August 14, 2020 – September 6, 2020
Artistic Director: Valery Gergiev
On September 6, 2020 the pinnacle annual event at the Primorsky Stage of the Mariinsky Theatre – the V International Mariinsky Far East Festival, Vladivostok – was closed with Sergei Prokofiev’s War and Peace. The epic opera featured stars of the two companies: guest soloists from Saint Petersburg and artists of the Primorsky Stage. The baton was held by Pavel Smelkov, a Principal Conductor of the Primorsky Stage.
The bottom line of the V International Mariinsky Far East Festival, Vladivostok, may be described as follows:
- Four opera premieres in the Russian Far East: Giuseppe Verdi’s Don Carlo staged by Yuri Alexandrov; Sergei Prokofiev’s The Fiery Angel; Pietro Mascagni’s Cavalleria rusticana; Richard Wagner’s Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg (concert performance);
- Fikret Amirov’s A Thousand and One Nights ballet premiere choreographed by Eldar Aliev;
- Audience of over 13,000 people;
- 19 performances and concerts for 24 days.
On August 14, 2020 the Festival was opened with the ballet premiere of Fikret Amirov’s A Thousand and One Nights choreographed by Eldar Aliev. The key parts were performed by guest soloists of the Mariinsky Ballet and leading artists of the Primorsky Stage including Anna Samostrelova, Kanat Nadyrbek, Sergei Umanetc, Saki Nishida, Lilia Berezhnova, Katerina Floria, Yuri Zinnurov, Yekaterina Chebykina, Renata Shakirova, and Roman Belyakov. Apart from the Saint Petersburg dancers, Ramin Azimov and Ayyub Guliyev were invited to be guests of Vladivostok; the former played the Azerbaijani tar and the latter conducted the ballet, being a Principal Conductor and a Musical Director of the Azerbaijan State Academic Opera and Ballet Theatre, who is conferred the title of an Honored Artist of the Republic of Azerbaijan and is a recipient of the Presidential Prize and a prize-winner at a number of international competitions.
Giuseppe Verdi’s Don Carlo staged by Yuri Alexandrov was another premiere at the Festival. The opera featured the world-famous bass Ildar Abdrazakov, a Mariinsky Theatre soloist. For the first time at the Primorsky Stage, he appeared as Philip II to sing one of his key roles. The baton was held by maestro Valery Gergiev.
In Vladivostok some compositions first sounded in their concert versions that were recently added to the opera repertoire of the Primorsky Stage. Among them there were: Sergei Prokofiev’s The Fiery Angel with its powerful music soaked in mysticism, which was recovered by a new cast after a lapse of eight years; Pietro Mascagni’s Cavalleria rusticana as one of the classic verismo operas; and Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg (3rd act of the opera) as Richard Wagner’s genial masterpiece prepared by Primorsky Stage artists under a stay-at-home order. The three operas in their concert versions were performed under the baton of Valery Gergiev; the name parts were sung by leading soloists of the Mariinsky Theatre, including Yevgeny Nikitin, Elena Stikhina, Ekaterina Semenchuk, Irina Churilova, Yulia Matochkina, Anna Kiknadze, Sergei Skorokhodov, Mikhail Petrenko, and Roman Burdenko.
The Mariinsky opera stars descended upon the Primorsky Stage to appear in its repertory performances, too. Yulia Matochkina, Vladislav Kupriyanov and Sergei Skorokhodov sang in The Tsar’s Bride by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov. Vladislav Sulimsky appeared as Rigoletto to sing one of his title parts in Giuseppe Verdi’s opera. Aida, a large-scale opera by Giuseppe Verdi, featured the best cast of the Mariinsky Opera: Ekaterina Semenchuk as Amneris, Roman Burdenko as Amonastro, Yevgeny Nikitin as Ramfis, and Mikhail Petrenko as the Pharaoh. The title role was sung by Elena Stikhina, a soloist of the Mariinsky Theatre.
The Festival was added with Evenings of Modern Choreography in which productions of young choreographers and well-known masters of the 20th century were combined, and with large classic ballets such as Don Quixote and The Sleeping Beauty featuring soloists from Saint Petersburg. The program of the Evenings of Modern Choreography included: Inspiration choreographed by Eldar Aliev to music by Sergei Rachmaninoff’; Visions fugitives recently choreographed at the Primorsky Stage by Dmitry Pimonov to music by Sergei Prokofiev; and Le Parc, a masterpiece by the French avant-garde choreographer Angelin Preljocaj to music by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, which was first performed at the Primorsky Stage. Additionally, Carmen Suite, a famous one-act ballet by Alberto Alonso to music by Georges Bizet – Rodion Shchedrin, was performed.
During the media conference which was held at the Festival Valery Gergiev, the Artistic Director and the Principal Conductor of the Mariinsky Theatre, in particular said, “Today’s Vladivostok goes ahead to become a mainstay of opera culture throughout Russia”.