"The Stars of the White Nights 2012" International Ballet and Opera Festival
25 May - 15 July 2012
Mariinsky Theatre and Concert Hall
Artistic Director: Maestro Valery Gergiev
The XX Stars of the White Nights festival runs from 25 May to 15 July. The festival opens with a premiere of a new production of Modest Musorgsky’s opera Boris Godunov staged by Graham Vick under the baton of Valery Gergiev with Yevgeny Nikitin in the lead role. The opera will also be performed on 26 May and 26 June.
At the Concert Hall, 26 May will see the festival’s first programme of symphony music featuring Chulpan Khamatova and Yevgeny Mironov, cellist and prize-winner at the XIV Tchaikovsky Competition Ivan Karizna and opera soloist Sergei Semishkur under the baton of Valery Gergiev.
The innovative Daniele Finzi Pasca is rehearsing another Verdi festival premiere following last year’s "Aida". This year he will be staging the composer’s "Requiem".
The festival’s ballet playbill includes a premiere of one of Balanchine’s few ballets with a plot – the choreographer’s incredibly beautiful magical fairytale A Midsummer Night’s Dream to music by Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy (6 and 7 June). Igor Stravinsky’s Le Sacre du printemps with choreography by Vaslav Nijinsky will be returning to the theatre’s repertoire (13 and 14 July)
Traditionally, the festival’s programme of symphony music is based on the music of a specific major composer. This year’s monograph symphony programmes will be dedicated to Johannes Brahms: Valery Gergiev will conduct all four of the composer’s symphonies as well as his instrumental concerti (13, 15, 21 and 29 June). Maestro Rudolf Buchbinder and Yefim Bronfman will perform the solos in Brahms’ First and Second Piano Concerti respectively. Nikolaj Znaider will perform the Violin Concerto (15 June), while Pinchas Zuckerman and cellist Amanda Forsyth will be performing the composer’s Double Concerto. Over four evenings, all of Mozart’s sonatas will be performed by British academic pianist Christian Blackshaw (4, 5 and 6 July).
The anniversary festival will see acclaimed musicians from across the globe come together. Guest star violinists at the festival are to include Leonidas Kavakos on a return visit (19 June). New festival friends will also be appearing, among them Dutch violinist Janine Jansen with Prokofiev’s incredibly beautiful Violin Concerto No 2 (9 June). Concertmaster of the Wiener Philharmoniker and the orchestra of the Wiener Staatsoper, violinist and conductor Rainer Honeck will be returning to St Petersburg with a stunning programme of Austrian music that has already proved a sensation at the Concert Hall: in one concert Rainer Honeck will once again be performing works by Mozart and the Strausses (30 June).
The list of outstanding pianists is also rather impressive. There will be recitals by French pianist Helene Grimaud on 18 June (sonatas by Mozart, Berg, Liszt and Bartok) as well as the outstanding young German-born pianist of Japanese descent Alice Sara Ott (3 July). Under the baton of Valery Gergiev, the orchestra will perform programmes featuring soloists Markus Schirmer with Mozart’s Twenty-Third Concerto (30 May), Nikolai Lugansky with Rachmaninoff’s Third Concerto (5 June), Igor Tchetuev with Scriabin’s Concerto (6 June), Daniil Trifonov with Glazunov’s Concerto (16 June) and Denis Matsuev with Liszt’s First Concerto (22 June).
Young Japanese pianist Nobuyuki Tsujii, prize-winner at the Van Cliburn Competition ( 2009 ), will be performing Tchaikovsky’s First Piano Concerto together with the Mariinsky Theatre Orchestra under the baton of Valery Gergiev in addition to appearing at the Concert Hall with recitals featuring works by Beethoven, Liszt and Musorgsky (8 and 10 July).
One of the festival’s old friends, Denis Matsuev will be presenting his programme Matsuev and Friends for the first time; the programme will introduce St Petersburg audiences to young musicians Sergei Krylov, Boris Brovtsyn, Yulia Daineka and Alexander Buzlov (20 June).
Full symphony orchestras appearing at the festival include the Symphony Orchestra of Milan’s Teatro alla Scala. Under the baton of Valery Gergiev the orchestra will perform Berlioz` Symphonie fantastique (27 June), the solo that evening to be performed by young Chinese-American pianist Yuja Wang, who enjoys a reputation as an incredible virtuoso. The following day the Mariinsky Theatre will be performing under maestro Fabio Luisi, with Rafal Blechacz performing the solo in a concerto by Beethoven (28 June). Moreover, renowned full orchestras will be represented by chamber ensembles – the Wiener Philharmoniker by The Philharmonics ensemble of soloists on 31 May and the Berliner Philharmoniker by its Quintet of Soloists on 26 June.
In addition to festival premieres, the ballet programme will include the finest productions in the repertoire as well as recent premieres, among the "Le Jeune Homme et la Mort"., Le Parc, Diana Vishneva: Dialogues and ballets by George Balanchine in addition to "La Bayadere", "Swan Lake", "Giselle" and "Romeo and Juliet". Performances will feature the company’s finest soloists, among them Ulyana Lopatkina, Diana Vishneva, Viktoria Teryoshkina, Alina Somova, Ekaterina Kondaurova, Danila Korsuntsev, Vladimir Shklyarov and Alexander Sergeyev.
Dazzling duos of world opera stars will feature in several performances: Ferruccio Furlanetto and Maria Guleghina will be performing the lead roles in Verdi’s Attila under the baton of Valery Gergiev (9 July), while Maria Guleghina and Vladimir Galuzin will be appearing in their finest roles in the opera "Tosca" (15 July).
Ekaterina Gubanova, Ekaterina Semenchuk, Alexei Markov and Sergei Semishkur will be performing the solos in scenes from Hector Berlioz’ opera Les Troyens (1 June, Concert Hall). Olga Borodina, Maxim Aksenov and Vladimir Galuzin will be performing under Valery Gergiev in Mussorgsky’s opera "Khovanshchina". to mark the anniversary of the Stars of the White Nights festival (31 May). Tenor Aleksandrs Antonenko will appear in the title role in a concert performance of Verdi’s opera "Otello" to be conducted by Valery Gergiev (10 June). Anna Kiknadze and Maxim Aksenov will be performing the lead roles in Bizet’s opera "Carmen" under maestro Pablo Heras-Casado (15 June). Ildar Abdrazakov will appear in Verdi`s "Attila" (24 June) and in Musorgsky`s "Khovanshchina" (28 June).
Stars of the Mariinsky Opera Company Olga Borodina and Anna Netrebko will be performing in recitals on 14 June.
For the first time during the Stars of the White Nights festival there will also be a festival called New Horizons, to be held at the Concert Hall of the theatre and the hall of the Jaani Kirik ( 54 Decembrists’ Street, opposite the Concert Hall ). From 2 to 7 June at the festival’s concerts there will be performances of music by composers including Raskatov, Kancheli, Ustvolskaya, Silvestrov, Kneifel, Lutoslawski and Tuur. The New Horizons festival draws to a close on 7 June with a performance of Alexander Raskatov’s work Three Cellos which was commissioned by the Mariinsky Theatre; renowned cellists Alexander Ivashkin, Gavriel Lipkind and Ivan Monighetti will be performing the solos. Valery Gergiev will be conducting two of the New Horizons concerts, while another will see Estonian conductor and violinist Andres Mustonen lead the Mariinsky Theatre Symphony Orchestra for the first time.
General partner and sponsor of the premiere of Modest Musorgsky’s opera Boris Godunov:
Sberbank of Russia Ltd; Yoko Ceschina; Gazprom Ltd; JT International
MDM Bank Ltd; BOMBARDIER; Sistema Joint-Stock Financial Corporation