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Mariinsky News>2016>The Mariinsky Theatre has brought the 2015-2016 season to a close

03 August 2016

The Mariinsky Theatre has brought the 2015-2016 season to a close

On 31 July performances of the opera Eugene Onegin at the Mariinsky Theatre and the ballet The Bronze Horseman at the Mariinsky II brought the forty-five-week-long 2015-2016 season to a close

Results in figures 
• Performances and concerts in seven venues: the historic Mariinsky Theatre, the Concert Hall, the Mariinsky-II and its four chamber halls; 
• There was a total of one thousand three hundred and seventy-four performances and concerts with an attendance rate of over 90%; 
• Nineteen opera premieres, including six as part of the Short Operas for Children subscription and six as part of the Short Operas for Adults subscription, and four ballet premieres; 
• Six festivals in St Petersburg, the anniversary XV Moscow Easter Festival, which lasted nineteen days, covered fourteen thousand kilometres and visited fifty cities in Russia, and the I Mariinsky International Far East Festival (Vladivostok); 
• The development of our work with young audiences as part of the programme The Mariinsky for Children: in the 2015-2016 season there were over one hundred thousand attendees of various performances and the theatre’s cultural and educational projects; 
• Concerts by prize-winners of the XV International Tchaikovsky Competition and the Hamburg TONALi competition; 
• A new stage venue (since 1 January 2016) – the Primorsky Stage of the Mariinsky Theatre.

Season premieres 
• Pyotr Tchaikovsky’s opera The Oprichnik was staged at the Concert Hall by director Viktor Vysotsky; 
• Giuseppe Verdi’s opera Simon Boccanegra staged by Andrea De Rosa as a co-production with the Teatro La Fenice and the Teatro Carlo Felice (Italy) was performed by Mariinsky Theatre soloists and the renowned Italian bass Ferruccio Furlanetto. And, as part of the XXIV Stars of the White Nights music festival, the title role was performed by the outstanding opera singer Plácido Domingo; 
• Fairy-tale premieres for New Year: Engelbert Humperdinck’s opera Hänsel und Gretel in Alexander Maskalin’s semi-staged production at the Concert Hall of the Mariinsky Theatre and the world premiere of Rodion Shchedrin’s opera-féerie A Christmas Tale staged by Alexei Stepanyuk at the Mariinsky-II; 
• Camille Saint-Saëns’ opera Samson et Dalila staged by Yannis Kokkos was first presented at the Mariinsky-II on the eve of the XXIV Stars of the White Nights music festival. The title roles were performed by Gregory Kunde and Ekaterina Semenchuk; 
• At the Stars of the White Nights festival soloists of the opera company and the Mariinsky Academy of Young Opera Singers presented premieres of two operas at the Concert Hall – Mieczysław Weinberg’s The Idiot staged by Alexei Stepanyuk and Leonid Klinichev’s The Cossacks in concert; 
• The first ballet premiere of the season was Radu Poklitaru’s Symphony in Three Movements to music by Igor Stravinsky and with designs by Anna Matison; 
• Reinhold Glière’s ballet The Bronze Horseman staged by Yuri Smekalov opened the XVI international ballet festival Mariinsky
• The final ballet premieres of the season were ballets to music by Sergei Prokofiev – Russian Overture staged by Maxim Petrov and Violin Concerto Noby Anton Pimonov to mark one hundred and twenty-five years since the composer’s birth; 
• The project A Creative Workshop of Young Choreographers introduced several new works to the repertoire: the one-act ballets SeasonS by Ilya Zhivoi and Pavlovsk by Maxim Petrov formed part of the programme of the I Mariinsky International Far East Festival in Vladivostok; 
• As part of the project The Mariinsky for Children and the subscription Six Short Operas for Children young audiences were presented with operatic works – Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s one-act singspiel Bastien und Bastienne, Sergei Prokofiev’s The Giant, Vladimir Rebikov’s The Christmas Tree, Tikhon Khrennikov's The Boy Giant and Sergei Banevich’s Scenes from the Life of Nikolenka Irteniev and An Opera about Porridge, a Cat and Milk
• As part of the subscription Six Short Operas for Adults there came the first performances of the operas White Nights by Yuri Butsko, the mono-operas Anna by Leonid Klinichev and Letter from an Unknown Woman by Antonio Spadavecchia, Sergei Prokofiev’s Maddalena, Dmitry Shostakovich’s Orangoand Alexander Smelkov’s The Station Master.

Celebrating 125 years of Sergei Prokofiev 
To commemorate one hundred and twenty-five years since the birth of Sergei Prokofiev, throughout the year the Mariinsky Theatre hosted performances of his operas and ballets as well as symphony music, and the composer’s anniversary was marked by numerous tour programmes of the Mariinsky Orchestra, from the USA and Great Britain to Mexico, Cuba and Chile. On 23 April, Sergei Prokofiev’s birthday, there was a musical marathon of the composer’s works as part of which the Mariinsky Orchestra under Valery Gergiev performed in Russia’s two capital cities – in Moscow during the day and in St Petersburg in the evening. 
On 17 June on Palace Square in St Petersburg the Mariinsky Orchestra under Valery Gergiev performed the cantata Alexander Nevsky and the oratorio Ivan the Terrible featuring Alexei Petrenko. The performance was accompanied by scenes from films by Sergei Eisenstein. 
From early 2016 the Concert Hall of the Mariinsky Theatre hosted a special project initiated by Valery Gergiev – Sergei Prokofiev’s symphonic tale Peter and the Wolf in which the role of the Narrator was performed by the theatre and film actors Yevgeny Mironov, Konstantin Khabensky, Veniamin Smekhov, Mikhail Porechenkov and Mikhail Trukhin as well as Nikolai Tsiskaridze, Principal of the Vaganova Academy of Russian Ballet. This project’s concerts will continue in the 2016-2017 season.

• The III International Organ Festival presented the renowned musicians Thomas Trotter, Vincent Dubois, Kevin Bowyer, Ben van Oosten, Thierry Escaich and Svetlana Berezhnaya; 
• The X International Piano Festival. Festival participants included Gabriele Carcano, Dmitry Masleev, Denis Matsuev, Sergei Babayan, Yefim Bronfman, Daniil Trifonov, Alexander Malofeev and Behzod Abduraimov among others. There was also the special project Children for Children, as part of which young virtuosi performed at the chamber venues of the Mariinsky-II; 
• The I international choral festival Maslenitsa in Song presented more than twenty choral ensembles. Key events of the festival included the world premiere of the cantata Mother Russia and a performance by six choral ensembles of Karl Jenkins’ opus The Armed Man (A Mass for Peace); 
• The Mariinsky NEXT festival of children’s and youth orchestras featured ensembles from six St Petersburg music schools and colleges. At the final Gala Concert the festival’s united string orchestra performed under Valery Gergiev; 
• The XVI international ballet festival Mariinsky took place with stars of the Opéra de Paris, American Ballet Theatre, the National Ballet of Canada, the Wiener Staatsoper, the Bolshoi Theatre, the Mikhailovsky Theatre and the Stanislavsky and Nemirovich-Danchenko Moscow Musical Theatre; 
• The XV Moscow Easter Festival, which ran from 1 to 17 May, commemorated the 125th anniversary of the birth of Sergei Prokofiev and visited some fifty Russian towns and cities. Over fifteen years the Mariinsky Orchestra under Valery Gergiev has given a total of three hundred and ten concerts in Russia’s regions as part of this festival; 
• The XXIV Stars of the White Nights festival of music lasted sixty days. During the festival at the Mariinsky Theatre, the Mariinsky-II and the Concert Hall there were two hundred events including three opera and two ballet premieres; 
• The first Mariinsky International Far East Festival in Vladivostok runs from 30 July to 10 August at the Primorsky Stage of the Mariinsky Theatre. Over twelve days, the festival will present twenty-seven performances and concerts featuring the greatest soloists of the Mariinsky Theatre and outstanding guest performers from Asia, Europe and North and South America.

One of the most important trends of the theatre’s activities is its cultural and educational projects. This season has seen the organisation of the free weekly concerts Open Wednesday at the Mariinsky and Arts Schools Visiting the Mariinsky Theatre, which form part of this project. The subscription seriesThe Young Theatre-Goers’ Academy, Piccolo at the Mariinsky and the cultural and educational programmes A Lesson in Practical Theatre, The Mariinsky Theatre - the Soul of St Petersburg and A Theatre Lesson at the Mariinsky have continued their activities successfully. For adult audiences the theatre has offered lecture programmes – A Sunday Foreword and lectures focussing on outstanding musicians and performers of the Mariinsky Theatre.

Tours to the Mariinsky Theatre 
• The Bach Collegium Japan 
• The Helmuth Rilling Bach Ensemble 
• The Sinfonia Varsovia 
• The orchestra I Barocchisti and Cecilia Bartoli 
• The Budapest Festival Orchestra 
• The Turku Philharmonic Orchestra 
• The Baltic Sea Philharmonic Orchestra 
• The Armenian National Philharmonic Orchestra 
• The Symphonica ARTica symphony orchestra 
• The Symphony Orchestra of the Karelian State Philharmonic 
• The State Symphony Orchestra of the Republic of Tatarstan 
• The Symphony Orchestra of the Astana Opera State Opera and Ballet Theatre of Kazakhstan 
• The Omsk Academic Symphony Orchestra 
• The Novosibirsk Academic Symphony Orchestra 
• The Admiralty Orchestra of the Leningrad Naval Base 
• The Kammereorchester of the Münchner Philharmoniker 
• The Moscow Soloists chamber ensemble 
• The Ballet Company of the Opéra National de Bordeaux 
• The Astana Ballet 
• The Perm Tchaikovsky Opera and Ballet Theatre 
• The Digora State Drama Theatre. During the XXIV Stars of the White Nights music festival the company presented Jean Baptiste-Molière’s play Don Juanat the Hermitage Theatre.

Tours by the Mariinsky Theatre 
In the 2015-2016 season the Mariinsky Theatre (the chorus, opera and ballet companies and orchestra) toured to fifteen countries, the theatre's performances being seen by residents of more than twenty-five towns and cities abroad and of fifty within Russia. Expanding its horizons, the Mariinsky Theatre performed for the first time at concert venues in Latin America (Mexico, Cuba and Chile). Lead soloists of the theatre's ballet company presented the best repertoire productions at theatres in major cities in the USA, Germany, Japan, Great Britain, Mexico and China.

The new season opens on 30 September at the Mariinsky Theatre's three venues 
At the Concert Hall and at the Mariinsky-II there will be performances of productions premiered last season – Valery Gergiev will conduct Camille Saint-Saëns' opera Samson et Dalila at the Mariinsky-II (19:00), and at the same time at the Concert Hall there will be a performance of Mieczysław Weinberg's opera The Idiot staged by Alexei Stepanyuk. At the Mariinsky Theatre the programme of the first ballet evening of the new season will comprise choreographic miniatures by Michel Fokine that are well-loved by the public – Chopiniana, The Firebird and Schéhérazade (19:30).

Submitted on 25 August 2016, Thursday

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