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The Stars of the White Nights 2024
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"The Stars of the White Nights 2018" International Ballet and Opera Festival
23 May 2018 - 29 July 2018

SCHEDULE 23 May 2018 - 29 July 2018

The Stars of the White Nights 2018 International Ballet and Opera Festival

"The Stars of the White Nights 2018"

23 May - 29 July 2018
Mariinsky Theatre, New Theatre and Concert Hall
Artistic Director:
Maestro Valery Gergiev


Artistic Director – Maestro Valery Gergiev
Mariinsky Theatre, New Theatre and Concert Hall

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 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 for 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.


WHITE NIGHTS 2018: Mariinsky Opera and Ballet theatre | Mariinsky hall plan | Mariinsky Slide Show | Mariinsky 3D View | About Valery Gergiev
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The Stars of the White Nights 2018

23 May - 29 July 2018

Mariinsky TheatreNew Theatre and Concert Hall 
Artistic Director: Maestro Valery Gergiev


• Over 200 performances and concerts;
• Premieres of Giuseppe Verdi’s Falstaff staged by Andrea De Rosa and Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov’s The Tsar’s Bride staged by Alexander Kuzin; 
• St Petersburg premiere of Rodion Shchedrin’s Balalaechka-Minorochka
• Marking 200 years since the birth of Marius Petipa
• A marathon of Tchaikovsky’s symphonies in the run-up to the XVI International Tchaikovsky Competition; 
• Creative Workshop of Young Choreographers; 
• Parade of opera and ballet stars: Aida Garifullina, Maria Guleghina, Anna Netrebko, Tatiana Serjan, Elena Stikhina, Mlada Khudoley, Irina Churilova, Albina Shagimuratova, Olga Borodina, Yulia Matochkina, Ekaterina Semenchuk, Yekaterina Sergeyeva, Migran Agadzhanyan, Hovhannes Ayvazyan, Mikhail Vekua, Vladimir Galouzine, Najmiddin Mavlyanov, Sergei Skorokhodov, Sergei Semishkur, Gevorg Akopyan, Roman Burdenko, Plácido Domingo, Alexei Markov, Vladislav Sulimsky, Matthias Goerne, Yevgeny Nikitin, Mikhail Petrenko, Stanislav Trofimov, Ferruccio Furlanetto, Ekaterina Kondaurova, Daria Pavlenko, Oksana Skorik, Alina Somova, Viktoria Tereshkina, Timur Askerov, Yevgeny Ivanchenko, Kimin Kim, Igor Kolb, Danila Korsuntsev, Xander Parish, Vladimir Shklyarov, David Hallberg and many others; 
• Renowned instrumentalists: pianist Sergei Babayan, Guillaume Bellom, Christian Blackshaw, Rudolf Buchbinder, Alexei Volodin, Lucas Debargue, Peter Laul, George Li, Dmitry Masleev, Denis Matsuev, Sergei Redkin, Alexander Slobodianik-jr, Daniil Trifonov, Nobuyuki Tsujii; violinists Kristóf Baráti, Renaud Capuçon, Daniel Lozakovitj, Fumiaki Miura, Lorenz Nasturica-Herschcowici; violist Wilfried Strehle; cellists Narek Hakhnazaryan, István Várdai, Alexander Ramm, Jonathan Roseman; organist Thomas Ospitale and many others; 
• First tour of the Primorsky Stage of the Mariinsky Theatre Opera (Igor Stravinsky’s Mavra staged by Vyacheslav Starodubtsev) and Ballet.

On 23 May, the XXVI Stars of the White Nights festival opens with the premiere of Giuseppe Verdi’s Falstaff staged by Italian director Andrea De Rosa, who is also the mastermind behind another production of Verdi’s, Simon Boccanegra, which is a favorite with the St Petersburg audiences. Featured soloists: Roman Burdenko, Vladislav Sulimsky, Tatiana Serjan, and the wonderful group of the Mariinsky Theatre’s young opera singers. The performance will be conducted by Valery Gergiev. The performances are scheduled for 27 May (twice), 12 June and 15 July
The premiere is part of the major cultural project Russian Seasons, with Italy as its chair for 2018.

On 25 May, the Concert Hall hosts the performance of the famed Chorus Teatro Regio Torino, one of the leading opera theatres in the world. Together with the Mariinsky Orchestra under the baton of Alessandro Cadario, the ensemble will perform excerpts from Giuseppe Verdi’s La forza del destino, Otello, Nabucco, and Quattro pezzi sacri. Italian music will also be featured at the festival in such operas as Tosca (starring Elena Stikhina, Hovhannes Ayvazyan, and Gevorg Akopyan; 26 May), Rigoletto (starring Olga Pudova, Sergei Skorokhodov, and Vladislav Sulimsky; 28 May), Otello (starring Vladimir Galouzine, Irina Churilova, and Vladislav Sulimsky; 31 May), Lucia di Lammermoor (starring Albina Shagimuratova in the title role; concert performance; 4 June), La bohème under the baton of Venezuelan conductor Domingo Hindoyan (10 June), Simon Boccanegra (starring Ferruccio Furlanetto, Roman Burdenko, Migran Agadzhanyan, and Irina Churilova in lead roles; 14 June), Macbeth (starring Anna Netrebko, Vladislav Sulimsky, Yusif Eyvazov, and Mikhail Petrenko; 15 June), Un ballo in maschera (starring Maria Guleghina, Olga Pudova, Najmiddin Mavlyanov, and Alexei Markov; 16 June), Il trovatore (starring Ekaterina Semenchuk, Irina Churilova, and Hovhannes Ayvazyan; 23 June), Turandot (starring Mlada Khudoley in the title role; 28 June). The playbill for July will be graced with the likes of Plácido Domingo in La traviata under the baton of Valery Gergiev (6 July); Elena Stikhina and Hovhannes Ayvazyan in La forza del destino (3 July); Tatiana Serjan, Yulia Matochkina, Migran Agadzhanyan, and Alexei Markov in Adriana Lecouvreur (4 July); Irina Churilova, Ekaterina Semenchuk, Migran Agadzhanyan, and Mikhail Petrenko in Don Carlo (8 July); Tatiana Serjan, Ildar Abdrazakov, and Roman Burdenko in Attila (9 July) and a concert performance of Norma with Tatiana Serjan and Sergei Skorokhodov under the baton of Oleg Caetani (12 July).

Claude Debussy’s works will also be featured extensively to mark 100 years since the death of the great French composer. On 24 May, the Concert Hall hosts the performance of Claude Debussy’s Violin Sonata, Danse sacrée et danse profane, and fragments symphoniques from Le Martyre de saint Sébastien, César Franck’s Violin Sonata, and Maurice Ravel’s Tziganefeaturing Renaud Capuçon (violin), Guillaume Bellom (piano), and Sofia Kiprskaya (harp) and the Mariinsky Orchestra under the baton of Valery GergievClaude Debussy’s three symphonic sketches La mer and fragments from Le Martyre de saint Sébastien are included into the programme of the 6 June concert of the Mariinsky Orchestra conducted by Valery Gergiev. In the second part of the concert pianist Lucas Debargue will perform Frédéric Chopin’s Piano Concerto No. 1. Claude Debussy’s works will also be performed under the baton of Gianandrea Noseda, one of the most notable conductors of our time, on 29 June.

In the run-up to the festival, on 22 May Yuri Bashmet and the Mariinsky Orchestra under the baton of Valery Gergiev will perform the music of Alfred Schnittke and Giya Kancheli at the Concert Hall. The St Petersburg public will be spoiled by one more musical gift: the performance of the famed Sächsische Staatskapelle Dresden under the baton of the renowned conductor Christian Thielemann. The programme includes the works of Carl Maria von Weber and Johannes Brahms. Denis Matsuev is the featured soloist for the Franz Liszt’s virtuoso Piano Concerto No. 2 (25 May). As part of the cross-cultural Russian-Japanese year, on 24 May the Concert hall hosts the performance of the famous AUN J Classic Orchestra, which uses the traditional Japanese instruments. The first week of the festival includes concerts of the Mariinsky Stradivarius Ensemble under the baton of Lorenz Nasturica-Herschcowici (27 May) and a night of organ music performed by Thomas Ospitale (31 May).

The ballet playbill includes various events to mark 200 years since the birth of Marius Petipa. At the historic stage of the Mariinsky Theatre, the festival opens with a series of performances of Alexander Glazunov’s Raymonda with choreography by Marius Petipa (revised by Konstantin Sergeyev; 24 May, 26 May and 28 May). The lead roles will be performed by Viktoria Tereshkina and Xander Parish, Alina Somova and Vladimir Shklyarov, Anastasia Kolegova and Andrei Yermakov. The 26 May and 28 May performances will be conducted by Valery Gergiev. A colourful gala concert will be organised to mark 200 years since the birth of the great ballet master. The programme includes choreographic routines and excerpts from Swan Lake, Raymonda, Don Quixote, Paquita, and The Sleeping Beauty performed by Ekaterina Kondaurova, Oksana Skorik, Alina Somova, Viktoria Tereshkina, Olesya Novikova, Renata Shakirova, Timur Askerov, Xander Parish, Vladimir Shklyarov, Andrei Yermakov, and Philipp Stepin (25 May). The June playbill of the historic stage will be graced by the Mariinsky Theatre ballet master and repetiteur Sergei Vikharev’s reconstruction of Marius Petipa’s The Sleeping Beauty(1 June, 2 June, and 3 June) with Alina Somova, Timur Askerov and Nadezhda Batoyeva, Philipp Stepin in the lead roles; La Bayadère (5 June, 6 June, and 7 June) with Ekaterina Kondaurova, Viktoria Tereshkina, Anastasia Matvienko, Kimin Kim, Vladimir Shklyarov, Andrei YermakovDon Quixote with Elena Yevseyeva, Vladimir Shklyarov and Viktoria Tereshkina and Kimin Kim (20 June and 21 June); Paquita with Viktoria TereshkinaEkaterina Kondaurova, Oksana Skorik, Timur Askerov, Xander Parish, and Andrei Yermakov (23 June, 24 June, 25 June). As tradition goes, the historic stage of the Mariinsky Theatre hosts the graduation performance of the Vaganova Academy of Russian Ballet (12 June, 14 June, and 16 June). This year’s programme is dedicated to Marius Petipa
Vladimir Shklyarov will celebrate 15 years on stage at the Mariinsky Theatre. He is a principal dancer of the Mariinsky Ballet and a guest principal with the Bayerische Staatsballett. He will perform the title role in Sergei Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet choreographed by Leonid Lavrovsky (13 June) to mark the important date.

In June, the Concert Hall will see several gala concerts of Richard Wagner’s works performed under the baton of Valery Gergiev. The concerts include excerpts from Tristan und Isolde with Heidi Melton, Mikhail Vekua, and Mikhail Petrenko (7 June) and excerpts from Siegfried and Götterdämmerung of the Der Ring des Nibelungen cycle (19 June). The German theme will be further explored by the famous German bass-baritone Matthias Goerne and Daniil Trifonov, 2018 Grammy award winner, who will appear together in chamber concert (11 June). Trifonov is also scheduled to perform with the Mariinsky Orchestra under the baton of Valery Gergiev at the festival (12 June). On 23 June, Johannes Brahms’ Ein deutsches Requiem will be performed by the Spanish Orfeón Pamplonés Chorus, the soloists of the Mariinsky Opera and the Mariinsky Orchestra, and the fellows of the Atkins Program. Conductor: Justus Frantz.

Russian music will be extensively featured at the festival. 2 June will see a performance of the Primorsky Stage of the Mariinsky Theatre production, Igor Stravinsky’s Mavra staged by Vyacheslav Starodubtsev. (The Primorsky Stage of the Mariinsky Theatre ballet company will bring their productions to St Petersburg from 31 July to 12 August. After the festival, the historic stage of the Mariinsky Theatre will host the performances of Le Corsaire, Giselle, and The Sleeping Beauty to mark 200 years since the birth of Marius Petipa). The Concert Hall will premiere Rodion Shchedrin’s Balalaechka-Minorochka in St Petersburg on 19 June. Other pieces to be performed include Tanya–Katya and the double concerto for cello and piano Romantic Offering. Featured soloists: Pelageya Kurennaya (soprano), Yekaterina Sergeyeva (mezzo-soprano), Sergei Redkin (piano), Alexander Ramm (cello). Conductor: Valery Gergiev. Rodion Shchedrin’s other works are also featured on the festival’s playbill, including the operas The Left-Hander (staged by Alexei Stepanyuk, 2 June)Not Love Alone (staged by Alexander Kuzin, 9 June), and Boyarina Morozova (concert performance, 10 June); the ballets Anna Karenina (8 June, 9 June, 27 July, 28 July) and The Little Humpbacked Horse (25 July, 29 July) choreographed by Alexei Ratmansky. The highlight of the Russian programme is the premiere of Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov’s The Tsar’s Bride on 21 June under the baton of Valery Gergiev at the Mariinsky II. The production is staged by Alexander Kuzin (Director), Alexander Orlov (Set Designer), and Irina Cherednikova (Costume Designer). The cast includes Yulia Matochkina, Yekaterina Sergeyeva, Irina Shishkova, Violetta Lukyanenko, Anna Denisova, Pelageya Kurennaya, Yekaterina Goncharova, Sergei Semishkur, Sergei Skorokhodov, Yevgeny Akhmedov, Alexander Mikhailov, Kirill Zharovin, Alexei Markov, Mikhail Kit, Mikhail Kolelishvili, Mikhail Petrenko, Andrei Serov, Oleg Sychev, Stanislav Trofimov, and Vladimir Feliauer. The premiere performances will also take place on 24 June, 20 July, and 21 July. The playbill also includes The Gambler with Vladimir Galouzine (3 June), Mazepa with Vladislav Sulimsky (4 June), The Snow Maiden with Aida Garifullina (25 June), Khovanshchina with Olga Borodina and Mikhail Petrenko (26 June), The Queen of Spades with Tatiana Pavlovskaya and Mikhail Vekua (27 June)The Maid of Pskov with Yekaterina Goncharova and Sergei Semishkur (11 July), Prince Igor starring Roman Burdenko, Yekaterina Sergeyeva, and Tatiana Pavlovskaya (14 July).

The highlights of the June concerts include the performance of the Russo-German Music Academy Orchestra, which includes the best young Russian and German musicians, prize-winners of major international competitions, the soloists of the Mariinsky Orchestra and interns of German symphony orchestras. The programme includes the music of Franz Schubert, Sergei Rachmaninoff, and Bernd Alois Zimmermann. Conductor: Valery Gergiev. Featured soloist: Denis Matsuev (3 June). After performing in St Petersburg, the ensemble will go on tour to Berlin. That same day, Lucas Debargue & Friends concert will take place. An ensemble of young musicians (Lucas Debargue, Eva Zavaro, Adrien Boisseau, Jérôme Pernoo) will perform Gabriel Fauré's Piano Quartets and Lucas Debargue’s own music. The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, which is famous for its masterful performances and inspiring programmes, will return to the festival (17 June, 18 June). The 17 June concert featuring Arnaud Sussmann (violin) and Paul Neubauer (viola) will be conducted by Valery Gergiev. The playbill also features the duet of Peter Laul (piano) and Olga Volkova (violin) (17 June), solo performances of George Li (16 June), Kristóf Baráti (20 June), Nobuyuki Tsujii (24 June), Narek Hakhnazaryan (25 June), and Olga Borodina’s recital (30 June). The musicians to perform with the Mariinsky Orchestra under the baton of Valery Gergiev include pianist George Li (for a monographic performance fully dedicated to Felix Mendelssohn; 18 June), Nobuyuki Tsujii (solo for Ludwig van Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 5; 20 June) and Alexander Slobodianik-jr (Sergei Rachmaninoff’s Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini; 26 June); violinists Fumiaki Miura (solo for Felix Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto; 22 June) and Daniel Lozakovitj (Pyotr Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto; 24 June). Cellist Narek Hakhnazaryan will perform Pyotr Tchaikovsky’s works during a monographic concert dedicated to the composer (26 June). On 27 June, the renowned Viennese pianist Rudolf Buchbinder will appear in concerto wearing two hats at one, that of a soloist and that of a conductor. The programme features Ludwig van Beethoven’s piano concertos. In the run-up to the XVI International Tchaikovsky Competion set to take place in 2018 in Moscow and St Petersburg, the festival’s programme has been enriched by a marathon of Pyotr Tchaikovsky’s symphonies performances under the baton of Valery Gergiev. The Symphony No. 5 performance will be conducted by Gianandrea Noseda (29 June). The festival includes one more cycle, that of Johann Sebastian Bach’s Brandenburg Concertos. Concertos No. 1, No. 3, and No. 5 will be performed by the musicians of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Lorenz Nasturica-Herschcowici and Wilfried Strehle (15 June). The second part of the concertos (No. 2, No. 4, and No. 6) will be performed on 12 July.

The operetta Candide concert performance will take place on 17 June to mark 100 years since the birth of Leonard Bernstein. The performance will be conducted by Leon Botstein, Music Director of the American Symphony Orchestra. One of the pieces of the Creative Workshop of Young Choreographers is also dedicated to Leonard Bernstein (11 July).

The first half of June will see the performance of world opera stars and famed instrumentalists. Plácido Domingo is scheduled to give two performances at the festival. On 6 July he will appear as Giorgio Germont in La traviata conducted by Valery Gergiev, while on 7 July he will put on the conductor’s hat himself. Mlada Khudoley, Ekaterina Semenchuk, Mikhail Vekua, and Mikhail Petrenko will perform the excerpts from Richard Wagner’s operas. Famous opera singer Julia Lezhneva will present the monographic programme Mozart Gala at the Concert Hall on 2 July. Conductor: Mikhail Antonenko. Recitals will also be performed by Alexei Volodin (1 July), Christian Blackshaw (8 July), Sergei Babayan (11 July), Dmitry Masleev (14 July). Sergei Babayan will also perform Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s Piano Concertos No. 4 and No. 27 together with the Mariinsky Orchestra under the baton of Valery Gergiev (9 July). Chamber music performances include the recital of cellist István Várdai (6 July). In the second half of July, the Mariinsky Orchestra will be conducted by Mischa Damev (17 July) and Gustavo Gimeno (22 July). Cellist Jonathan Roseman, prize-winner of the XV International Tchaikovsky Competition, will appear in recital (18 July).

The July performances of Swan Lake (6 July, 7 July, and 8 July) starring Ekaterina Kondaurova and Timur Askerov, Anastasia Matvienko and Yevgeny Ivanchenko, Nadezhda Batoeva and Kimin Kim in the lead roles; Giselle with Yekaterina Osmolkina, Vladimir Shklyarov, and Alina Somova, as well as Le Corsaire, the premiere of the David Hallberg’s American Ballet Theater (10 July and 12 July) starring Viktoria TereshkinaKimin Kim, Andrei Yermakov, Elena Yevseyeva, Maria Shirinkina, Xander Parish, and Victor Caixeta (13 July and 14 July) will mark 200 year since the birth of Marius Petipa.

On 11 July, the Mariinsky II will host the Creative Workshop of Young Choreographers for the sixth time. It is a project which allow beginners to work with the Mariinsky Ballet artists and to show their works to a wider public. One-act ballets of the 20th century masters – George Balanchine’s Apollo and Symphony in C and Jerome Robbins’ In the Night – will be performed by the leading Mariinsky Ballet soloists (20 July and 21 July). David Hallberg will appear as Apollo on 20 July.

The XXVI Stars of the White Nights festival will conclude on 29 July. The Mariinsky II will host the performance of The Little Humpbacked Horse, the Concert Hall will host the performance of Die Zauberflöte, the historic stage will host the performance of Aida starring Irina Churilova, Yulia Matochkina, Oleg Videman, and Roman Burdenko.

SCHEDULE 23 May 2018 - 29 July 2018

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