Mariinsky Theatre E-Newsletter
Monday, June 17, 2013
Total amount of copies sent: 73,950
Mariinsky Theatre
230th season
This issue presents some of the upcoming events of the 21st Stars of the White Nights Music Festival.
© Deutsche Grammophon / Harald Hoffmann
Guest orchestra
Venice Baroque Orchestra
Conductor: Andrea Marcon
Magdalena Kožená (mezzo-soprano)

Mariinsky Concert Hall
Tuesday, June 18, 8:00PM
Continuing the series of performances by guest orchestras at the 21st Stars of the White Nights Music Festival, on Tuesday, June 18 the Mariinsky Concert Hall will host the Venice Baroque Orchestra under their founder Andrea Marcon. The concert that stars mezzo-soprano Magdalena Kožená will feature works by Vivaldi, Handel and Telemann. Founded in 1997, the Venice Baroque Orchestra is one of the most famous ensembles in the world performing baroque music. The orchestra’s musicians dedicate much of their time and energy to discovering and performing forgotten 17th and 18th century masterpieces.
Benjamin Britten War Requiem
Mariinsky II (new stage)
Sunday, June 23, 9:00PM
Sunday, June 23 will see a concert at the new Mariinsky Theatre (Mariinsky II) featuring Benjamin Britten’s War Requiem performed by three vocalists, mixed choirs and the Mariinsky Orchestra conducted by Valery Gergiev. The work was commissioned to mark the consecration of the new Coventry Cathedral, which was destroyed in a World War II bombing raid. As a pacifist, Britten was inspired by the commission, which gave him complete freedom to choose the type of music to compose. Among numerous Britten’s choral works, War Requiem is regarded as the most remarkable piece. Interspersed with the traditional Latin texts, in telling juxtaposition, are settings of poems by the English poet Wilfred Owen, who himself died in the World War I. His poetry goes alongside the Latin text of a mass and argues with it: the World Wars of the 20th century were unlike any wars that had come before. Britten assigned the canonical text of his requiem to soprano and mixed chorus singing together with the symphony orchestra as well as a children’s chorus accompanied by the organ, while Owen’s verse are sung by tenor and baritone to the accompaniment of a chamber ensemble. It is only at the very end — when the Latin text speaks of eternal peace and the English text of enemies making peace after death — that all the performers come together.

The upcoming performance of War Requiem marks Britten’s centenary celebrated this year. For the world premiere of the work, it was intended that the soloists should be a Russian (soprano), an Englishman (tenor) and a German (baritone), to demonstrate a spirit of unity. The soprano part was to be sung by Galina Vishnevskaya. However, close to the premiere, the USSR did not permit her to travel to Coventry for the event (she was later permitted to leave to make the recording in London). The upcoming concert will see the debut performance in the soprano part by Anna Netrebko.
Rodion Shchedrin The Lefthander
Mariinsky II (new stage)
Wednesday, June 23, 8:00PM
On Wednesday, June 26, members of the Mariinsky Opera, Chorus and Orchestra under Valery Gergiev will perform in concert Rodion Shchedrin’s most recent opera The Lefthander based on Nikolai Leskov’s novel of the same name. The composer speaks about his work:

Leskov’s tale is an incredibly rich literary source for an opera plot. The plot of the tale itself is a grotesque exaggeration. What is it? Is it a Biblical parable, a farcical fairground myth, or an epic tale? The characters are vivid, luscious and contrasting. The Russian Emperors Alexander I and Nicholas I, the Winter Palace, the British Court — a buffonade and a tragedy. Laughter through tears... But if you look a little deeper then you can clearly see the artistic contradistinctions of two kinds of life — the rational British and the irrational Russian.

And, finally, there is the protagonist. The cross-eyed illiterate artisan with “golden hands” from Tula. He is a condensed representation, I believe, of the most important and the most typical features of the Russian national character — innate talent, wit, self irony, indifference to human life and a pernicious love of alcohol. And the eternal Russian theme of power and the common man. The lack of need for genius in one’s own country.

The evening of June 26 will effectively become the world premiere of the opera, while the premiere of its staged version directed by Alexei Stepanyuk will be received at the Mariinsky II on Saturday, July 27 and Sunday, July 28, at the close of the 21st Stars of the White Nights Music Festival. The opera was commissioned by the Mariinsky Theatre and composed by Rodion Shchedrin to Maestro Gergiev’s 60th birthday.
© Viktor Vasenin
© Musical materials provided by SCHOTT MUSIC GmbH & Co (Germany)
© Mariinsky Theatre / Valentin Baranovsky
The Mariinsky Opera on tour
Richard Wagner Das Rheingold, Die Walküre
61st Ljubljana Festival
September 2 & 3, 2013
Last week saw the performance of the complete Wagner’s Ring cycle at the new Mariinsky Theatre (Mariinsky II), which has marked the composer’s bicentenary widely celebrated this year. The production conceived by Valery Gergiev and George Tsypin received its premiere ten years ago, in June 2003, and since then was performed at the Mariinsky Theatre seven times as well as thirteen times on tour in nine cities: Baden-Baden (thrice), Moscow, Seoul, Tokyo (twice), Costa Mesa, Cardiff, Las Palmas, New York (twice) and London. Last week’s performance was the first representation of the tetralogy at the recently opened Mariinsky II.

Productions of Das Rheingold and Die Walküre, first two operas of the Ring cycle, will next be presented by the Mariinsky Opera and Orchestra under Valery Gergiev on tour at the 61st Ljubljana Festival on September 2 & 3.
Richard Wagner Die Walküre
The Mariinsky Label recording
In February 2013, the Mariinsky Label has released the recording of Wagner’s Die Walküre, the second part of the Ring cycle. The recording by the Mariinsky Orchestra conducted by Valery Gergiev features an international cast of leading opera singers — soprano Nina Stemme as Brünnhilde, bass-baritone René Pape as Wotan, tenor Jonas Kaufmann as Siegmund, soprano Anja Kampe as Sieglinde, mezzo-soprano Ekaterina Gubanova as Fricka and bass Mikhail Petrenko as Hunding as well as female soloists of the Mariinsky Opera (valkyries).

The recording available as a 4-disc Super Audio CD box and as a high resolution download (music length 236 min 40 sec). This will be followed in September 2013 by Das Rheingold (chronologically the first opera in the cycle, although originally envisaged as a prelude by Wagner) with Siegfried and Götterdämmerung completing the cycle in 2014.
Key links
— Official web-site
— June playbill
— July playbill
— Mariinsky TV
— Mariinsky FM
— Mariinsky Label
— Previous message (June 10)
Our addresses
— Mariinsky Theatre: 1, Teatralnaya Square
— Mariinsky II (new stage): 34, Dekabristov Street
— Mariinsky Concert Hall: 37, Dekabristov Street
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