"The Stars of the White Nights 2009" International Ballet and Opera Festival
21 May – 19 July 2009
Mariinsky Theatre and Concert Hall
Artistic Director: Maestro Valery Gergiev
• Opera stars in productions and solo recitals: Maria Guleghina, Anna Netrebko, Rene Pape, Bryn Terfel, Dmitry Hvorostovsky, Olga Borodina and Ildar Abdrazakov
• Ballet stars: Diana Vishneva, Svetlana Zakharova (Bolshoi Theatre of Russia), Ulyana Lopatkina, Alina Somova, Viktoria Tereshkina, Leonid Sarafanov and Vladimir Shklyarov
• Internationally acclaimed musicians: violinist Leonidas Kavakos, pianists Maestro Rudolf Buchbinder, Yefim Bronfman, Lang Lang, Maestro Denis Matsuev and the Mogilevsky dynasty
• Events in the ballet calendar: the return of Shurale, one of the most popular works by legendary choreographer Leonid Yakobson, and the premiere of a work by Christopher Wheeldon
• Berlioz´ grandiose Les Troyens under Maestro Valery Gergiev (23 and 24 June)
• Wagner´s "Der Ring des Nibelungen" tetralogy in a revived stage version (4-7 July)
• A Ludwig Van Beethoven series including all the composer´s symphonies, all his piano concerti and one violin concerto, performed by the Mariinsky Theatre Symphony Orchestra under Maestro Valery Gergiev, Gianandrea Noseda, Paavo Jarvi and Tugan Sokhiev
• Munich Philharmonic Society´s Symphony Orchestra under Christian Tileman (31 May and 1 June)
• Berlin Philharmonic Octet at the Concert Hall (10 and 11 June)
• Tour by the National Ballet of Spain under its Director José Antonio, marking thirty years of the company´s history and the end of the career of famed dancer and choreographer José Antonio (14-18 July)
• One of the most stunning premieres of Finnish National Opera – Aulis Sallinen´s The Red Line ("Punainen Viiva") (29 May)
The 2009 Stars of the White Nights festival of music opens on 21 May at both the Mariinsky Theatre and the Concert Hall: the Theatre will be hosting the season´s most significant ballet premiere – Shchedrin´s The Little Humpbacked Horse with choreography by Alexei Ratmansky, and at 22:00 at the Concert Hall there will be a performance of the grandiose "symphony of a thousand" – Mahler´s Eighth, under the baton of Maestro Valery Gergiev. Operas by Russian composers occupy a prominent position in the Festival playbill – both the great repertoire works such as Tchaikovsky´s Mazepa, The Queen of Spades and Eugene Onegin, Rimsky-Korsakov´s May Night and The Maid of Pskov and Prokofiev´s The Love for Three Oranges and premieres of the current season, including Tchaikovsky´s Iolanta and Rakhmaninov´s Aleko, staged by renowned Polish director Mariusz Treliсski.
Special events of the Festival´s opera programme include a concert performance of Berlioz´ immense work Les Troyens under Maestro Valery Gergiev at the Concert Hall (two evenings, 23 and 24 June). These concerts mark the start of work on a new stage version of the opera, a co-production by four major cultural institutions – the Mariinsky Theatre, Polish National Opera, Valencia Opera and Baden-Baden´s Festival Centre. It will be directed by Carlos Padrissa, one of the Artistic Directors of the renowned theatre group La Fura dels Baus. The Russian premiere of the production is planned for December 2009.
Forthcoming Festival concerts and performances include: Kristina Kapustinskaya, Olga Borodina, Ildar Abdrazakov and Sergei Semishkur in Verdi´s Requiem (28 May); Maria Guleghina in Tchaikovsky´s The Queen of Spades (13 June) and Verdi´s Nabucco (17 June); Bryn Terfel in a concert performance of Act III of Wagner´s Die Walkure (5 June); Rene Pape in a concert performance of Act III of Wagner´s Parsifal (6 June); and Rene Pape and Gary Lehman in Wagner´s Parsifal (12 June, concert performance). The Festival´s opera playbill also includes appearances by rising stars of the Mariinsky Opera Company.
The Festival´s ballet playbill kicks off with a significant premiere from this season – Shchedrin´s The Little Humpbacked Horse with choreography by Alexei Ratmansky. Festival ballet premieres include one of the most popular ballets by the legendary Leonid Yakobson, Shurale (29 and 30 June), and a one-act ballet by Christopher Wheeldon, which the renowned choreographer is staging especially for the Mariinsky Theatre (10 June). Bolshoi Theatre soloist Svetlana Zakharova will be performing in Giselle (27 May), while Diana Vishneva will be appearing in the programme Diana Vishneva: Beauty in Motion (12 and 19 July), and Mariinsky Ballet stars Ulyana Lopatkina, Viktoria Tereshkina, Alina Somova, Leonid Sarafanov and Vladimir Shklyarov will be performing in the finest repertoire productions.
The focus of this year´s Festival symphony programme falls on the series All Beethoven Symphonies, to be performed by the Mariinsky Theatre Symphony Orchestra under Maestro Valery Gergiev, Gianandrea Noseda and Paavo Jarvi. All of the composer´s five piano concerti will also be performed, and Leonidas Kavakos, one of the world´s finest instrumental musicians, will be appearing with Beethoven´s Violin Concerto.
For the first time, the Festival will see a performance by the Symphony Orchestra of the Munich Philharmonic, one of the world´s most renowned ensembles, under Christian Tileman (31 May and 1 June) in a programme of works by Bruckner, Schumann and Grieg; the concert on 31 May will see an appearance by distinguished Austrian pianist and renowned interpreter of the Viennese classics and Romantic music Maestro Rudolf Buchbinder. Guest symphony and chamber ensembles of the Festival include the Octet of the Berlin Philharmonic (10 and 11 June) together with an exhibition from the archives of the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra in memory of great German conductor Wilhelm Furtwängler, and the Schleswig-Holstein Festival Symphony Orchestra and Chorus with Handel´s Alexander Feast oratorio (18 June).
Henri Dutilleux, a guest of last year´s Festival, will be succeeded by one of the most significant German composers of the present day – Hans Werner Henze. The Festival is thus continuing to familiarise St Petersburg audiences with the music of major living European and Russian composers. It should be remembered that programmes of the Concert Hall and the Theatre over the past two years have included many works by young British composer Thomas Adеs, Russia´s renowned Rodion Shchedrin and noted representatives of the Leningrad school of composition Boris Tishchenko and Sergei Slonimsky as well as Vladimir Tarnopolsky, Valentin Silvestrov and Olga Bochikhina among others.