MARIINSKY THEATRE ANNOUNCES INAUGURAL PROGRAMMING FOR OPENING OF NEW MARIINSKY II OPERA HOUSE IN ST. PETERSBURG, RUSSIA, MAY 2 – 4, 2013

March 20, 2013

Press Releases

MARIINSKY THEATRE ANNOUNCES INAUGURAL PROGRAMMING FOR OPENING OF NEW MARIINSKY II OPERA HOUSE

THREE DAYS OF CELEBRATORY EVENTS WITH PERFORMANCES  BY THE WORLD-RENOWNED MARIINSKY OPERA, BALLET, ORCHESTRA, CHORUS, SOLOISTS  AND YOUTH ENSEMBLES

Opening Night Gala concert will feature Ildar Abdrazakov, Yuri Bashmet, Olga   Borodina, Plácido Domingo,  Ekaterina Gubanova, Leonidas Kavakos, Yekaterina Kondaurova, Ulyana   Lopatkina, Alexei Markov, Denis Matsuev, Anna Netrebko, Yevgeny Nikitin, René   Pape, Mikhail Petrenko, Ekaterina Semenchuk, Sergei Semishkur,  Vladimir Shklyarov, Diana Vishneva, Mariinsky Academy of Young Singers,  Children’s Chorus and Orchestra of the Mariinsky Theatre, and Vaganova Ballet Academy

Highlights of Opening Events include Tchaikovsky’s Iolanta featuring Anna Netrebko;
Balanchine’s Jewels featuring Ekaterina Kondaurova, Vladimir Shklyarov,   Uliana Lopatkina and Danila Korsuntsev;  Verdi’s Nabucco featuring Plácido Domingo and Maria Guleghina;
and a performance honoring Prima Ballerina Diana Vishneva

ST. PETERSBURG, RUSSIA, March   19, 2013 — The Mariinsky   Theatre, one of the largest and most acclaimed performing arts institutions   in the world, under the leadership of Artistic and General Director Valery   Gergiev, today announced that its new state-of-the-art opera house, Mariinsky   II, will open to the public with three celebratory days of star-studded   musical and dance performances from May 2 through 4, 2013. Further defining   the Mariinsky as one of the world’s premier centers for classical music,   opera and ballet, the opening of the new hall marks the completion of the   Mariinsky Cultural Complex in St. Petersburg’s historic Theatre Square and   provides the legendary Russian organization with even greater artistic   possibilities.

To inaugurate Mariinsky II, and to celebrate the Cultural Complex, a   three-day, three-venue celebration will showcase the dynamic range of all of   the Mariinsky Theatre’s prestigious companies: Mariinsky Opera, Ballet,   Orchestra, Chorus, and Youth Ensembles. Celebrations will begin on May 2 with   a black-tie Opening Night Gala concert conducted by Valery Gergiev and   featuring renowned vocalists and instrumentalists, including Ildar   Abdrazakov, Yuri Bashmet, Olga Borodina, Plácido Domingo, Ekaterina Gubanova,   Leonidas Kavakos, Alexei Markov, Denis Matsuev, Anna Netrebko, Yevgeny   Nikitin, René Pape, Mikhail Petrenko, Sergei Semishkur, as well as the   Mariinsky’s acclaimed ballet dancers Yekaterina Kondaurova, Ulyana Lopatkina,   Vladimir Shklyarov and Diana Vishneva. The stage production directed by   Vasily Barkhatov, with production design by Zinovy Margolin, and lighting   design by Damir Ismagilov, will feature imagery that connects the Mariinsky’s   legendary 200-year history with its contemporary leading role in the   performing arts. Students from the Vaganova Ballet Academy, Mariinsky Academy   of Young Singers, and the Children’s Chorus and Orchestra of the   Mariinsky Theatre will also perform. This evening of multi-generational   performances will pay homage to the grand tradition of the Theatre and will   celebrate the beginning of a new era.

“The opening of Mariinsky II is the moment to reaffirm the long and great   heritage of this institution while celebrating a future in which we are able   to create new works and innovative productions as never before,” stated   Valery Gergiev, who is currently marking his 25th anniversary   with the institution. “The programs for our inaugural festival are chosen to   demonstrate the extraordinary range of our companies and our expanded Center,   while reflecting both the history of the Mariinsky and the Theatre’s   engagement with today’s audiences and with all phases of contemporary opera,   ballet and orchestral music.”

On May 3 at Mariinsky II, Mariinsky Opera and Ballet will present Mariusz   Trelinski’s production of Tchaikovsky’s opera Iolanta featuring   Anna Netrebko and Sergei Semsishkur, Alexei Markov, Sergei Alexashkin, conducted by   Valery Gergiev. That evening at Mariinsky II, Mariinsky Ballet   will perform Balanchine’s ballet Jewels showcasing Ekaterina   Kondaurova, Vladimir Shklyarov, Uliana Lopatkina and Danila Korsuntsev. The   day will come to a close with a late night concert at the Mariinsky Concert   Hall two blocks away featuring Mariinsky Orchestra conducted by Maestro   Gergiev with soloists including Yuri Bashmet, Leonidas Kavakos, Denis   Matsuev, and Vadim Repin.

On May 4, the opening festivities will conclude with a performance honoring   prima ballerina Diana Vishneva including Balanchine’s Symphony in C and   Vishneva performing in Paul Lightfoot’s Subject to Change. An   evening presentation by Mariinsky Opera of Verdi’s Nabucco will   follow, featuring Plácido Domingo and Maria Guleghina, Ekaterina Semenchuk, Sergei   Skorokhodov, and Mikhail   Kit, conducted by   Valery Gergiev.

Prior to the public opening, past and current Mariinsky artists, along with   family and community members, will be invited to Mariinsky II for a special   celebratory preview performance.


The Mariinsky Cultural Complex

The new centerpiece of the Mariinsky Cultural Complex, Mariinsky II is   designed to complement St. Petersburg’s beloved 19th-century     architecture and is situated on Dekabristov Street on the legendary   Theatre Square. Mariinsky II is connected to the historic stage of the   Mariinsky Theatre, which opened in 1860, by a pedestrian bridge over the   Kryukov Canal. It also joins the Concert Hall, inaugurated in 2006, and the   Artistic Production Complex of the State Academic Mariinsky Theatre,   established in 1874. This expanded Mariinsky Cultural Complex will serve all   of the Mariinsky companies, Mariinsky Opera, Ballet, Orchestra, Chorus, and   Youth Ensembles, and will enable each of them to offer the public a greatly   increased schedule of presentations.

Mariinsky II Architects and Design
Mariinsky II, one of the largest lyric arts facilities in the world   and funded by the Russian Government, is designed by the Toronto-based firm   of Diamond Schmitt Architects in conjunction with the   Russian firm KB ViPS.  Mariinsky II’s state-of-the-art   facilities will enable the Mariinsky to present the most ambitious,   technically demanding productions, beyond what is currently possible on the   historic stage.

“Mariinsky II has been   designed with the strength, confidence and functional clarity that a building   requires if it is to become a lasting part of the life of its city,” Valery   Gergiev stated. “I feel certain that 25 years from now, Mariinsky II will be   seen as a St. Petersburg landmark in its own right, recognized for its superb   acoustics, dazzling production facilities and unsurpassed level of audience   comfort. Above all, it will be beloved as one of the city’s great homes for   education, where every schoolchild and university student in St. Petersburg   has engaged with opera, orchestral music and ballet.”

“Mariinsky II is a structure of authentic contemporary architecture, one   respectful of its historic context, based upon the successful configuration   of past houses, but of twenty-first century sensibility and one in which the   social aspects of attending opera or ballet performances have been enhanced   for every member of the audience,” said architect Jack Diamond,   Principal, Diamond Schmitt Architects.

The 851,580-square-foot Mariinsky II stands 7 stories tall with 3 underground   levels. Mariinsky II features a main auditorium; a 200-seat rooftop   amphitheatre; a third-floor lobby amphitheatre; multiple rehearsal rooms for   Mariinsky Opera, Ballet, Orchestra and Chorus; dining and production   facilities for 2,500 staff; and approximately 567,700 square feet of   backstage space. Technical highlights include a stage wagon system and   over-stage and under-stage machinery that will allow multiple productions to   be performed in repertoire.

The main auditorium, designed in the tradition of 18th and 19th century   opera houses, features a horseshoe configuration with three balconies,   offering superb sightlines for an audience of approximately 2,000 people. The   acoustic design by Müller-BBM has created optimum conditions   for voice and the accompanying orchestras for opera and ballet.  At   about 18,000 cubic meters (635,400 cubic feet), the hall has an ideal volume   comparable to the world’s most renowned opera houses.

The exterior of the building features dramatic large glass facades and bay   windows set in the outer masonry which 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 is enlivened by a   glass canopy, giving the building a contemporary identity that is   nevertheless rooted in St. Petersburg’s architectural heritage.

Final Phase of Construction 
Mariinsky II is nearing completion, with the exterior cupola and canopy   receiving a protective glazing. Final finishing details are being added to   the windows and construction of the roof parapets is in its concluding   stage.  On the interior, the spacious back of house will be fully   operational shortly, while the auditorium is undergoing the delicate   installation of the Swarovski accent light fixtures in the balcony fronts and   the Swarovski chandelier in the VIP box. In the lobby, final work includes   assembly of the striking 33-meter architectural glass staircase, which is set   to begin while the installation of the onyx stone walls is nearly complete.    Various acoustic tests have already begun in the auditorium, with the most   recent including a symphonic test.

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 Center for the Performing Arts and the Kennedy Center for the   Performing Arts in the United States, the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées in   Paris, the Edinburgh Festival in Scotland, the Baltic Festival in Stockholm   and the Salzburg Festival in Austria.

About the Mariinsky Label

The Mariinsky Label, launched in May 2009, draws on the Mariinsky’s   rich legacy and historic ties to the great Russian composers. It showcases   the extraordinary talent within the Theatre and Orchestra, presenting new   recordings of both celebrated works and those that deserve wider recognition.   Each performance is recorded with high-definition technology in the new   Mariinsky Concert Hall, which has been widely acclaimed for its exceptional   acoustics. Recordings began in July 2008 during the annual White Nights   Festival and are available on SACD from the Mariinsky Label website and   better retailers. Notable releases on the Label include performances of   Shostakovich’s early opera The Nose (which was nominated for   two Grammy Awards) and Wagner’s Parsifal, named as one of   the “CDs of the Year” by the New York Times.

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.

About Diamond Schmitt Architects

Based in Toronto with a practice that is worldwide, Diamond Schmitt is among   the top 100 architecture firms in the world based on size and is ranked in   the top 10 for cultural facilities by the UK-based publication Building   Design. Other performing arts projects include Maison Symphonique de Montreal   (2011), Sidney Harman Hall (2008) in Washington, D.C., and the Four Seasons   Centre for the Performing Arts (2006) in Toronto. Diamond Schmitt’s portfolio   comprises academic buildings, libraries, sports facilities, residential and   commercial buildings as well as extensive work in healthcare, including life   science facilities, research laboratories and hospitals.

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