The legendary opera Khovanshchina by Modest Musorgsky is to be premiered at the Primorsky Stage

On November 19 and November 20, 2021 the Primorsky Stage of the Mariinsky Theatre will first represent the long-awaited grandiose opera Khovanshchina by Modest Musorgsky. 

The first performances are jointly prepared by the Mariinsky Theatre, Saint Petersburg and the Primorsky Stage, Vladivostok. The Mariinsky Orchestra, Chorus and soloists will be under the baton of maestro Valery Gergiev, General Director and Artistic Director of the Mariinsky Theatre.

The monumental opera with its massive crowd scenes is based on real historic events of the 17th century, namely: the Time of Troubles, the short rule of Tsarevna Sophia, the Streltsy uprising of 1682, animosities among Prince Ivan Khovansky, Dosifei whose secular name was Prince Myshetsky, and Prince Golitzin, etc. The opera identity lies in the closest unity of its music material and its text.

The historic veracity, the monumentality, the attention to realistic details, and the scale of the crowd scenes – these were all reflected in the outstanding staging of Khovanshchina by Leonid Baratov, which was premiered at the Kirov (presently the Mariinsky) Theatre on July 13, 1952.

In 1989, on the occasion of the 150th anniversary of Modest Musorgsky’s birth, Valery Gergiev conducted a full revival of the opera. The famous sets by Fyodor Fedorovsky were restored, continuing the traditions of the great theatre designers Konstantin Korovin and Alexander Golovin. The historic costumes were repaired, and the opera company rehearsed the parts. That was the first major artistic production by Valery Gergiev as a Principal Conductor of the Kirov Theatre. So the Mariinsky Theatre’s repertoire retained the production dating back to the premiere of Khovanshchina at the Mariinsky Theatre in November 1911 (Stage Director and performer of the role of Dosifei – Feodor Chaliapin; Designer – Konstantin Korovin; Conductor – Albert Coates).

A true “character” in the opera is the orchestra. “For me, the sound of the orchestra in the final scene is much more important than all the props on stage. Is it so very important if the schismatic monastery is on fire or not? I believe that here it is the orchestra that has to be on fire,” Valery Gergiev stressed.

Khovanshchina at the Primorsky Stage features soloists of the Mariinsky Theatre such as Yulia Matochkina, Yekaterina Sergeyeva, Vladimir Vaneyev, Mikhail Petrenko, Yevgeny Akimov, Oleg Videman, Vladislav Sulimsky, and Andrei Zorin.

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