"The Stars of the White Nights 2018" International Ballet and Opera Festival
23 May - 29 July 2018
Mariinsky Theatre, New Theatre and Concert Hall
Artistic Director: Maestro Valery Gergiev
About "The Stars of the White Nights" Festivals
The Stars of the White Nights is one of the brightest stars of the music and theatre universe and has emerged to be one of the most popular and grandiose music forums in its context and scale.
The Stars of the White Nights Festival was created in 1993 by Maestro Valery Gergiev, Mariinsky Theatre Artistic and General Director. Maestro Gergiev says that he conceived the first Festival as a "musical gift" to the city from the Mariinsky and its star-artists. From the very beginning, the Festival has been focused on the masterpieces of the world's music discovering for its audience some rarely performed or undeservedly forgotten pieces.
The Stars of the White Nights Festival has gained in strength, popularity and international acclaim. The duration of the Festival it has expanded from ten days to three months during the last sixteen year. Renowned conductors and star-artists take as great honour the invitation to perform at the Stars of the White Nights. Each year the Festival programme includes the Theater's finest opera and ballet productions, great symphonic works, masterpieces of chamber music and new premieres.
During the last years, the Festival programme has included the works created by the great classical composers – Beethoven symphonies, Prokofiev's and Tchaikovsky's operas, ballets and symphony music. Major events at the Stars have included the production of Wagner's Der Ring des Nibelungen, in addition to the Shostakovich and Mahler Symphonies series.
This festival is a must for ballet, opera and classical music amateurs. The annual Stars of the White Nights Festival takes an inspiration for its name from the short summer season when the sun never sets, and the beauty of St-Petersburg White Nights contributes to the festival's special atmosphere and its world-class programme of concerts, as audience comes out of the historic theatre at midnight into daylight to stroll along the streets of the theatrical setting of St Petersburg.
Detailed information about 2018 Festival will be added later.
Please read about the previous "The Stars of the White Nights" Festival 2017
• Over 190 performances and concerts featuring international stars;
• The premiere of Francesco Cilea's opera Adriana Lecouvreur featuring Anna Netrebko;
• The St Petersburg premiere of Alexander Tchaikovsky's opera The Chess King;
• Ballet premieres: Boris Tishchenko's Yaroslavna staged by Vladimir Varnava and Ilya Zhivoi's production of The Four Seasons to music by Max Richter (after motifs of Antonio Vivaldi's cycle Le Quattro Stagioni);
• Marking 135 years since the birth of Anna Netrebko;
• Marking 85 years since the birth of Rodion Shchedrin;
• A parade of renowned instrumentalists;
Just prior to the opening of the XXV Stars of the White Nights festival of music, on 24 May at the Mariinsky II under Valery Gergiev there will be a dazzling operatic premiere of the 2016-17 season – Giuseppe Verdi's I Vespri Siciliani featuring Ildar Abdrazakov (Giovanni da Procida), Vladislav Sulimsky (di Monteforte) and Irina Churilova (Elena). During the festival, it will be possible to see the production again on 23 and 24 June. At the Concert Hall of the Mariinsky Theatre on 25 May, Albina Shagimuratova will present the programme Mad Scenes. Valery Gergiev will be conducting the Mariinsky Orchestra.
The anniversary XXV Stars of the White Nights festival of music opens on 26 May with a concert by pianist Daniil Trifonov and the Mariinsky Orchestra conducted by Valery Gergiev (Mariinsky II). At the historic theatre, there will be a performance of Boris Asafiev's ballet The Fountain of Bakhchisarai, while the Concert Hall of the Mariinsky Theatre will host a performance of Rodion Shchedrin's Russian choral opera Boyarina Morozova (in concert).
Marking 135 years since the birth of Igor Stravinsky. On 17 June, the composer's birthday, the Mariinsky Theatre's stage venues will be hosting only his music: at the historic stage there will be a performance of The Firebird (16:00) and an evening of ballets to music by Igor Stravinsky (20:00), at the Concert Hall there will be a performance of L'Histoire du soldat with artistes of the Children's Studio of the Mariinsky Theatre (15:00), as well as an expansive symphony music programme under the baton of Valery Gergiev (20:00). On 18 June at the Concert Hall of the Mariinsky Theatre Leonid Karev will present the programme Organ Dialogues, performing organ arrangements of works by Igor Stravinsky.
Marking 85 years since the birth of Rodion Shchedrin. In the festival playbill works by the outstanding Russian composer, whose opuses occupy a special place in the Mariinsky Theatre repertoire, are to include the opera The Lefthander after the novella by Nikolai Leskov (30 May) with Valery Gergiev conducting and the ballets The Little Humpbacked Horse (13 and 14 June) and Anna Karenina (11 and 12 July). At the Concert Hall of the Mariinsky Theatre there will be two performances of one of the most vivid premieres of the 2016-17 season – the opera Not Love Alone staged by Alexander Kuzin (8 and 22 June) as well as the opera The Enchanted Wanderer (19 June).
An opera premiere of the festival comes with Francesco Cilea's Adriana Lecouvreur staged by Isabelle Patriot-Pieri featuring Anna Netrebko, Vladislav Sulimsky and Yusif Eyvazov (18 and 21 June, 20 and 21 July, Mariinsky II). The production of Cilea's opera will be a first not only for Anna Netrebko but also for the Mariinsky Theatre and Valery Gergiev who will conduct the first performances.
Sergei Taneyev's only opera Oresteia, premiered at the Mariinsky Theatre in 1895, will be performed in concert under Leon Botstein, Bard College President and Music Director of the American Symphony Orchestra (13 June). In 2013 as part of a joint project with the Mariinsky Theatre, the conductor performed the American premiere of the work.
The St Petersburg premiere of Alexander Tchaikovsky's opera The Chess King, written to mark one hundred and fifty years since the foundation of the Moscow Conservatoire, will take place at the Concert Hall of the Mariinsky Theatre (7 July). This new work by a contemporary classical composer after motifs of Stefan Zweig's The Royal Game will be presented by soloists of the Mariinsky Academy of Young Opera Singers.
It will be possible to hear the magnificent voices of world opera stars at the festival. Guest performers include one of the most illustrious singers of the present day – Plácido Domingo. Together with Ekaterina Semenchuk, he will appear in the opera Macbeth, performing the title role (2 July). Ferruccio Furlanetto will be appearing in one of his finest roles, that of Don Quichotte (28 June). Maria Guleghina will be performing the title role in the opera Turandot (6 June), Eva-Maria Westbroek will perform as Katerina Ismailova in Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk (29 June) and Albina Shagimuratova will undertake the role of the Swan Princess in The Tale of Tsar Saltan (15 July).
A brilliant cast of singers will gather on 25 June for a concert performance of the opera Nabucco: Ekaterina Gubanova, Tatiana Serjan, Sergei Skorokhodov and Roman Burdenko will perform under the baton of Valery Gergiev.
Leading Mariinsky Theatre soloists will be appearing in festival performances: Vladimir Galouzine in The Queen of Spades and Otello (27 May and 10 July), Olga Borodina as Marfa in Khovanshchina (29 May) and a recital (5 June), Ildar Abdrazakov as Giovanni da Procida in I vespri siciliani (23 June), Elena Stikhina in the title role of Salome (3 July), Mikhail Vekua as Hermann in The Queen of Spades (13 July), Sergei Skorokhodov in Lohengrin (14 July) and Vladislav Sulimsky as Mazepa in the eponymous opera (16 July).
Star duets and ensembles in performances will feature: Attila with Ildar Abdrazakov and Tatiana Serjan (31 May), Samson et Dalila with Ekaterina Semenchuk, Mikhail Vekua and Roman Burdenko (3 June), Aida with Ekaterina Semenchuk and Tatiana Serjan (7 June), Don Carlo with Alexei Markov, Ekaterina Semenchuk and Tatiana Serjan (10 June) and Il Trovatore with Ekaterina Semenchuk and Alexei Markov (4 July).
Soloists of the Mariinsky Academy of Young Opera Singers will appear in repertoire productions and present a series of opera evenings at the Concert Hall. There will be concert performances of Jules Massenet's Werther with Yulia Matochkina (28 May) and Yekaterina Sergeyeva (8 July), Gaetano Donizetti's La Fille du regiment and Jules Massenet's Cendrillon featuring Olga Pudova (23 June, 14 July), Alexander Dargomyzhsky's The Stone Guest (6 June), Kirill Molchanov's The Dawns Here Are Quiet (2 July), Jules Massenet's Cléopâtre (3 July) and Vincenzo Bellini's I Capuletti e i Montecchi (6 July). There will be a performance of Mieczyslaw Weinberg's opera The Idiot (2 June), as well as productions of the 2016-17 season: Yuri Butsko's Diary of a Madman (3 June) and Grigory Frid's The Diary of Anne Frank (11 June).
Ballet premieres are being rehearsed by young choreographers Zhivoi and Vladimir Varnava. Ilya Zhivoi will present The Seasons to music by Max Richter (after motifs of Antonio Vivaldi's cycle Le Quattro Stagioni; 19 and 20 June, Mariinsky II), while Vladimir Varnava will present his version of Boris Tishchenko's ballet Yaroslavna, the premieres to be conducted by Valery Gergiev (30 June, 1 and 2 July, Mariinsky II).
In addition to premieres, the festival's ballet playbill will include the finest productions in the classical repertoire and works by 20th and 21stcentury choreographers: Swan Lake, The Fountain of Bakhchisarai, The Nutcracker, Don Quixote, Giselle, Jewels, Le Corsaire, La Sylphide, La Bayadère, Cinderella and Le Parc. The historic theatre will give two performances of a 2016-17 premiere – Édouard Deldevez' Paquita staged by Yuri Smekalov (15 and 16 June). The performances will feature lead soloists of the Mariinsky Ballet and guest dancers.
Wagner at the Mariinsky. In June at the Concert Hall of the Mariinsky Theatre Valery Gergiev will be conducting music by Richard Wagner. The Wagner Gala concert will feature acclaimed Wagnerian soprano Anja Kampe (4 June), and there will be a concert performance of the opera Tristan und Isolde spread over three separate evenings featuring Ekaterina Gubanova, Heidi Melton, Mikhail Vekua and René Pape (14, 15 and 16 June).
Silent film and live music. During the festival on 29 May at the Concert Hall of the Mariinsky Theatre, there will be organ improvisations by Thierry Escaich accompanying the great silent French film La Passion de Jeanne d'Arc by Carl Theodor Dreyer (1928).
In line with tradition, the festival's participants will include renowned instrumentalists: pianists Behzod Abduraimov, Sergei Babayan, Christian Blackshaw, Rudolf Buchbinder, Alexei Volodin, George Li, Nikolai Lugansky, Denis Matsuev, Daniil Trifonov and Seong-Jin Cho, violinists Kristóf Baráti, Leonidas Kavakos, Daniel Lozakovich, Baiba Skride and Frank Peter Zimmermann, cellists István Várdai, David Geringas and Jean Vogler and organist Karol Mossakowski among many more.
The Mariinsky Theatre's stage venues will bring together world-acclaimed conductors at the festival. Following a long absence from the conducting stand of the Mariinsky Orchestra, Gianandrea Noseda – one of the present day's most sought-after conductors – will return once again (5 July). Concert programmes of the Mariinsky Orchestra will also be conducted by Darrell Ang, Leon Botstein, Mischa Damev, Jacek Kaspszyk and Gustavo Gimeno. In opera, Plácido Domingo will be conducting, appearing again at the festival as a soloist in Macbeth and as a conductor with Il Trovatore (4 July), and the young Italian Andrea Battistoni will conduct Tosca (8 and 9 July).
Guest ensembles include the Orchestra of the Russo-German Academy of Music with Valery Gergiev conducting (24 June), the Estonian National Symphony Orchestra under Neeme Järvi, its concert celebrating the renowned conductor's eightieth birthday (9 June) and the All-Russian Youth Symphony Orchestra under Yuri Bashmet (1 June).
The chamber music programme in the festival playbill will include concerts by the Mariinsky Stradivarius Ensemble under Lorenz Nasturica-Herschcowici (11 June), the Sibelius Academy's Cello Ensemble and Martti Rousi (12 June), the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center (18 June), the PHILHARMONIX ensemble comprising soloists of the Vienna and Berlin Philharmonic Orchestras (24 June) and the State Borodin Quartet (30 June).