World famous Mariinsky (Kirov) Ballet and Opera - established 1783|
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The opera and ballet companies are famous the world over. The repertoire includes such classics as Tchaikovsky‘s "Eugene Onegin" and "Swan Lake" and works by Mozart, Verdi and Rossini. Other popular productions are Massenet‘s ballet "Manon" and the operas "Don Juan" by Mozart, "War and Peace" by Prokofiev and Wagner‘s "Das Rheingold". The latest productions are Tchaikovsky‘s "The Nutcracker" (with scenery by Mikhail Shemyakin), Puccini‘s "La Boheme" and Verdi‘s "Macbeth".
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Artistic and General Director - Maestro Valery Gergiev
Mariinsky Theatre Virtual Tour
The Mariinsky Theatre represents a unique cultural force on the world stage among performing arts organizations. Its touring schedule and residencies abroad total more than 200 performances each year and span the globe, from North America, to Europe, Asia and beyond. The Mariinsky‘s artistic impact and its ambassadorial role on behalf of Russian culture have been recognized by governments and international organizations alike.
The Mariinsky Theatre was established in 1783 following a decree by Empress Catherine the Great to stage the first Russian comic operas and the best works of foreign composers. The current theatre building on Theatre Square was opened in 1860. The theatre‘s magnificent decor of dazzling white sculptures, lustrous gilt chandeliers and light blue upholstery created the perfect atmosphere in which to herald in St. Petersburg‘s golden period of operatic history.
In 1862, Giuseppe Verdi‘s La Forza del Destino premiered on
the Mariinsky stage and opened the door for the premieres of Russian
masterpieces such as Boris Godunov (1874), Prince Igor (1890),
and The Queen of Spades (1890). The Mariinsky Theatre, under the baton
of Eduard Napravnik, quickly took its place among the world‘s leading opera
houses. The theater‘s ballet company under the director of Marius
Petipa was equally distinguished, premiering Peter
Tchaikovsky‘s Swan Lake and Sleeping Beauty and
influencing the development of classical dance for generations to come.
the beginning of the 20th Century, legendary artists such as Fyodor Chaliapin,
Anna Pavlova and Vladislav Nijinsky graced the Mariinsky‘s stage. Under Soviet
rule, the Mariinsky Theatre was renamed the Kirov Theatre, a change which did
not alter the high quality of its artistic productions or affect the supreme
talents of the dancers, musicians and singers performing on its stage.
1988, Valery Gergiev was appointed Artistic Director and Principal
Conductor of the Kirov Opera. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, the
theatre reverted to its pre-Revolutionary name, and in 1996, Gergiev was named
Artistic and General Director of the Mariinsky Theatre. Under his leadership the
Kirov Opera, Ballet and Orchestra have continued to garner worldwide praise.
Mariinsky (Kirov) Ballet
The Mariinsky Ballet Company is closely linked with the entire history of the development of Russian choreographic art which has begun some 250 years ago. Since 1783 the company performed at the stage of the St Petersburg Bolshoy (Stone) Theatre and from 1885 onwards the ballet productions have been staged at the Mariinsky Theatre.
The leading role in the establishment and evolution of the Russian ballet belonged to foreign masters. At the end of the 18th century active in st Petersburg were Franz Gilferding, Gasparo Angiolini, Giuseppe Canziani and Charles le Picqu. But already in the 1790s the first Russian ballet teacher, Ivan Valberkh, became prominent. The main sphere of his activities was a small mime ballet company. He sought to make his productions rich in subject matter and to create recognizable lifelike images. A special place in his work was occupied by ballet divertissements which reflected his responses to the events of the War against Napoleon. The history of the St Petersburg ballet in the 19th century was associated with the activities of Charles Didelot, Jules Perrot, and Arthur Saint-Lion. In 1869 the position of the principal ballet master was entrusted to Marius Petipa who markedly raised the professional standards of the company. The peak accomplishment of this famous master became ballets staged in the period of his collaboration with the composers Pyotr Tchaikovsky and Alexander Glazunov – The Sleeping Beauty, Swan Lake and Raymonda. The talents of many generations of ballerinas have been revealed in them – from Yekaterina Vyazem, Marina Semenova and Galina Ulanova to younger dancers who are just fledging on the Mariinsky stage.
At the turn of the 19th and 20th century the Mariinsky Ballet Company yielded to the world of ballet such great dancers as Anna Pavlova, Mathilde Kschessinska, Tamara Karsavina, Olga Preobrazhenskaya, Olga Spesivtseva, Vaslav Nijinsky, Nikolai and Sergei Legat. Many of them glorified the Russian ballet during the legendary Saisons Russes in Paris which familiarized Europe with pioneering works by Michele Fokine. The years after the revolution were a difficult period for the Mariinsky Theatre. Almost all its leading artists abandoned the company. Nevertheless during these years the classical repertory was retained. And in 1922 when at the head of the company was put Fyodor Lopukhov, a daring innovator and a brilliant connoisseur of the past, its repertory was enriched with new productions, in particular ballets dealing with contemporary life. It was during those years that Galina Ulanova,
Alexei Yermolayev, Marina Semenova, Vakhtang Chibukiani, Alla Shelest and many other future celebrities of the St Petersburg ballet came to the company
The 1960s saw the staging of Spartacus and Choreographic Miniatures by Leonid Lavrovsky, the productions of The Stone Flower and The Legend of Love by Yury Grigorovich as well as The Coast of Hope and The Leningrad Symphony by Igor Belsky – the ballets which revived the traditions of symphonic dances. The success of these productions would obviously be impossible without superb performers. During the period of the 1950s – 1970s among the dancers of the company were Irina Kolpakova, Natalia Makarova, Alla Osipenko, Irina Gensler, Alla Sizova, Rydolph Nureyev, Mikhail Baryshnikov, Valery Panov, Yury Solovyev and Anatoly Sapogov.
Towards the end of the 1970s in the repertory of the company appeared Le Sylfide and Naples by Auguste Bournonville, fragments of ancient choreography by Perrot, Saint-Lion and Coralli. Roland Petit and Maurice Bjart came to work for some time with the company. The Tudor Foundation gave rights for the ballets Lilac Garden and Leaves Are Fading. Jerome Robbins staged in the Mariinsky the ballet In the Night.
It was in 1989 that the Mariinsky Theatre first staged ballets by outstanding choreographer George Balanchine, who began his career in Petersburg. The next decade saw the theatre’s repertoire enriched with productions of
the leading choreographers of the mid 20th century to the early 21st century: Kenneth MacMillan’s Manon and John Neumeier’s Now and Then and Spring and Fall. Specially for the Mariinsky Theatre Neumeier staged Sounds of Empty Pages to music by Alfred Schnittke.
These years also saw intense work to restore Marius Petipa’s The Sleeping Beauty and La Bayad`re, both highly acclaimed in the international press.
Petersburg premieres also include Etudes (choreography by Harald Lander), two ballets by Stravinsky – Bronislava Nijinska’s Les Noces and Vaslav Nijinsky’s Le Sacre du printemps – and ballets by William Forsythe.
The number of world premieres has grown too, with Alexei Ratmansky’s staging of Cinderella and The Nutcracker and The Magic Nut (music by Sergei Slonimsky, libretto, sets, costumes and production design by Mihail Chemiakin and choreography by Donvena Pandoursky), the latter two together comprising "Chemiakin’s Hoffman".
Mariinsky (Kirov) Ballet performances:
Full List of the Mariinsky (Kirov) Ballet performances
ballet in three acts with an epilogue
fantasy ballet in three acts (four scenes)
Gabriel Faure, Igor Stravinsky, Pyotr Tchaikovsky
ballet in three parts
The Sleeping Beauty
ballet-feerie in three acts with a prologue and apotheosis
ballet in four acts (seven scenes) with a prologue
The Legend of Love
ballet in three acts
Mariinsky (Kirov) Opera
Empress Catherine II issued an imperial edict that "Russian Theatre should be not merely for comedies and tragedies, but also for operas". This decree of 12th June 1783 to the Russian company performing in the specially built Bolshoi (Stone) Theatre envisaged the "production of one or two serious operas and two new comic operas per year". This date is considered the starting point in the history of the Mariinsky Opera Company.
Italian opera held sway over St Petersburg’s Bolshoi Theatre, which opened on 24th September 1783 with Paisiello’s opera Il mondo della luna. Alongside those by foreign composers, Russian works gradually began to appear on the Petersburg stage, including Orpheus and The Coachmen at the Travellers’ Inn by Yevstigney Fomin, The Miller, the Wizard, the Liar and the Matchmaker by Mikhail Sokolovsky and The Carriage Accident by Vasily Pashkevich. These first frays into the world of opera played a great historic role, as this is where elements of the Russian musical and dramatic style were first heard, later to be developed in the works of the great opera composers of the 19th century. Russian opera singers such as Yelizaveta Sandunova, Anton Krutitsky, Vasily Samoylov and Pyotr Zlov dazzled alongside foreign soloists on the Petersburg stage. The emergence of the Russian school is linked to these names.
Mikhail Glinka’s opera A Life for the Tsar was premiered at St Petersburg’s Bolshoi Theatre on 27th November 1836; precisely six years later, on 27th November 1842, Glinka’s second opera Ruslan and Lyudmila was performed here for the first time. The first in a series of great Russian operas combining true art with genuine accessibility, they marked the birth of classical Russian opera. It was not by mere chance that A Life for the Tsar opened the Mariinsky Theatre on 2nd October 1860.
Edward Napravnik, who dedicated over half a century to the Mariinsky Theatre (1863-1916), played an immense role in developing Russian operatic theatre, training singers and establishing a brilliant orchestra. Napravnik built up a great company that could perform complicated concert programmes in addition to operas and ballets.
The operas The Stone Guest by Dargomyzhsky (1872), Judith (1863), Rogneda (1865) and Satan (1871) by Serov, most of Rimsky-Korsakov’s operas, Boris Godunov (1874) and Khovanshchina (1886) by Musorgsky, Prince Igor (1890) by Borodin, The Demon by Rubenstein, all of Tchaikovsky’s operas (Charodeika being conducted by the composer himself) and other magnificent Russian operatic works were all premiered at the Mariinsky Theatre.
The theatre’s repertoire also included the best operas by western European composers. Giuseppe Verdi wrote La forza del destino especially for the Mariinsky Theatre in 1862, where it was premiered in the presence of the composer.
The history of Richard Wagner’s operas in Russia is closely linked above all with the Mariinsky Theatre, where Wagner first became known to Russians not only as a composer but also as a conductor. In the 1860’s and 1870’s, the Mariinsky Opera Company introduced the public to the composer’s early reformative works and, at the turn of the century, staged Wagner’s grandiose tetralogy Der Ring des Nibelungen in full.
A great opera company emerged at the Mariinsky Theatre. The talents of Osip Petrov, who first sang the roles of Susanin, Ruslan, Farlaf, the Miller and Ivan the Terrible helped Russian operatic art to blossom. He performed on stage for almost half a century alongside Anna Vorobyova-Petrova, Maria Stepanova and Lev Leonov. These singers were succeeded by a younger generation of singers including Yulia Platonova, Mikhail Sariotti, Fyodor Komissarzhevsky, Ivan Melnikov, Fyodor Stravinsky, Yevgeny Mravin, Maria Slavina and Nikolai and Medea Figner. At the turn of the century, the Russian operatic stage was illuminated by the talents of the great Fyodor Chaliapin, who constantly aimed to embody artistic truth and portray strong human emotions on the stage.
At the start of the 20th century, operas at the Mariinsky Theatre were marked by innovative attempts to stage "unified" productions that combined music, drama, painting and choreography. Artists Alexander Golovin, Konstantin Korovin, Alexander Benois and Valentin Serov, choreographer Mikhail Fokine and director Vsevolod Meierhold collaborated on operatic productions. During his period as director of the Mariinsky Theatre (1909-1918), Meierhold staged several productions including Wagner’s Tristan und Isolde (1909), Gluck’s Orphée et Eurydice (1911), Musorgsky’s Boris Godunov (1911), Strauss’ Elektra (1913), Dargomyzhsky’s The Stone Guest (1917), Rimsky-Korsakov’s The Snow Maiden (1917) and Stravinsky’s The Nightingale (1918). Meierhold’s operatic reforms brought the art closer to contemporary theatrical trends, seeking out new stylistic techniques connected with conventional theatre aesthetics and stylisation. In the first years after the Revolution, the foremost Russian performers continued to sing at the theatre. An entire galaxy of operatic stars including Chaliapin, Yershov, Piotrovsky, Andreyev, Bosse, Kastorsky and Kobzareva performed on the stage. Soon a new generation of artists appeared; such singers as Maksakova, Reisen, Slivinsky, Migay, Derzhinskaya, Pechovsky and Gorskaya provided a firm foundation for the Opera Company in years to come.
Conducting was at an unusually high level; operas were conducted by Kouts, Malko, Fitelberg, Pokhitonov, Kuper, Dranishnikov and Gauk.
Amongst new operas performed at the Mariinsky Theatre at this time, Prokofiev’s satirical comic opera Love for Three Oranges (1926), Berg’s expressionistic Wozzeck (1927) and Strauss’ Salome (1924) and Der Rosenkavalier (1928) were especially interesting. The years leading up to the Second World War saw the production of Götterdämmerung in 1931, Das Rheingold in 1933 and Lohengrin in 1941.
During the war years, part of the company remained in besieged Leningrad and performed concerts and operas for city residents. The rest of the company was evacuated to Perm, where it not only performed operas from the repertoire of past years, but also staged several new productions.
After the war, the theatre staged many important productions, bringing fame to a new generation of singers, musicians and directors. Prokofiev’s The Duenna (Betrothal in a Monastery), one of the most vivid comic operas, was among those to enjoy such success when it was staged in 1946. 1960 saw the premiere of Semyon Kotko (directed by Tovstonogov). Amongst the greatest singers then at the theatre were Preobrazhenskaya, Serval, Kashevarova, Velter, Mshanskaya, Barinova, Krivulia and Laptev.
Of western European operas, the revival of Wagner’s Lohengrin (1962) and Verdi’s La forza del destino (1963) deserve special attention. Later came Benjamin Britten’s contemporary opera Peter Grimes (1965) and Hungarian composer Ferenc Erkel’s Lásló Hunyadi (1965). 1966 saw the production of Mozart’s The Magic Flute, an opera rarely staged in Russia. Productions of these years helped discover the unique talents and great gifts of singers such as Irina Bogacheva, Galina Kovaleva, Lyudmila Filatova, Boris Shtokolov and Vladimir Atlantov.
Yuri Temirkanov was the theatre’s Principal Conductor from 1976 to 1988. Starting with contemporary operatic music (Prokofiev’s War and Peace (1977) and Rodion Shedrin’s Dead Souls, staged by Boris Pokrovsky (1978)), he turned his attentions to Russian classics not merely as a conductor but also as a stage director, writing his own scene plans for Eugene Onegin and The Queen of Spades. During this period, such great singers as Yevgeniya Gorokhovskaya, Lyubov Kazarnovskaya, Larisa Shevchenko, Konstantin Pluzhnikov, Nikolai Okhotnikov, Sergei Leiferkus, Alexei Steblyanko and Yuri Marusin occupied the forefront of the operatic stage.
Valery Gergiev’s appointment as Principal Conductor and later Artistic Director at the end of the 1980’s heralded a new era for the Opera Company. The first years of his leadership were devoted to reforms not only to repertoire policy, but most importantly to the development of a new working style in a new, faster artistic tempo. On Gergiev’s initiative, the theatre held "monographic" festivals dedicated to Musorgsky, Prokofiev and Rimsky-Korsakov, the greatest Russian composers. At the Musorgsky festival in 1989, all the composer’s operas were performed - Boris Godunov, Khovanshchina, a concert performance of The Sorochinsky Fair, The Marriage and highlights of Salammbo as originally orchestrated by the composer. The festival dedicated to the 100th anniversary since the birth of Prokofiev presented audiences with four of his operas - The Fiery Angel, War and Peace, Love for Three Oranges and The Gambler. The Fiery Angel, one of the festival premieres, staged by British director David Freeman, was named best production of 1992 in Japan. Prokofiev’s operas were not staged at the Mariinsky Theatre for a lengthy period, and the theatre paid tribute and respect to the most important Russian opera composer of the 20th century with this festival and further productions of Betrothal in a Monastery (1996), Semyon Kotko (1999) and War and Peace (2000). The Rimsky-Korsakov in the 20th Century festival staged the composer’s monumental operatic works - The Maid of Pskov, The Legend of the Invisible City of Kitezh and the Maid Fevroniathe epic opera Sadko, Autumn Song, Kashchei the Immortal and a concert performance of The Tsar’s Bride.
The tradition of Promenade concerts accessible to all was restored in the 1991-92 season, their rich and varied programmes intending to draw the widest possible audience. The theatre’s symphonic concerts are now firmly established. The Mariinsky Opera Company and Symphony Orchestra perform at international festivals including those in Baden-Baden, Salzburg, Rotterdam, Rome and Mikkeli.
Since 1993, Valery Gergiev has been the organiser and artistic director of the annual International Stars of the White Nights Festival in St Petersburg. One of the main characteristics of this festival is its tradition to stage all the premieres of the current season. Over the years, festival premieres have included Verdi’s Aida and Strauss’ Salome (1995), Tchaikovsky’s Mazepa, Bizet’s Carmen and Prokofiev’s The Gambler (1996) and two versions of Shostakovich’s opera - Katerina Izmailova (1995) and Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk (1996). In 1997, there was Wagner’s Parsifal, heralding the start of the current Wagnerian period at the Mariinsky Theatre, and Musorgsky’s Boris Godunov in the composer’s original orchestration. In 1998, the festival presented another of Wagner’s operas, Der Fliegende Hollander, and, in 1999, Lohengrin, the opera through which St Petersburg first became acquainted with Wagner‘s works more than a century ago. As a salute to the imperial traditions of the theatre, Verdi’s La forza del destino was restored with its original sets, costumes and mise-en-scenes, thereby permitting the Petersburg public to see the opera as performed during Verdi’s lifetime.
The 1999 festival saw the premiere of Prokofiev’s opera Semyon Kotko which received four Golden Masks, Russia’s highest theatrical prize. The highlight of the next festival proved to be the Mariinsky Theatre-Metropolitan Opera co-production of Prokofiev’s epic opera War and Peace, based on Tolstoy’s novel. It is noteworthy that, at the turn of this century as it did at the last, the theatre once more planned a grand production of Wagner’s tetralogy Der Ring des Nibelungen. In 2000, the opera Das Rheingold was staged, followed by Die Walkure in 2001. That year was especially rich in premieres including Verdi’s operas Macbeth, Un ballo in maschera and Otello. As part of the 2001 festival, there were performances of Araya’ s Tsefal i Prokris and Cimarosi’s Cleopatra, opening a new series of Treasures of the Mariinsky Theatre.
The Mariinsky Theatre was the first in Russia to start working with the world’s great opera houses - Covent Garden, Metropolitan Opera, the Opéra Bastille, La Scala, La Fenice, Tel Aviv Opera and San Francisco Opera. Operas by non-Russian composers began to be performed in the original language, which had the additional advantage of helping the Mariinsky Opera Company adopt world opera trends.
The success of the Opera Company is ensured by its highly talented singers who are able to enrich any production, either classical or contemporary. It is no mere chance that Mariinsky Opera singers perform on the stages of the world’s leading opera houses, demonstrating the high level of the Russian operatic school. Alongside respected singers such as Bogacheva, Borodina, Gorokhovskaya, Dyadkova, Gorchakova, Shevchenko, Novikova, Galuzin, Gergalov, Marusin, Pluzhnikov, Putilin, Vaneyev and Okhotnikov, there is a now a new generation of young talented performers including Anna Netrebko, Irina Dzhoieva, Yevgeny Nikitin, Olga Trifonova, Vasily Gerello, Ildar Abdrazakov, Daniil Shtoda and Irina Mataeva.
Mariinsky (Kirov) Opera performances:
Full List of the Mariinsky (Kirov) Opera performances
(also known as the Kirov Orchestra)
The Mariinsky Theatre Orchestra and Opera Company in the UK and Ireland
The Mariinsky Theatre Symphony Orchestra‘s Tour to the USA has home to a close
Symphony Marathon begins in London to Mark 100 Years of Shostakovich
The orchestra of the Mariinsky Theatre enjoys a long and distinguished history as one of the oldest musical institutions in Russia. Founded in the 18th century during the reign of Peter the Great, it was known before the revolution as the Russian Imperial Opera Orchestra. Housed in St. Petersburg‘s famed Mariinsky Theatre (named after Maria, the wife of Czar Alexander II) since 1860, the Orchestra entered its true "golden age" during the second half of the 19th century under the music direction of Eduard Napravnik (1839-1916). Napravnik single-handedly ruled the Imperial Theatre for more than half a century (from 1863-1916) and under his leadership, the Mariinsky Orchestra was recognized as one of the finest in Europe. He also trained a generation of outstanding conductors, developing what came to be known as "the Russian school of conducting."
The Mariinsky Theatre was also the birthplace of numerous operas and ballets which are meanwhile regarded as masterpieces of the 19th and 20th century. World premiere performances include Glinka‘s Life of a Tsar and Ruslan and Liudmila, Borodin‘s Prince Igor, Musorgsky‘s Boris Godunov and Khovanshchina, Rimsky-Korsakov‘s Maid of Pskov, The Snow Maiden and Legend of the Invisible City of Kitezh, Tchaikovsky‘s The Queen of Spades, Iolanta, Swan Lake, Nutcracker and Sleeping Beauty, Prokofiev‘s The Duenna, as well as operas by Shostakovich and ballets by Khachaturian.
Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky was closely associated with the Mariinsky Theatre, not only conducting the orchestra but also premiering his Fifth Symphony there, as well as the fantasy overture Hamlet and the Sixth Symphony. Sergey Rakhmaninov conducted the Orchestra on numerous occasions, including premieres of his Spring Cantata and the symphonic poem The Bells. The Orchestra also premiered the music of the young Igor Stravinsky, such as his Scherzo Fantastique and the suite from The Firebird ballet.
Throughout its history, the Mariinsky Theatre has presented works by Europe‘s leading opera composers. In 1862, Verdi‘s La Forza del Destino was given its world premiere at the theatre in the presence of the composer. Wagner was a favorite at the Mariinsky Theatre, where his operas were frequently performed from the 19th through the beginning of the 20th century, including the first Russian performances of the complete Ring cycle, Tristan und Isolde, Die Meistersinger and Parsifal. The Ring cycle was conducted by Hans Richter, who was the first to conduct the complete Ring in Bayreuth and at Covent Garden.
The Mariinsky Orchestra also gave the first Russian performances of Richard Strauss‘ Elektra, Salome and Der Rosenkavalier, and Berg‘s Wozzeck in a production that took place two years after its world premiere in Berlin and twenty years before its premiere in Vienna.
By 1917 the orchestra‘s name had changed to the Royal Imperial Theatre Orchestra, and was regarded as St. Petersburg‘s leading symphony orchestra. Its repertoire - operatic and orchestral - has traditionally included not only music of Russian composers, but also of European composers. Numerous internationally famous musicians conducted the Orchestra, among them Hans von Bulow, Felix Mottl, Felix Weingartner, Alexander von Zemlinsky, Otto Nikisch, Willem Mengelberg, Otto Klemperer, Bruno Walter and Erich Kleiber.
On two occasions, in 1847 and 1867, Hector Berlioz conducted performances of his own works, including The Damnation of Faust, Romeo and Juliet, Symphony Fantastique and Harold in Italy. Berlioz wrote in his memoirs "Such an orchestra! Such precision! Such an ensemble!". And in a letter dated December 1867, he stated: "I don‘t think Beethoven ever had a better performance of his compositions!" In March and April 1863, Richard Wagner visited St. Petersburg and led the Royal Imperial Theatre Orchestra in six programs of Beethoven Symphonies and his own compositions, including the world‘s first concert performance of Prelude und Liebestod. Gustav Mahler appeared with the Orchestra in both 1902 and 1907, conducting five concerts, including a performance of his Fifth Symphony. In 1912, Arnold Schoenberg conducted the premiere of his symphonic poem Pelleas and Melisande.
Renamed the Kirov Opera during the Soviet era, the orchestra continued to maintain its high artistic standards under the leadership of Evgeni Mravinsky and Yuri Temirkanov. In 1988, Valery Gergiev was elected artistic director of the opera company and in 1996 the Russian Government appointed him as Artistic and General Director of the Mariinsky Theatre. Soon after the city of Leningrad was renamed St. Petersburg, the Kirov Theatre reverted to its original title of the Mariinsky Theatre, home to the Kirov Opera, the Kirov Ballet, and the Kirov Orchestra.
Under the leadership of Valery Gergiev, the Mariinsky Theatre has forged important relationships with the worlds‘ greatest opera houses, among them the Metropolitan Opera House, London‘s Royal Opera House, the San Francisco Opera, the Theatre Chatelet in Paris La Scala in Milan just to name a few. Besides extensive touring of the opera and the ballet company, the Kirov Orchestra has performed throughout world and has become one of the outstanding orchestras. The success of the orchestra‘s continual travelling has lead to the reputation of, what a journalist called, "the world‘s first global orchestra".
In 1998, the orchestra made its debut tour of China, an historic first, with a performance in the Great Hall in Beijing, broadcast to 50 million people, in the presence of President Jiang Zemin. It was the first time in 40 years that a Russian orchestra had been in China.
Under the baton of Valery Gergiev, the orchestra has recorded exclusively for Phillips Classics since 1989. Releases include the complete operas Khovanshchina, War and Peace, Sadko, Prince Igor, The Queen of Spades, Ruslan and Lyudmila, Iolanta, Fiery Angel (winner of the 1996 Gramophone "Opera of the Year‘ award), La forza del destino, Boris Godunov (1869 and 1872 version), Mazeppa, Betrothal in the Monastery, Love for Three Oranges and Semyen Kotko. In addition the orchestra recorded the complete ballets Romeo and Juliet, Sleeping Beauty and The Nutcracker.
In July 2000, the orchestra and chorus of the Mariinsky Theatre recorded Verdi‘s Requiem and other releases of orchestral music include Shostakovich‘s Symphony No 8, Rakhmaninov‘s Symphony No2, Stravinsky‘s Firebird¦and The Rite of Spring, Skriabin‘s Poem of Ecstasy and Prometheus as well as the complete Piano Concerti by Prokofiev.
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Swan Lake Ballet
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04:45Starring Diana Vishneva and Ulyana Lopatkina