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


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#76 Helene

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Posted 02 May 2013 - 11:23 AM

Ah, so that was Pape! I only saw parts -- the transmission wouldn't start for me for quite a while, and after a good 30 minutes of perfect transmission, I started to have buffering problems. It sounds like I'm glad I missed "Wintersturme," and I didn't recognize "Happy Birthday" at all through the buffering: I knew the crowd was singing and Gergiev was beaming, and assumed they were singing whatever Russians sing for someone's birthday.

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.

I think the "opera hottie" look was fine for when she was younger, but I think she looks glorious now.

#77 volcanohunter

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Posted 02 May 2013 - 11:34 AM

As best as I can reconstruct:

- video tour of new theater to music from Prokofiev's Romeo and Juliet
- entrance of the Shades from La Bayadere, but not the complete dance
- Gounod's "Ave Maria" sung by children's choir
- Ildar Abdrazakov sings "La calunnia" from Il barbiere di Siviglia
- Denis Matsuev plays a piano transcription of "Largo al factotum" from the same opera
- Evgeni Nikitin and chorus in the coronation scene from Boris Godunov (poor pit/stage balance, but impossible to tell how it sounded in the hall)
- Leonidas Kavakos plays the entr'acte from The Sleeping Beauty (not especially well) while Uliana Lopatkina performs an excerpt from Neumeier's The Nutcracker
- Vaganova students, followed by company in finale of Etudes, with Anastasia Kolegova, Kim Kimin and Filipp Stepin (?)
- Ekaterina Semenchuk delivers a rather dreadful "Les tringles des sistres tintaient" from Carmen; hampered by absence of Mercedes and Frasquita
- Diana Visheneva in an exceprt from Carmen Suite
- Alexei Markov sings "Kto mozhet sravnitsia s Matildoi moei" from Iolanta
- Yuri Bashmet plays "The Swan" (on the viola, obviously, and not always in sync with the harp) while Ekaterina Kondaurova performs The Dying Swan
- Mikhail Petrenko and men's chorus sing the "Song of the Volga Boatmen"
- opening of The Rite of Spring (Hodson reconstruction) followed by the version Sasha Waltz is choreographing for the company
- Rene Pape sings "Le veau d'or" from Faust
- "Fra dolci e cari palpiti" from Il viaggio a Reims
- Olga Borodina sings "Mon coeur s'ouvre a ta voix" from Samson et Dalila
- Olga Esina and Alexander Sergeyev perform Petit's "Leda & the Swan"
- Placido Domingo sings "Wintersturme" from Die Walkure
- Oxana Skorik and Vladimir Shklyarov in the finale from "Diamonds"
- Anna Netrebko sings "Vieni, t'affretta" from Macbeth
- Netrebko sings "La ci darem la mano" from Don Giovanni with Markov, Petrenko, Pape, Abdrazakov and Domingo (in the pit)
- Netrenko et al. in the finale from Iolanta

Too much substandard singing, not enough ballet.

There were quite a few empty seats, which doesn't look great on television. But that's what you get when you invite VIPs rather than giving real fans access. The Bolshoi re-opening was full, but the frequently lethargic response of the audience gave them away as not real admirers of opera or ballet.

#78 Birdsall

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Posted 02 May 2013 - 11:54 AM

Too much substandard singing, not enough ballet.

There were quite a few empty seats, which doesn't look great on television. But that's what you get when you invite VIPs rather than giving real fans access. The Bolshoi re-opening was full, but the frequently lethargic response of the audience gave them away as not real admirers of opera or ballet.


The first sentence I quote from you is very correct. Even Netrebko and Borodina (both of whom I love) had slight issues, but they were the best, in my personal opinion. The non-international opera stars were not very impressive.

This might be a sign of things to come.....pushing more mediocre opera on everyone and ignoring the ballet. I hope not.

It was interesting that the Tsar's Box (or whatever it is called in the new house) was so empty. You would think they could easily fill that! Shouldn't those seats be some of the best in the house? Although I know most people think orchestra seats for ballet are best, but often opera is best at a slight distance to really enjoy the size of various voices.

#79 Cygnet

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Posted 02 May 2013 - 12:43 PM


Too much substandard singing, not enough ballet.

There were quite a few empty seats, which doesn't look great on television. But that's what you get when you invite VIPs rather than giving real fans access. The Bolshoi re-opening was full, but the frequently lethargic response of the audience gave them away as not real admirers of opera or ballet.


The first sentence I quote from you is very correct. Even Netrebko and Borodina (both of whom I love) had slight issues, but they were the best, in my personal opinion. The non-international opera stars were not very impressive.

This might be a sign of things to come.....pushing more mediocre opera on everyone and ignoring the ballet. I hope not.

It was interesting that the Tsar's Box (or whatever it is called in the new house) was so empty. You would think they could easily fill that! Shouldn't those seats be some of the best in the house? Although I know most people think orchestra seats for ballet are best, but often opera is best at a slight distance to really enjoy the size of various voices.


I co-sign all you've posted Volcanohunter and Birdsall. My only reservation is the moving stage while the Vaganova students and dancers are onstage. That seemed to be the only high tech. demonstration of the night with the new facility. I remember that the Bolshoi showed off practically every new technical trick that it had acquired two years ago. It seemed okay for Placido, as he was sitting down during his "entrance." Also, the chorus didn't watch Gergiev at the denouement of the "Slava" opening chorus/scene of "Boris Godunov." Also, the violinist looked exactly like Nacho Duato's twin - uncanny resemblance, right down to the glasses, only Duato has salt n' pepper hairPosted Image .

#80 Helene

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Posted 02 May 2013 - 01:13 PM

I think that Netrebko has the same sluggish coloratura issues we've been hearing for a while and the same high points. I think it's more than a fair trade-off.

#81 California

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Posted 02 May 2013 - 01:33 PM

For those of us who missed the live transmission, you can now see a video of the entire thing here:

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

#82 volcanohunter

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Posted 02 May 2013 - 01:53 PM

That was quick. Unfortunately, the part of "Diamonds" that dropped out during the live transmission is still missing.

Incidentally, Vladimir Putin acknowledged the controversy surrounding the theater's appearance in his speech, but he seemed to say, "Don't worry. It doesn't look like much, but what matters is that the technology is state of the art, and the sound is great, which is more important in an opera house anyway."

#83 Birdsall

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Posted 02 May 2013 - 02:39 PM

I think that Netrebko has the same sluggish coloratura issues we've been hearing for a while and the same high points. I think it's more than a fair trade-off.


I agree with that assessment. Overall, I think she is a great voice, but everything is not perfect. Rumor has it she might be singing Norma at Covent Garden in the near future, and that is big news, although I think she'll have trouble with the coloratura passages. Still a big star debuting in Norma is always a huge event! Even if she is not the Norma we've all been waiting for it is still an exciting idea on paper.

#84 Helene

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Posted 02 May 2013 - 03:39 PM

Thank you so much, volcanohunter Posted Image I'm going to add the start times (give or take a few seconds) to your list.

As best as I can reconstruct:

- video tour of new theater to music from Prokofiev's Romeo and Juliet (27:20)
- entrance of the Shades from La Bayadere, but not the complete dance (30:34)
- Gounod's "Ave Maria" sung by children's choir (39:06)
- Ildar Abrazakov sings "La calunnia" from Il barbiere di Siviglia (42:07)
- Denis Matsuev plays a piano transcription of "Largo al factotum" from the same opera (47:03)
- Evgeni Nikitin and chorus in the coronation scene from Boris Godunov (poor pit/stage balance, but impossible to tell how it sounded in the hall) (51:35)
- Leonidas Kavakos plays the entr'acte from The Sleeping Beauty (not especially well) while Uliana Lopatkina performs an excerpt from Neumeier's The Nutcracker (1:00:05)
- Vaganova students, (1:07:35) followed by company in finale of Etudes, with Anastasia Kolegova, Kim Kimin and Filipp Stepin (?) (1:10:14)
- Ekaterina Semenchuk delivers a rather dreadful "Les tringles des sistres tintaient" from Carmen; hampered by absence of Mercedes and Frasquita (1:12:51)
- Diana Visheneva in an exceprt from Carmen Suite (1:18:02)
- Alexei Markov sings "Kto mozhet sravnitsia s Matildoi moei" from Iolanta (1:21:22)
- Yuri Bashmet plays "The Swan" (on the viola, obviously, and not always in sync with the harp) while Ekaterina Kondaurova performs The Dying Swan (1:24:20)
- Mikhail Petrenko and men's chorus sings the "Song of the Volga Boatmen" (1:28:27)
- opening of The Rite of Spring (1:33:09) (Hodson reconstruction) (1:36:37) followed by the version Sasha Waltz is choreographing for the company (1:38:35)
- Rene Pape sings "Le veau d'or" from Faust (1:41:43)
- "Fra dolci e cari palpiti" from Il viaggio a Reims (1:44:10)
- Olga Borodina sings "Mon coeur s'ouvre a ta voix" from Samson et Dalila (1:49:01)
- Olga Esina and Alexander Sergeyev perform Petit's "Leda & the Swan" (1:56:05)
- Placido Domingo sings "Wintersturme" from Die Walkure (2:00:35)
- Oxana Skorik and Vladimir Shklyarov in the finale from "Diamonds" (2:04:00 -- abrupt cut in)
- Anna Netrebko sings "Vieni, t'affretta" from Macbeth (2:07:10)
- Netrebko sings "La ci darem la mano" from Don Giovanni with Markov, Petrenko, Pape, Abrazakov and Domingo (in the pit) (2:15:40)
- Netrenko et al. in the finale from Iolanta (2:20:00)


The Happy Birthday singing begins ~ 2:26:07.

I loved some of the little touches, like how Ildar Abrazakov lifted the piano lid for Denis Matsuev. I also found the competing Don Giovannis with their bigger and bigger flower arrangements -- bouquet, basket, tree, and cart full of flowers -- charming.

What's odd about Domingo is that although he's been singing so many baritone roles, I wouldn't have recognized him from his voice: it sounded lighter. I would have thought him a relatively newcomer to Wagner struggling to get his voice around the music, not someone in his '70's coming back to the role.

Gergiev kept the evening moving as fast as he could.

#85 volcanohunter

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Posted 02 May 2013 - 05:09 PM

Thank you for the timings, Helene!

#86 cubanmiamiboy

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Posted 02 May 2013 - 06:47 PM

Vishneva did a great rendition of Alberto Alonso's heroine, and Plisetskaya approved. 'nouf said...Posted Image

Then...what on earth happened to Bashmet's synchronization...?! Posted Image

Mme. Kolpakova should had been seated first row.

The new "Sacre..." looks so..generic next to the recreated one...

The reaction to the Diamonds finale was very lukewarm.

#87 Catherine

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Posted 02 May 2013 - 10:34 PM

The reaction to Diamonds was lukewarm bc 80% of the people in the hall do not follow the Mariinsky, much less ballet, and were there by invitation not by paid ticket and only 1000 seats were filled (on purpose) instead of the 2000, presumably for security purposes.

#88 Catherine

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Posted 02 May 2013 - 10:35 PM

p.s. yes confirming the questions above, in Etudes it was Filippe Stepin with Kim Kimin as the two male soloists.

#89 Jayne

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Posted 02 May 2013 - 10:39 PM

Borina is so awesome she can't help herself. Outclassed everyone else on the stage. The opera may be mediocre but the orchestra is first class. Is MT bringing the full Neumeier Nut into its rep? Or is that just a one-off?

I liked Big Red very much, muscles and all. But I'm not sure Plisetskaya did. Diamonds starts at 2:04 and it's a cut-in, really odd. The electronic screen showing the diamonds rising and following is a bit too obvious for my tastes. The tempi really varied (hey it's Gergiev, but this was *really* fast at the end) and the dancers had a hard time keeping on the varying beats. Once Gergiev sped up, it looked a little messy. Skorik was a blank for me, she's thinner than thin, but this ending is incredibly for the lead Diamond and she's allowed to express some pride (as well as her partner) in her expression. Hmmm....I really hope Skorik can live up to the hype.

Did anyone see Tereshkina? I thought I saw her in Rite (modern side) but I could be wrong.

Netrebko's dress is awe inspiring. I wish I could wear that (and no recent baby for me!) God bless her for her bravery to wear that dress.

Putin's plastic surgery just looks weird.

#90 Buddy

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Posted 03 May 2013 - 01:00 AM

It looks like tonight and tomorrow will be ballet at Mariinsky II. This is nice to hear for a lot of us.
[font=Helvetica][size=3] [/size][/font][font=Helvetica][size=3]http://www.mariinsky...ybill/playbill/[/size][/font]

I really don't know very much about opera, but I thought that the voices were beautiful. I guess that ballet dancers do appear at times in an opera. I, personally would love to hear their voices at more dance performances.

I guess tempo is always a factor when Valery Gergiev conducts for dance, but I do feel that the orchestra sounded great.

All in all, I thought that it was a beautiful evening.



Added thought:

The ballets scheduled for Mariinsky II are Jewels, Bolero and Symphony in C. I wonder if this is an indication of how the new theatre programing may be oriented. With the unraked stage is there a possibility that we might be seeing something resembling two sets of dancers in the future? One more used to the unraked stage and perhaps more 'modern' and the other main theatre group more traditional in emphasis. Diana Vishneva, for one, has suggested that the new theatre might encourage more 'modern' programing, which she supports.

[font=Helvetica][size=4]http://www.mariinsky...s2/26_230march/[/size][/font]


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