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Opening of new Mariinsky II Opera House in St. Petersburg

137 posts in this topic

That said, the space on the SIDE of the wings is like a huge warehouse. It must be five (?) stories tall or more. It is vast. The current wingspace in the old MT is maybe....20 feet deep? Max? Probably less than that. 15 feet I think. This is the same width as the stage itself so what you see looking at the stage, that same amount of space extends to the right of the stage and the left. if they 1) wanted to 2) were persuaded to and/or 3) had money to, they could easily use this space for rehearsals by installing mirrors on the east and west walls and somehow cordoning it off... although noise from on-stage set shifts would disrupt the rehearsal process.

Happy to answer any inquiries if anyone has specific questions (given what limited parts of the new theatre I've seen so far).

Very interesting idea. Thanks, Catherine.

Do you know anything yet about new dressing room space etc. for the ballet dancers in particular ?

Have a great time !

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Thanks, Catherine. RT television has been doing live reports in the hours leading to the opening...just 30 minutes to go. Their reporter interviewed the architect, Mr. Diamond, a few moments ago. In answer to a query about the loud criticism about his design, he said, with a smile, "...St. Isaac's Cathedral was widely criticized when it opened and Tchaikovsky's First Piano Concerto was ridiculed at first, so it seems that I'm in good company." Plisetskaya and Schedrin were also shown, with Maya praising everything about the new building.

Today is also Gergiev's 60th birthday and the 25th anniversary of his work at the Kirov-Mariinsky.

Catherine, they've been showing & talking a lot about the Onyx Wall in the lobby. Is it impressive in person?

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The live transmission just started on ARTE. So why is the auditorium only half full and most of the attendees just milling about? Ah, waiting for Mr. Putin? Musicians in pit llooking around...harpist lady yawns. People slowly going to their seats in Orchestra (Stalls) 10 minutes after the event was to have started.

Now showing sign: 'Le spectacle demarre dans quelques instants." Sleeping Beauty Panorama music in the background.. After music, no sond - no emcee. Just waiting for Putin & Gergiev....

The auditorium looks stunning. The old blue/gold curtain is here - a duplicate of the one in the old building?

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Off and running. Putin speaking.

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The live transmission just started on ARTE.

I am on that site and it says it starts in 90 minutes. I've tried reloading, starting over with the link for ARTE, etc. and get the same thing. Are others in the U.S. getting the live transmission? Is there another link you're using?

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The live transmission just started on ARTE.

I am on that site and it says it starts in 90 minutes. I've tried reloading, starting over with the link for ARTE, etc. and get the same thing. Are others in the U.S. getting the live transmission? Is there another link you're using?

This one works.

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This is working pefectly for me...live in Washington, DC:

http://liveweb.arte....nt_Petersbourg/

After Shades, the kids chorus sang Ave Maria. They're now into the 3rd number - a Rossini aria La Tempesta for baritone (I think). Followed by solo pianist playing Figaro aria, as kids and Shades stand in boxes looking on. (?)

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Catherine, they've been showing & talking a lot about the Onyx Wall in the lobby. Is it impressive in person?

It is nice to look at. I think nicer when you imagine how much it cost, but if no one told me it was onyx, I might just think it was cloudy yellow glass backlit... so I suppose it depends on taste. The color is nice because it gives a warm glow. One architect was explaining they have the ability to light only the "recesses" (the scalloped edges that cut inwards) to save money if need be...

Buddy, as for dressing room space, I am told that at least for this performance there were 6 people per seat. (not per room, per seat) But that could be due to the overlap of opera and ballet in one evening. Let's hope.

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Thanks, Catherine.

Adding running commentary here/updating as we go, rather than posting a gazillion times:

After the segment from Boris Godunov, we now have a solo violinist playing the lovely Entr'acte from Sleeping Beauty...so maybe there may be more ballet? YES - Lopatkina in Neumeier's Nutcracker segment (Pavlova & Ceccheti)...with exquisite huge overhead tilted mirror. Wow.

Next, Vaganova Academy kids perform a segment of Lander's
Etudes
. Then impressive movement of the stage floor - kids move off and adults move in, as stage shifts. Leaping finale of
Etudes
. Kolegova is the star ballerina here...I think it is she. WOW, Kim Kimin - extraordinary! Not sure who is the 2nd guy but he is good, too...doesn't look like Schklyarov.

As
Etudes
corps rolls off,
Carmen
opera singer and a small orchestra roll in. (She sounds really off pitch but it may be the transmission.)

Now comes a balletic Carmen. Vishneva! Did she alter the choreography a bit? Doen't matter; she's lovely...if nore Vishneva-Diva than Carmen. Lots of looking at the cameras, IMO. Followed by a male aria...then
Dying Swan
by Kondaurova - brava!

A basso soloist & male chorus sing the Volga Boatman's Song...followed by
Sacre du Printemps
music - orchestra's moment. (Time for a quick fridge break!) Just back as the
Sacre
dancers roll in.
smile.png
Hey, it's TWO Sacres danced side by side - modern on the left & the Hodson-after-Nijinsky recon on the right.

Faust
aria 'Golden Calf' next by a magnificent basso, with male chorus. Spine tingling.

Next, a bel cantoesque opera number, set in St Petersburg in late 1800s, with antique autos. Rossini? Donizetti? Very cute as a 'panorama' of St Petersburg streets rolls behind them.

Mon Coeur Souvre a ta Voix
mezzo aria from
Samson et Dalilah
. Borodina? Whoever - fabulous! Biggest ovation of the night so far, it seems. Even the orchestra members are bravoing.

Next, lovely Olga Yesina and Alexander Sergeev in a romantic contemporary pdd, with huge full moon behind. Followed by Placido Domingo in Wagner aria.

The ARTE transmission ends just as Domingo ends his aria...so hopefully someone else can post the remainder of the program. I thoroughly enjoyed what I saw, especially the ballet parts.

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For those who know the Balanchine "Nutcracker", Balanchine used the Entr'acte solo for the scene following the party, where Marie comes downstairs, she falls asleep on the couch, and Drosselmeier casts his spell.

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Outstanding coverage right now online with ARTE. Excellent performance (so far) from all - the opening Shades, the Children's Chorus, Lopatkina, Nikitin in the opening scene and chorus of "Boris Godunov," the Vaganova students in "Etudes," and pianist Denis Matsuev. Brava Mariinsky flowers.gif !

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Kimin has lovely loft, but his feet were flapping in the double tours. I loved how the "Etudes" ballerina wasn't a waif.

Was that Vishneva in "Carmen"?

The baritone singing now has interesting hair.

The way the stage moves means that they can put different sets on each side of the conveyor and do very fast set changes. For the ballet, they may be able to utilize the space with temporary dressing areas like they showed at the Metropolitan Opera during the "Giulio Cesare" performances, but one side, at least, might be set-up for the next performance of the opera.

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Is that Yuri Beshmet playing "The Dying Swan"? Who is the ballerina?

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I didn't have that problem but I had to try a few times before the connection would connect instead of hang.

Is that Evgeny Nikitin singing with the male chorus? There are some handsome dudes in that chorus.

Is that Plisetskaya next to Putin? She made some comments to him after "The Dying Swan."

Now the orchestra with "Rite of Spring."

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Is this the link you are all using? http://liveweb.arte....nt_Petersbourg/

Once on that site, do you have to click anything? I've clicked through all the options...unblocked pop-ups, etc. Still getting a clock that it will start live in 90 minutes...anybody else having that problem?

try this

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Is this the link you are all using? http://liveweb.arte....nt_Petersbourg/

Once on that site, do you have to click anything? I've clicked through all the options...unblocked pop-ups, etc. Still getting a clock that it will start live in 90 minutes...anybody else having that problem?

try this

Same ticking clock...I guess something in my ISP or perhaps my security software is blocking the transmission. I'll try later to see if they post a recording...I hope!

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Is this the link you are all using? http://liveweb.arte....nt_Petersbourg/

Once on that site, do you have to click anything? I've clicked through all the options...unblocked pop-ups, etc. Still getting a clock that it will start live in 90 minutes...anybody else having that problem?

try this

Same ticking clock...I guess something in my ISP or perhaps my security software is blocking the transmission. I'll try later to see if they post a recording...I hope!

I suspect that there should be a dvd eventually; I'd be surprised if there isn't. IMO Maestro G. should have somehow gotten Ballet in Cinema to jump all over this once the opening date was decided, like the Bolshoi. Incidentally, for those who don't know, today (2 May) is his birthday.

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Domingo is conducting Anna Netrebko in the Zerlina-Don Giovanni duet ("La ci darem la mano") with a big male cast.

Netrebko sang something before and is leading a big showpiece with chorus from Russian opera. I recognize both, but can't for the life of me remember what they are.

She is wearing a gorgeous bronze, silver, and black beaded, sequinned, glittery gown with huge silver heels.

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My posts 57 and (especially) 59 give a blow-by-blow of the program. Alas, I missed anything shown after Domingo but it couldn't have been more than a couple of numbers. Assuming that Netrebko sang and that there was a grand finale?

Helene, that was 'Big Red' Kondaurova in Dying Swan. See post 59.

I love any chance to see Plisetskaya but...not sure about her affiliation with the Mariinsky, given that she was one of the great Bolshoi ballerinas. Couldn't they have found some great ex-Kirov/Mariinsky ballerinas to spotlight on this day?

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Kondaurova was marvelous. (I didn't think to go backwards in the thread.)

To end, everyone came back on stage, during the choral finale. Gergiev is holding half a florist's shop worth of flowers*, and I think the crowd and chorus just sang the Russian equivalent of "Happy Birthday" to Gergiev, who is beaming.

*Oops, from that angle, it looked like he was holding everyone else's flowers.

Edited to add: from what I caught of the credits, it looked like Netrebko sang Lady Macbeth's big aria, then Zerlina, and the closing piece was from Tchaikovskys "Iolanthe."

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Leaping finale of
Etudes
.
Kolegova is the star ballerina here...I think it is she. WOW, Kim Kimin - extraordinary! Not sure who is the 2nd guy but he is good, too...doesn't look like Schklyarov.

I'm pretty sure that it's Anastasia Kolegova, Natalia. "WOW, Kim Kimin - extraordinary!" He Always Is !

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I watched the whole thing except the transmission on Arte dropped out after Domingo's "Winterstürme" (which made me so sad.....like a God falling and smashing to the earth), but I restarted my computer and got it going again. I saw on the ending credits that part of Jewels was shown. I assume after Domingo, b/c when I restarted I caught Netrebko in a very exciting Lady Macbeth aria "Nel di della vittoria.....vieni, t'affretta"......her full throttle, exciting sound is wonderful, but she had some problems with the coloratura, but this is a very, very difficult aria. Her steering toward more dramatic roles is quite exciting to me. She has also lost some of the baby weight she gained but still isn't the "opera hottie" she used to be, although still very attractive.

Loved Kolegova in Etudes. She is so lovely. Beautiful face and gorgeous dancing.

After having seen Kondaurova as Carmen, I find Vishneva's Carmen excerpt here too cutesy. Kondaurova is more of a biyatch and better at this role. I actually found Kondaurova's Dying Swan like a swan that would come back to life and punch out whoever killed her. I don't know why but I find her strong physique, strong face, and strong persona just doesn't work on fragile characters. I like her better as Carmen or as the Street Dancer in DQ. Don't beat up on me!!! I know I am in the minority on this view, but somehow I think she excels at strong women and doesn't do fragile very well, although there was nothing wrong with her Dying Swan, and I would take her over a lot of ballerinas outside of the Mariinsky anyday.

Rene Pape, who I have always loved, is beginning to have a very dry sound which makes him sound less powerful than he used to.

Olga Borodina is still a goddess. Even taking a breath between"responds" in the phrase "reponds, reponds a ma tendresse" during both verses, I still love her. Her best foot is not the high notes and the final one in "Je t'aime" was not great, but overall her voice, in my opinion, is velvet.

As I said above, I found Domingo's "Winterstürme" very sad after having seen him in his prime. It is like watching a God fall and his statue smash to pieces on the earth. It saddens me. He managed nice "Andiam"s later as he conducted Netrebko and the other men (each taking a verse of Don Giovanni's duet with her).

Overall, an entertaining show. I wonder why they didn't do it in two parts and give the audience a pee break! I would have died if I had been in the audience!!!! During Wagner operas I can't drink all day before a performance (I suck on candy) or take a few sips of drinks.

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By the way, is it normal to sing "Happy Birthday" in English in Russia?

Was the Jewels excerpt after Domingo's "Winterstürme"? I don't remember seeing anything from Jewels so it must have been between Domingo and Netrebko when the transmission cut off momentarily and I had to restart my computer to get it going again.

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