Jump to content


Opening of new Mariinsky II Opera House in St. PetersburgMay 2-4, 2013


  • Please log in to reply
134 replies to this topic

#16 Helene

Helene

    Administrator

  • Administrators
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 11,142 posts

Posted 29 April 2013 - 01:53 PM

Raked stages are very difficult for opera singers because of the way they breathe. I'm sure the Mariinsky Opera singers are relieved to have a stage without a rake.

#17 Cygnet

Cygnet

    Silver Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 730 posts

Posted 29 April 2013 - 02:07 PM

I know :).

#18 Birdsall

Birdsall

    Platinum Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,323 posts

Posted 29 April 2013 - 05:18 PM

Also, a number of new dancers have been hired for the new theatre, (approx. 60), so the space issues of the old Theatre are only exacerbated with the new Theatre. The decision to hire new dancers is recent (and) after the
fact. There's no extra room: The designs were executed based on the Ballet's personnel number when they started and the estimated number of personnel when they finished. What's particularly disturbing is the suggestion that the open air roof might be used as a White Nights "wedding chapel" for citizens, as well as tourists. If that happens, (I doubt it), but if it does, that will out "commercialize" Vladimir Kehkman's giant advertisements in the Mikhailovsky's foyer.




With more dancers hired wouldn't the Mariinsky also need to hire more teachers? Or will they just jam the dancers into one room? You would think more classes, etc. would be needed, but I know nothing about this. I just imagine the teachers having more work load unless more were hired.

So the expense of this new theatre is not over just because it is paid for and finished. More dancers, more teachers, etc. will be more people on the payroll.

Weddings on the roof? Gran Dio!!!! How tacky!!! O mio dolor!!!!

#19 Buddy

Buddy

    Silver Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 564 posts

Posted 30 April 2013 - 03:50 AM

Thanks for your thoughts, Cygnet and Birdsall. I also have a lot of ongoing interest and emotion attached to this project.

From the photos shown in the Maclean's article, I feel that the interior public spaces are quite beautiful, i.e. the seating-performance area (warm and comfortable) and the stairway-lobby area (exciting). Both are pictured at the bottom of the page.

http://www2.macleans...they-will-carp/

I still have a great fondness for the Exterior of the Initial Models for the 'space age', golden shell design, a design which apparently was changed considerably along the way. The design was debated for practicality, compatibility, ect. reasons (which I can totally sympathize with) and finally replaced with the selection of the new architects and the now existing building.

(I like the third and fourth pictures down in particular)
http://www.arcspace....e-mariinsky-ii/


Although allocation of the facilities is being debated, by ballet fans in particular, the functioning of the facilities should be excellent.

I would also add that I like the old building very much. I think that it's Beautiful !

#20 Natalia

Natalia

    Rubies Circle

  • Foreign Correspondent
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 4,395 posts

Posted 30 April 2013 - 04:11 AM

I prefer architect Diamond's design -- what was built -- to the quirky Golden Envelope by the initial designer, Perrault. The new interior looks lovely - similar to recent designs of new opera houses in Toronto (also by Diamond), Newark (NJPAC Prudential Hall) and Copenhagen (opera house opened in '05). It's nice that they've maintained the 'grandness' of an old-fashioned opera house, with even a new Tsar's Box in the center. The Bastille Opera in Paris eschewed the horseshoe-style boxes, which is a shame, IMO.

I'm not sure that glass walls allowing passers-by to see performers in rehearsals or at class is such a great thing, though. Maybe it won't be so bad in reality? (Buddy, I hope that you're not planning on taking a folding chair to the sidewalk, to see your favorites warming up? ha-ha! Hey, even I would line-up to watch, if that were really possible!)

Renting-out the rooftop terrance? Well, at least it's not as tacky as placing new-model BMWs inside a lobby, as Kekhman has done at the Mik.

#21 Buddy

Buddy

    Silver Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 564 posts

Posted 30 April 2013 - 04:36 AM

Hi, Natalia. I'm not sure that it is possible to see the artists practicing from the outside. The large studio windows seem to be located on the second and third floors. I thought that it might have been a nice idea to be able to view them from the sidewalk, but the design was actually different.

(windows in back, at the left of photo)
http://smirnoff-98.l...alog/791/180194

Two thoughts come to mind. I had a figure skating teacher from the Ukraine who told me that as a child her grandmother would give her the cholce of visiting the local gardens or watching the ballet dancers practice from the sidewalk. Her choice was always to watch the ballet dancers and she eventually went into figure skating.

The second is that I've read that you can do this at the Miami City Ballet building and it's a very popular pastime.

You're right. I would love doing it.



Added comment:

All the new building is by Diamond Schmitt Architects as far as I know, Natalia, except for the fact that it rests on some of the original design's foundations.

#22 Natalia

Natalia

    Rubies Circle

  • Foreign Correspondent
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 4,395 posts

Posted 30 April 2013 - 04:40 AM

This may be a great selling point for neighboring apartment buildings or Premiere Hotel, across the street from the backside of the Mariinsky II??? Just kidding!

#23 Buddy

Buddy

    Silver Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 564 posts

Posted 30 April 2013 - 05:24 AM

Another thought, Natalia. It might be possible some day to add an outside walkway balcony to the studio area to make outside viewing of the practices a reality. It shouldn't be that great of an expense compared to what has already been spent. It might even add to the exterior appearance of that part of the building by breaking up some of the massiveness. It could maybe be tied into the suspension bridge passage way for weather protection.

[font=helvetica, arial, sans-serif][size=4](again referring to window area in back, at the left of photo)[/size][/font]
http://smirnoff-98.l...alog/791/180194


And:

Where should we set up our shingle ? "Natalia and Buddy Architectural Designers"

#24 Natalia

Natalia

    Rubies Circle

  • Foreign Correspondent
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 4,395 posts

Posted 30 April 2013 - 05:43 AM

..........Where should we set up our shingle ? "Natalia and Buddy Architectural Designers"


Uhhhh...I think that 'B' comes before 'N'! BudNat Enterprises. (wink)

Except for the entrance corner (the glass seen on the right of that photo), this looks like a boxy warehouse. Only the COSTCO sign is missing. The balcony-walkways would be an improvement, although the dancers may go nuts when they see the esteemed balletomanes peering in, camcorders at the ready. I had no idea that Miami City Ballet allows such a thing, i.e., the public can stand outside and watch classes/rehearsals.

#25 Birdsall

Birdsall

    Platinum Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,323 posts

Posted 30 April 2013 - 07:48 AM

The Costco comment made me laugh.

By the way, the Mariinsky's website is now saying that the Opening Gala will be televised and also available online.

#26 volcanohunter

volcanohunter

    Platinum Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,900 posts

Posted 30 April 2013 - 08:29 AM

In the past I tried watching live streams on Mariinsky.tv and had absolutely no luck. I might get two or three seconds of the stream, and then the picture freezes up, though the sound usually continues. I don't have a super fancy internet package, but generally I don't have difficulty watching streams. Unfortunately, Mariinsky live webcasts are the exception.
http://mariinsky.tv/n/

So if it isn't geo-blocked, I will be trying my luck with Arte Liveweb.
http://liveweb.arte....nt_Petersbourg/

#27 Buddy

Buddy

    Silver Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 564 posts

Posted 30 April 2013 - 09:34 AM

I had no idea that Miami City Ballet allows such a thing, i.e., the public can stand outside and watch classes/rehearsals.


Allegra Kent:

"We worked in the large sunny Miami City Ballet studios, which have picture windows visible from the sidewalk. Casual strollers can watch classes and rehearsals while walking by. A generous concept."

http://www.dancemaga...-La-Sonnambula.


The more massive part of the Mariinsky II building, Natalia, is probably the least noticeable. The main traffic is in front of the old theatre (new theatre is behind) and in front of the glass main entrance to the new theatre.

Added later:

The second picture down shows the intersection of the two main streets. Some sunlight or illumination (which should now be working) would have helped this photo.

http://ellmikhaleova...com/533391.html

#28 Buddy

Buddy

    Silver Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 564 posts

Posted 01 May 2013 - 05:04 AM

I'm sure a lot of folks here are looking forward to the actual opening of the Mariinsky II in a few days. I am and will be glad to see the future discussions about what is the most important to us, the Mariinsky Ballet. Thanks for the few quick comments about the possibility of viewing some of the opening on the internet. I'm in Europe so I'll see what kind of luck I might have.

Much of the discussion in the press and on the internet has focussed on the new building. I'm sure that will change in a few days, so this may be some of the last discussion here about it.

As I mentioned a few posts back, I've always been very fond of the Initial Models for the design that was eventually replaced. It's the Golden Shell design, which is also ultra modern. Again the third and fourth pictures down are perhaps my favorites.

http://www.arcspace....e-mariinsky-ii/

The design was heavily debated. Did it really fit into the scale and beautiful historic fabric of St. Petersburg was one question, a perfectly valid one. My affection for this design is that, for me, there was something 'Ethereal' about it, at the beginning anyway, the same quality that makes me love the ballet.

So now we have a new and different building. Overall it should work quite well functionally, even though us ballet followers are scrutinizing the allocation of the facilities and the unraked stage. Also the massive exterior appearance of some of the building is being heavily debated.

As possible members of the audience, I think that we will be quite pleased with how the building works. The inside looks very beautiful and initial studies and comments seem to confirm that it works very well. Every Seat will have a perfect view and the acoustics are supposed to be excellent. I'm very much looking forward to seeing my first ballet performance here, hopefully next year.

#29 Birdsall

Birdsall

    Platinum Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,323 posts

Posted 01 May 2013 - 08:01 AM

Buddy, the original design is definitely more avant-garde (at least for a historical city). It reminds me somewhat of a Frank Gehry building. And Gehry's buildings are quickly becoming huge tourist attractions in their own right around the world. So you might be right that this was a missed opportunity (I am assuming you feel that way and could be wrong).

The final outcome of the exterior of Mariinsky II has ended up being really ho-hum (doesn't break any architectural boundaries), and as Natalia mentioned, looks sort of like a Costco discount store. I can't imagine people 100 years from now wanting to take pictures outside of that building the way they take pictures outside of the historic Mariinsky. Maybe I am wrong. While probably upsetting a lot of people, the original design might have at least been tourist-worthy (I can actually imagine people snapping pics of themselves in front of the original gold alien egg design and posting on Facebook just as people take pics of the Disney Center in L.A.).

So far the photos of the interior do look nice for a new building. I mean, nothing to compare with the historic theatre (where you see TONS of people taking pics all over the place before, during, and after performances), but the important thing will be the acoustics and that the stage enables great artistry to work upon it. So far from word of mouth it sounds like Mariinsky II is more conducive to opera.

Personally, I would be in favor of moving all opera into the new theatre and doing just ballet in the old theatre!!! I doubt that will happen. Some of the Russian operas probably look better in the old theatre also.

#30 volcanohunter

volcanohunter

    Platinum Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,900 posts

Posted 01 May 2013 - 08:24 AM

Personally, I would be in favor of moving all opera into the new theatre and doing just ballet in the old theatre!!! I doubt that will happen. Some of the Russian operas probably look better in the old theatre also.


In effect, this is what the Paris Opera did, not because the Bastille has better acoustics (they're a disaster!), but probably because of the Bastille's new-fangled technical possibilities. The ballet generally doesn't require a tilt-a-whirl stage. About two-thirds of opera productions are staged at the Bastille, and about two-thirds of ballet performances take place at the Garnier. Operas by Mozart and earlier composers are usually done at the Garnier, I would guess primarily for acoustic considerations.


0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users


Help support Ballet Alert! and Ballet Talk for Dancers year round by using this search box for your amazon.com purchases (adblockers may block display):