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VIIth Int'l Ballet Festival-Mariinsky

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One of the Russian ticket-outlet sites (www.balletandopera.com) is announcing the full schedule of the 2007 Mariinsky Festival, to open on April 12 with a triple bill of premieres, including the long-talked-about reconstruction of Petipa/Drigo's 'Flora's Awakening,' Balanchine's 'Agon,' and a world-premiere to be titled 'Electronic Music.' Also interesting is that one full night (April 17) will present the Bolshoi Ballet in a 3ple bill to include Ratmansky's 'Jeu de Cartes,' Tharp's 'In the Upper Room,' and Alonso's 'Carmen Suite.' Familiar home-company triple bills by Forsythe and Balanchine, as well as the evening-length warhorses Giselle, Bayadere, DonQ and Swan Lake (let's all guess on the ballerina who will star in this!), round-out the festival fare. It all closes, as usual, with a star-studded Gala on April 22.

We await an official schedule from the Mariinsky Theater and, of course, there will be the inevitable cancellations/shufflings even after that press announcement is made.

p.s. Festival-goers who are tired of DonQ can hop over to the Maly-Mussorgsky Theater on April 14 to see the smaller troupe's autumn-2006 reconstruction of the original Petipa/Glazunov Raymonda (assuming that the operaandballet site's schedules of all St Petersburg theaters will stick). Former Kirov prima, Gabriela Komleva, had a hand in this revival, which is said to resurrect some rarely-heard portions of the original Glazunov score, such as Raymonda's 'oriental solo' of Act II (which Nureyev used in a modernistic dance for Abderakhman, in the POB version). Another reason to contemplate a trip to St Petersburg in mid-April.

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The actual Festival schedule is now up at the Mariinsky website, as part of the listing of ballets for the entire month of April 2007. Very similar to that cited above, on the tour site; the major difference is that the 3ple bill from the Bolshoi (April 17) now features Wheeldon's 'Misericors' in place of 'Carmen Suite.' Also interesting: the night of the Balanchine Triple Bill of Serenade/Prodigal/Diamonds (Ap. 21) is now titled "The Americans," even though all three ballets are composed by Russians, the choreographer is a Russian-born American & no work has an obviously-American theme. Perhaps American guest stars will essay the principal roles in each, thus the title? Further change: the anticipated Kirov premiere of 'Agon' is no longer on the opening-night's bill; instead, 'Apollo' opens the Festival. No 'Agon' at all on the schedule. And one even further change: the Forsythes are now off the schedule.


Casting is yet to be announced, although a French web site has unofficially reported that the POB's Matthieu Ganio will be Albrecht in Giselle.

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Also interesting: the night of the Balanchine Triple Bill of Serenade/Prodigal/Diamonds (Ap. 21) is now titled "The Americans," even though all three ballets are composed by Russians, the choreographer is a Russian-born American & no work has an obviously-American theme.
And Prodigal dates from before Balanchine ever set foot on US soil.
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Tickets are now on sale for all the performances except Swan Lake (??). Another thing of interest is that the La Bayadere performance is priced higher than any of the other performances except the final Gala. The might imply a 'star' dancer is scheduled for that night. Still no casting information.

Ostrich, my understanding is that the old theater will stay open (restoration will not be started) until the new second theater is completed.

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I was just informed by the Mariinsky Box Office of changes in the Festival program.

On the 20th, instead of Swan Lake will be Don Quixote.

On the 14th, instead of Don Quixote will be Romeo and Juliette.

On the 19th, ballets of W. Forsythe, as originally planned.

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Thanks, chiapuris. Odd - a Mariinsky Festival with neither a 'Swan Lake' nor a 'Sleeping Beauty.' That's too bad.

Let's hope that 'Flora' does 'Awaken' on the 12th and 13th of April. 'Ondine' finally materialized last year after having originally been announced to open the 2003 Festival.

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There's always the Mussorgsky/Mikhailovsky Raymonda...is it on the 14th?

Correct. I would skip the 'R&J' on the 14th -- especially if you saw the recent performances of that ballet at the Kennedy Center or in California -- & head for the Maly-Moussorgsky to see their supposedly-glorious 'Raymonda' that night. Komleva & Boyarchikov are said to have recreated a version that is even closer to Petipa than is the current Kirov staging by Konstantin Sergeev.

The website below mistakenly titles the M-M Raymonda as "ballet in two acts"; if you read the synopsis, it's the full three acts.


The above link is for only one of several St Petersburg ticket agencies but at least it gives a good idea of what's on. By the way, my experience with the M-M Theater is that they juggle their schedules less so that the Kirov-Mariinsky. I once bought a ticket for their 'Esmeralda' two months before the show and the schedule for the month in question never changed. Always a risk of switcheroo, though. But at least this is something.

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I would skip the 'R&J' on the 14th

:dry: ...Cojocaru and Kobborg announced to dance it... :huh:

Cojo/Kobo have already danced R&J in St Petersburg (White Nights 2003 with the RB). Of course, this would be their debut in the Lavrovsky version, which is quite different. Decisions - decisions. Hmmm...sorry, I'd still take a Raymonda over an R&J, regardless of who is dancing. :)

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All tickets now are available at the Mariinsky site, but still no casting information. The 20th is now to be Don Quixote instead of Swan Lake. Swan Lake is out. The 14th which was Don Quixote is now Romeo and Juliet. The 19th has just been added as a Forsythe evening.

PS I would personally climb a mountain to see Alina Cojocaru and Johan Kobborg dance most anything.

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Decisions - decisions. Hmmm...sorry, I'd still take a Raymonda over an R&J, regardless of who is dancing. :)

I decided that too. So I initiated ticket purchase.

Today I received an e-mail from Alexander Mussorgsky:

Tickets for Raymonda on the 14th are sold out.

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Other than gleaning from other sites that Obraztsova may dance Flora,

Tsiskaridze may dance Solor with Lopatkina and Alexandrova, and Letestu and Martinez may appear in the Gala on the 22nd in Delibes Suite, is there STILL no casting information available?

At least I can't find any on the Mariinsky site.

Can contracts and arrangements still be pending with 20 days to go before performances?

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Wow, Obraztsova and Somova are only just second soloists?? The Mariinsky has interesting casting policies, giving coryphees principal roles etc.

In recent years the casting policy has been to bench principals and ranking members in favor of coryphees, at home and on tours, particularly tours to major world cities. Is it wise to give an unproven coryphee unique star status? Is it wise to hang a coryphee's portrait in the opera house canteen? Is it wise to give a coryphee or corps member opening night on tour in "Swan Lake," while consigning excellent, experienced Principals like Lopatkina or Pavlenko to second, third or fourth cast? If the coryphee or corps member is most exceptional, yes, if not, no it isn't. IMO, one such coryphee who qualified as most

exceptional as O/O and Nikiya was Altynai Asylmuratova in Paris during the 1982 tour.

Right now the soloist ranks are top heavy with many talents who should have gone forward but didn't, such as Maya Dumchenko, Elvira Tarasova and Svetlana Ivanova. As for Yevgenya Obratzova, at least she is a 2005 Moscow IBC Gold Medalist, and critically acclaimed internationally. Alina Somova is neither; and her promotion is inexplicable and alarming. IMO this reflects what is the perverse parallel universe that is the Maryinsky today.

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Alina Somova ...... her promotion is inexplicable and alarming.

Having seen her as Aurora in SB and Queen of the Dryads in DQ has been enough to leave me

totally puzzled as to what qualities the artistic direction sees and seeks to nourish in her development,

that I for one can't seem to appreciate. Maybe someone who appreciates her artistry can help me better understand.

At the upcoming Festival I noticed her name does not appear in any night's cast.

BUT.... the casting for the first and second nights' Apollo is yet to be announced!

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