LANDMARK SEASON FOR THE MARIINSKY THEATRE
OPENING OF NEW OPERA HOUSE IN ST. PETERSBURG, MULTIMEDIA AND 3D PRODUCTIONS OF MARIINSKY PERFORMANCES AND EXTENSIVE INTERNATIONAL TOUR
The new Mariinsky theatre (Mariinsky II) scheduled to open Thursday 2 to Saturday 4 May, 2013
The Mariinsky Theatre’s 2012/2013 landmark season, which includes an extraordinary schedule of tours, performances, recordings and events, will see the inauguration of Mariinsky II in St. Petersburg on 2-4 May, 2013. The new opera house will join the legendary Mariinsky Theatre and the Mariinsky Concert Hall to further the transformation of the Mariinsky’s complex into one of the world’s premier centres for classical music, opera and ballet.
The milestone marks the 25th anniversary of the leadership of Artistic and General Director Maestro Valery Gergiev, taking the Mariinsky Theatre from the closing years of the Soviet era, when it had been renamed the Kirov, to a modern 21st-century lyric arts company, enhancing and underlining the Mariinsky as a centre of artistic excellence and innovation and creating one of the largest, most acclaimed and most dynamic performing arts institutions in the world.
Designed by Diamond Schmitt Architects in collaboration with acousticians Müller-BBM, Mariinsky II is situated on Dekabristov Street and connected to the historic Theatre by a pedestrian bridge over the Kryukov Canal. Mariinsky II, which is designed to complement St Petersburg’s 19th-century architecture while adding a distinctive element to the region around Theatre Square, will have state-of-the-art facilities that will enable the Mariinsky to present the most ambitious, technically-demanding productions, beyond what is currently possible on the historic stage.
The opening weekend will include a gala concert and ballet and opera performances, followed by Mariinsky’s XXI ‘Stars of the White Nights’ Festival which will run from 24 May to 14 July with performances in all three venues—the Mariinsky Theatre, Mariinsky II and the Mariinsky Concert Hall.
“These past 24 years have seen a wonderful flourishing of the Mariinsky Theatre in both its artistic programme and its institutional achievements, as we have brought the Opera, Ballet, Orchestra and Chorus—our entire extraordinary Company— into the 21st century with a more active and outgoing engagement with the world,” stated Valery Gergiev. “We are carrying forward our progress in every way in 2012/2013, including the opening of our magnificent new opera house. Mariinsky II will provide abundant resources for our artists and audiences, and will ensure that the Mariinsky remains one of the most vital performing arts institutions in the world.”
While maintaining a robust performance schedule in its existing complex during the 2012/2013 season, the various Mariinsky companies simultaneously engage in ambitious international tours, giving performances in some 85 cities across Russia and worldwide. This autumn the Mariinsky Orchestra and Mariinsky Ballet have already completed a 25-concert tour covering North America followed by performances in Korea, Japan, Taiwan and China. International appearances in 2013 include the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées in Paris, the Salzburg Festival, La Scala in Milan, Sala Santa Cecilia in Rome, San Carlo in Naples, Concertgebouw in Amsterdam and the Auditorio Nacional in Madrid.
2013 will also feature a series of multimedia projects captured in the historic Mariinsky Theatre including the Mariinsky Ballet performing Prokofiev’s Romeo & Juliet, with choreography by Leonid Lavrovsky, to be captured on 28 February, 2013, Alexei Ratmansky’s Cinderella, to be captured in May 2013.
Among the performance highlights of the current season is the Mariinsky Ballet‘s celebration of the 120th anniversary of the premiere of Tchaikovsky’s and Petipa’s The Nutcracker at the Mariinsky Theatre in 1892. Commemorating this occasion, the Mariinsky in coproduction with EuroArts Music, have created the film The Nutcracker in 3D, bringing its deep historical tradition together with cutting-edge technology. The Nutcracker in 3D was released in time for Christmas in Europe, in the UK, Asia and the United States in December, where it is being shown in more than 400 theatres in the United States and more than 800 theatres worldwide.
In a partnership with 3D movie makers Cameron Pace Group, RealD 3D and Glass Slipper Live Events, the Mariinsky Ballet’s performance of Swan Lake will be broadcast live from St Petersburg in 3D and simultaneously in 2D to cinemas around the world on 14 February, and details will be announced in early 2013.
Joining the historic Mariinsky Theatre, which dates from 1860, and the Mariinsky Concert Hall, which was inaugurated in 2006, the Mariinsky II will expand the Mariinsky’s cultural complex on legendary Theatre Square and enable the institution to offer the public a greatly increased schedule of presentations. Mariinsky II, funded by the Russian Government, is designed by the Toronto-based firm of Diamond Schmitt Architects in conjunction with the Russian firm KB ViPS. The 851,580-square-foot Mariinsky II will be one of the largest lyric arts facilities in the world.
Jack Diamond, Principal Architect of Diamond Schmitt Architects, stated, “When I was approached by Valery Gergiev to enter the international competition to design the new Mariinsky Theatre, he presented the opportunity to work in one of the world’s most magical architectural settings, not to mention with a Maestro who is justifiably renowned as one the world’s most respected leaders in the performing arts. I am very proud of Mariinsky II and trust it will achieve our design intent, which is to channel the immense creative spirit that
is at the heart of the Mariinsky Theatre and its Maestro.”
Mariinsky II is designed to complement St. Petersburg’s beloved 19th century architecture while adding a distinctive new element to the landscape of Theatre Square. Dramatically large glass facades and bay windows set in the masonry exterior will provide panoramic views of the city and the adjacent historic Mariinsky Theatre, while fulfilling the traditional role of colonnaded porticos. A gently curved metal roof will be enlivened by a glass canopy, giving the building a contemporary identity that is nevertheless rooted in St. Petersburg’s architectural heritage.
The auditorium, designed in the tradition of 18th and 19th century opera houses, features a horseshoe configuration with three balconies, offering optimum acoustics and sightlines for approximately 2,000 opera goers. Capacious backstage facilities and advanced technological capabilities, and acoustical design by Müller-BBM, will allow for the production of the most elaborate and demanding works. An additional orchestra shell on stage and an orchestra pit with platforms that can be raised and lowered will enable Mariinsky II to function as an ideal hall for symphonic concerts as well as opera productions. Other facilities of Mariinsky II include a rooftop amphitheatre (soon to be a principal space of the ‘Stars of the White Nights’ Festival), a lobby amphitheatre, multiple rehearsal rooms and backstage space that allows multiple productions to be performed in repertoire.
The details of the events and festivities that will surround the 2 to 4 May opening of Mariinsky II will be announced in early 2013.
Highlights of 2013 in St Petersburg
Between 28 February and 10 March the Mariinsky will host its XIII International Ballet Festival, opening with a performance of Romeo and Juliet conducted by Valery Gergiev with Diana Vishneva as Juliet. The Festival will also present the Mariinsky premiere of Serge Lifar’s Suite en Blanc. The Mariinsky Ballet will be joined by the William Forsythe Dance Company to perform an evening of the choreographer’s work.
On 14 May, the Mariinsky Theatre stages the Russian premiere of Sacha Waltz’s ballet marking the centenary of the premiere of Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring. This is followed by the Paris premiere on 29th May at the Theatre des Champs-Elysées, scene of the original riotous premiere, in a programme which also includes Vaslav Nijinsky’s Le Sacre and another famous ballet of Diaghilev’s Saison Russes, George Balanchine’s Prodigal Son.
XXI ‘Stars of the White Nights’ Festival – 24th May to 14th July 2013
The full Festival programme will be announced in due course but expected highlights include the premieres of a new opera by Shchedrin commissioned by the Mariinsky to mark the composer’s 80th birthday, and a new ballet Concert DSCH by choreographer Alexei Ratmansky based on music by Shostakovich. Guest ensembles will include the LSO, Netherlands Dance Theatre and Batsheva Dance Company and Mariinsky stars will be joined by Leonidas Kavakos performing the complete Beethoven violin sonatas, Rudolf Buchbinder performing and directing all five Beethoven piano concerti and guest artists including Paavo Järvi, Marc Minkowski, Denis Matsuev and many more. The Mariinsky’s ‘New Horizons’ music festival, set within White Nights, will be dedicated to the centenary of Witold Lutoslawski’s birth.
The Mariinsky UK Tour 2011-2014
The Mariinsky is particularly grateful to BP for its important four-year commitment to Mariinsky touring in the UK. Already this support has facilitated over 35 Mariinsky performances at the Edinburgh International Festival, BBC Proms, Royal Opera House Covent Garden, Wales Millennium Centre, Barbican Centre and Symphony Hall, Birmingham. To date the UK Tour has involved more than 500 artists of the Mariinsky Opera, Ballet and Orchestra. This UK support builds on the strong long-term relationship established between BP Russia and the Mariinsky Theatre in St Petersburg and forms part of BP’s cultural programme in the UK.
About Valery Gergiev: 25 Years
Valery Gergiev joined the Mariinsky as Music Director in 1988, when he was 35 years old. His tenure has brought universal acclaim to the already legendary Mariinsky Theatre by showcasing the talent of the Mariinsky Opera, Orchestra, Ballet and Chorus in more than 45 countries. Maestro Gergiev has worked tirelessly to bring previously neglected parts of the Russian canon to the West, as an ambassador for early- and late-career works by Prokofiev such as The Gambler and War and Peace, which have since been welcomed into the standard repertoire. Throughout his career, Maestro Gergiev has helped young artists and developed rising talents, including world-renowned singers Anna Netrebko, Olga Borodina, Dmitri Hvorostovsky and Mikhail Petrenko, instrumentalists Maxim Vengerov, Vadim Repin, Evgeny Kissin and Daniil Trifonov and dancers Ulyana Lopatkina and Diana Vishneva. Most recently he served as President of the 2011 Tchaikovsky Competition, which was lauded internationally for the high level of performance, judging and transparency that it set. Among the milestones of Maestro Gergiev’s leadership of the Mariinsky have been the inception of the ‘Stars of the White Nights’ Festival in 1993, the opening of the Concert Hall of the Mariinsky Theatre in 2006, and the inauguration of the Mariinsky Label in 2009.
About the Mariinsky Ballet
Founded in the 18th century, the Mariinsky Ballet is recognized as one of the world’s leading companies. Most commonly known as the Kirov Ballet (its former Soviet name), the company has been home to many of the world’s most notable dancers, including Anna Pavlova, Vaslav Nijinsky, Rudolf Nureyev and Mikhail Baryshnikov. The Mariinsky Ballet performs worldwide under Maestro Gergiev’s direction at cultural institutions such as Lincoln Centre for the Performing Arts and the Kennedy Centre for the Performing Arts in the United States, the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées in Paris, the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, the Edinburgh Festival in Scotland, the Baltic Festival in Stockholm and the Salzburg Festival in Austria.
About Mariinsky Foundation of America
The Mariinsky Foundation of America (formerly known as White Nights Foundation of America) was formed in 1999 to support the activities of the Mariinsky Theatre’s constituent institutions: the Mariinsky Opera, Ballet, Orchestra and the Academy for Young Singers and the Young Musicians’ Orchestra. The Mariinsky Foundation of America’s mission includes a commitment to strengthening and expanding the cultural, educational and business relationships between Russia and the United States, and to be a positive, apolitical force for peace.