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Dale

14th International Fest. Stars of the White Nights

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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.

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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?

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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?

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!

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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.

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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.leighwitchel.com/blog/archives/...ng_every_1.html

http://www.leighwitchel.com/blog/archives/...res_my_pla.html

http://www.leighwitchel.com/blog/archives/..._plan_is_1.html

http://www.leighwitchel.com/blog/archives/...vil_plan_c.html

http://www.leighwitchel.com/blog/archives/...n_training.html

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

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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.

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

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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?

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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!

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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.

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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. :(

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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?

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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.'

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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...

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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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I'm sorry Gergiev won't be conducting, but somehow I'll survive the loss. If I were going to hear Gergiev conduct opera, I wouldn't need to go to St. Petersburg to do it. I'm going to see the ballet company in the context of the city itself.

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Bumping this up on the off chance there are any Ballet-Talkers in St. Petersburg at the same time as me (May 24 eve - May 31 afternoon) - if so, I'd be delighted to meet for ballet or to explore the city.

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