The Mariinsky Theatre, Russia, 2018

Tour Dates: August - September, 2018

The Mariinsky Theatre is a symbol both of St Petersburgand of Russia.

Tour Dates
  • August - September, 2018


Programme: War and Peace

"It was a performance about Russia and her vast lands and history. An opera about both Tolstoy and Proko­ev that has a contemporary Weltanschaung."

- Irena Leina. Kultura

War and Peace is the most grandiose of Prokofiev’ s eight operas. It was written during the darkest war of the 20th century, when the plot of Tolstoy’ s epic novel, which had long engaged the composer’ s attentions, became twice as relevant for him. The opera stuns us with its sheer scale, the abundance of scenes, the cast and the drama that unfolds with titanic force. Prokofiev, drawn to anything unusual that told of the power of the human soul like no-one else, was able to convey the universal tragedy and horror of war. At the same time, with his unique lyrical talents, he introduced scenes of the personal interrelations between the characters in the opera, composed withcaptivating refinement and imbued with warmth. Thus he wrote his epic saga about Russia, whose destiny is depicted in the interweaving of military events and civilian life, joy and pain, human lives and the inexorable course of history.

Stage Director Andrei Konchalovsky has made War and Peace a production akin to Hollywood in terms of its scale. But in imbuing production with vivid effects he has not abandoned the core matter – he has succeeded in conveying the scale of the events and the inspiration of the lyrical scenes as well as the fiery spirit of Prokofiev’ s music.

The Mariinsky Theatre, Russia

The Mariinsky Theatre is a symbol both of St Petersburgand of Russia. The oldest musical theatre in Russia, forover two hundred years it has been the academy of Russian opera and ballet. Since it was founded, the Mariinsky Theatre’ s glory and international fame have been firmly grounded in three things – its Opera, Ballet and Orchestra.

The Mariinsky Theatre has produced myriad outstanding artists including singers Ivan Yershov, Medea and Nikolai Figner, Fyodor Chaliapin and dancers Anna Pavlova, Vaslav Nijinsky, Galina Ulanova, Rudolf Nureyev and Mikhail Baryshnikov. A hugely important role in the development of ballet was played by Mariinsky Theatre ballet-masters Marius Petipa, Michel Fokine. The theatre has witnessed the talents of such great theatre designers as Konstantin Korovin, Alexander Golovin, Alexander Benois and Léon Bakst to name but a few. Legendary artists who conducted the Mariinsky Orchestra and praised its outstanding musicianship included Berlioz, Wagner, Tchaikovsky, Mahler, Rachmaninoff.

The Mariinsky theatre’ s repertoire is based on opera and ballet works by Tchaikovsky, Rimsky-Korsakov, Glinka, Musorgsky, Prokofiev, Shostakovich and Shchedrin. The fate of Richard Wagner’ s operas in Russia is linked first and foremost with the Mariinsky Theatre.

And today it may be bravely said that over the last twenty five years, thanks to Valery Gergiev, the theatre has become one of the finest ensembles in the world.

The Mariinsky Theatre Symphony Orchestra, Russia

The Mariinsky Orchestra is one of the oldest musical ensembles in Russia. It can trace its history back to the early 18th century and the development of the Court Instrumental Kapella. In the 19th century, an extremely important role in the emergence of the Mariinsky Orchestra was played by Eduard Napravnik, who directed it for over half a century.

The excellence of the orchestra was recognised on numerous occasions by the world-class musicians who conducted it, among them Berlioz, Wagner, von Bülow, Tchaikovsky, Mahler, Nikisch and Rachmaninoff. In Soviet times, the ensemble’s illustrious traditions were continued by conductors such as Vladimir Dranishnikov, Ariy Pazovsky, Yevgeny Mravinsky, Konstantin Simeonov and Yuri Temirkanov.

The orchestra has had the honour of being the first to perform many operas and ballets by Tchaikovsky, operas by Glinka, Mussorgsky and Rimsky-Korsakov and ballets by Shostakovich, Khachaturian and Asafiev.

Since 1988, the orchestra has been directed by Valery Gergiev, a musician of the highest order and an outstanding figure in the music world. Maestro Gergiev’s arrival at the helm ushered in a new era of rapid expansion of the orchestra’s repertoire, which today includes every symphony by Beethoven, Mahler, Prokofiev and Shostakovich, Requiems by Mozart, Berlioz, Verdi, Brahms and Tishchenko and various works by composers such as Stravinsky, Messiaen, Dutilleux, Henze, Shchedrin, Gubaidulina, Kancheli and Karetnikov. The orchestra performs programmes of symphony music at prestigious concert venues throughout the world.

Artistic & General Director: Valery Gergiev

Valery Gergiev is Artistic and General Director of the Mariinsky Theatre. He established and directs festivals including the Stars of the White Nights, the Gergiev Festival (the Netherlands) and the Moscow Easter Festival. In 1997 following Sir Georg Solti’s death, Valery Gergiev took over the World Orchestra for Peace. The maestro is Principal Conductor of the London Symphony Orchestra and, starting in 2015, will become Principal Conductor of the Munich Philharmonic Orchestra.

At the Mariinsky Theatre Gergiev has overseen the emergence of a plethora of world-class singers. Under his direction the theatre’s opera and ballet repertoires have become much richer and more diverse, now including a broad range of works from 18th to 20th century classics as well as music by contemporary composers. In 2006 the Concert Hall opened on the site of workshops that had burnt down, and 2 May 2013 saw the opening of the new Mariinsky Theatre (Mariinsky-II) alongside the historical building, thanks to which the Mariinsky Theatre was transformed into a theatre and concert complex unparalleled in Russia.

Established by Gergiev in 2009, the Mariinsky recording label has already released more than 25 discs that have won praise and acclaim from critics and audiences alike across the globe. He works with the Metropolitan Opera, the Vienna, New York and Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestras and the Filarmonica della Scala. In 2014 the Children’s Chorus of Russia, founded on the initiative of Valery Gergiev on the basis of the All-Russian Choral Society, first performed a programme at the Mariinsky-II and subsequently took part in the Closing Ceremony of the XXII Olympic Games in Sochi. Gergiev’s numerous awards and prizes include prestigious government decorations from Russia, Germany, Italy, France, Japan, the Netherlands and Poland. He is Dean of the Faculty of Arts of the St Petersburg State University, Co-Chairman of the Organisational Committee of the XV International Tchaikovsky Competition, Chairman of the All-Russian Choral Society and Honorary President of the Edinburgh International Festival. In 2012 the maestro was awarded the titles of Honorary Doctor of the Moscow State University and Honorary Professor of the St Petersburg Rimsky-Korsakov Conservatoire.