the Balanchine Night during your stay. That's a very nice mix of ballets in a short time. If the Maly Ballet (in the Mussorgsky Theater) performs 'Esmeralda' on one of your non-Mariinsky nights, I would recommend that you try to see it.

You might also want to get in touch with the Vaganova Academy to arrange a possible 'peak' at the preparations for the graduation performances, as well as tour the school's museum, which is replete with treasures.

Let me know via PM if you get stuck (need more pointers). As it turns out, I won't be there at the same time as you - need to be there a bit later (mid June) for family reasons...so you'll be our ambassador!

#10 vrsfanatic

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Posted 28 March 2006 - 07:54 PM

Natalia what is Mariinsky Ballet and Imperial Ballet? Sorry, I am out of the loop. :(

Leigh, enjoy your trip. I am sure you will have a fabulous time. I cannot wait to hear all about it.

#11 Natalia

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Posted 29 March 2006 - 08:12 AM

Natalia what is Mariinsky Ballet and Imperial Ballet?


vrs - That's some new stupid marketing thing. They've grouped their repertoire into three eras:

Imperial Ballet - everything pre-1917 Revolution (Petipa, etc.)

Kirov Ballet - Soviet Era works (R&J, Fountains, etc.)

Mariinsky Ballet - post-1990 works (anything that premiered after 1990...Forsythes, etc.)

...just in case some unsuspecting tourist happens to wander into an all-Forsythe program, expecting tutus and tiaras...now he knows that he should hone-in on only the "Imperial" ballets. :(

#12 carbro

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Posted 29 March 2006 - 11:02 AM

At the risk of being overly picky-picky-picky, how does this work in terms of works choreographed before 1990 but acquired after (e.g., Balanchine)? Does this preclude mixed bills comprised of, say, Chopiniana and In the Middle . . . ? Does the company divide the dancers into these categories as specialties?

#13 Natalia

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Posted 29 March 2006 - 01:38 PM

Good question, carbro! Sometimes the categorization defies logic. It's sort of 'loosy-goosy,' according to what the management team decides.

In looking at the White Nights monthly lists, I see that:

Chopiniana is a 'Mariinsky Ballet' because it is now tied to the other Fokines, which weren't performed until the 1990s. All of the Balanchines & other 20th-C classics from the West (Etudes and such) are 'Mariinsky Ballets' because most weren't performed during the Soviet Era

Chemyakin's Nutcracker is a 'Mariinsky Ballet' but Vainonen's ca-1930 version is a 'Kirov Ballet.'

The 1890 new-old 'Beauty' is an "Imperial Ballet" (not counting 1999 revival, I guess) and the 1952 K.Sergeyev version is a 'Kirov Ballet'...but the 1950 K.Sergeyev 'Swan Lake' appears to have slipped into the 'Imperial Ballet' category!

'Ondine' is a 'Mariinsky Ballet' because Lacotte's chor'phy is brand new, although its look and feel is certainly 'Imperial.'

#14 E95

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Posted 17 April 2006 - 11:24 AM

Lucky you, Leigh! You'll have Swan Lake, Bayadere, the two 'Chemyakin Nuts' and the Balanchine Night during your stay. That's a very nice mix of ballets in a short time. If the Maly Ballet (in the Mussorgsky Theater) performs 'Esmeralda' on one of your non-Mariinsky nights, I would recommend that you try to see it.


Why lucky???

Valery Gergiev will be conducting Kirov Orchestra for 4 nights in the Birmigham Symphony Hall and one night in Cardiff:

23 May: Shostakovich Symphones 3&10
24 May: Eugene Onegine (in concert)
25 May: La Forza del Destino (in concert)
26 May: Borodin, Prokofiev & Tchaikovsky (in Cardiff)
27 May: Mlada (in concert)

Exactly for the reason that for these performances there'll be first cast Mariinsky Orchestra and Great Maestro Gergiev, this means that in St Petersbug the orchestra will be just "second class" with some mediocre conductors (e.g. Sinkevich or Gruzin), conducting kind of boring music: Minkus, Slonimsky (Ugh!). What a waste of so carefully earned miles, when thousands of people dream about going to the UK for these Kirov "first class" performances...

Please, remember: Kirov on tour and Kirov at home (WHEN the main company is on tour) are two completely different companies, alas!

It's usually worth going to St Petersburg for the second half of June, when you could see Gergiev conducting almost every night (and sometimes even matinee performances) for some two weeks... And this year there should be somewhat great: Shostakovich Symphonies 1,2,4,7,9,10! "The Nose", "Katerina Izmailova"... Ah! If I had your miles, I would've known how to spend them!

Don't go to Maly Theatre: horrible orchestra and horrible conductors: you won't sleep of nightmares the whole night if you listen to the music there. "Esmeralda" is also a rather boring score. And the quality of ballet company there is very-very far from world class standards: they could fall down on the floor very unexpectedly...

#15 Helene

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Posted 17 April 2006 - 11:31 AM

It's usually worth going to St Petersburg for the second half of June, when you could see Gergiev conducting almost every night (and sometimes even matinee performances) for some two weeks... And this year there should be somewhat great: Shostakovich Symphonies 1,2,4,7,9,10! "The Nose", "Katerina Izmailova"... Ah! If I had your miles, I would've known how to spend them!

Perhaps, E95, you hadn't noticed that Ballet Talk is dedicated to classical ballet. Your preference may be to see Gergiev conduct opera and symphonic music, but no one on Ballet Talk needs to explain why his/her preference is ballet or why he or she is lucky to have the opportunity to see ballet performances in St. Petersburg.


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