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234th Season

"The Stars of the White Nights 2001" International Ballet and Opera Festival

1 June - 1 July 2001 

Mariinsky Theatre
Artistic Director: Maestro Valery Gergiev

Valery Gergiev hold the press-conference for journalists about the Festival Stars of the White Nights - 2001 and at the end make short announcement for our website visitors. 

It is my pleasure to welcome many-many friends today here in St. Petersburg during the White Nights Festival, visiting our performances, talking to us, sharing our love for music and theatre and opera and ballet. Our festival is now 8 years old, it is growing, I think reputation is becoming bigger and bigger, the quality is quite high, so we try to give chance for both unknown and known, let me say, there are many known artists but there are quite few unknown which are expected to make a very good news for us, for our visitors, for our quests.

I am talking about a world premiere of the opera "Tsar Demyan" which is composed by 5 new Russian composers, it's a very interesting unusual combination, but I am very much looking forward to see what the result would be. We also discovered in our archives several outstanding works of the composers who were invited about 200 years ago or so by Catherine the Great to live here, among them such famous composers like Paisiello, Chimaroza, Sarti, Araya, Lupo. We only started discovering our archives, but already this year we will perform 2 operas, one of them is Cleopatra by Domenico Cimarosa, another one is Tsefal i Prokris by Francesco Araya, quite difficult to pronounce. It's out first attempt, which will continue every year.

We are especially looking forward to year 2003 when Petersburg will celebrate its 300th anniversary. I think Petersburg, like Venice or Rome or Jerusalem are treasures of the world culture, there is no other city like Petersburg in the world, there is no other Venice, as we all know.

So we prepare a huge cultural program which will be certainly not a local event, and I think we expect world community, those who love culture, who understand culture to be with us here, or even not here, but through new possibilities, through new technology, through Internet, there will be a very wide public, wide range who will pay attention and hopefully enjoy cultural celebrations in St. Petersburg of 2003, May, June, July.

I will be very happy to see everyone who wants to be in St. Petersburg during White Nights, and see the wonderful program and wonderful people who work and perform, see dance, play for you, all of you who love music, opera and in fact Russian culture.

Mariinsky Theatre:
1 Theatre Square
St. Petersburg
Mariinsky-2 (New Theatre):
34 Dekabristov Street
St. Petersburg
Mariinsky Concert Hall:
20 Pisareva street
St. Petersburg

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