The Mariinsky Theatre is continuing its tour to the United Kingdom under Valery Gergiev

Almost 380 musicians and chorus artists took part in a performance of Berlioz’ Requiem under Valery Gergiev in Birmingham on 14 and 15 October.

The Mariinsky Theatre’s performances in Cardiff with the participation of Wales’ much loved bass baritone Bryn Terfel that ran from 9 to 11 October to mark the fifth anniversary since the Wales Millennium Centre opened have proved an amazing success.

The Guardian: “He [Bryn Terfel as Wotan in Act III of Die Walkure] was on magnificent, noble form – his diction immaculate, every phrase perfectly shaped, the singing of the farewell more beautiful than that of any other Wotan I’ve ever heard. There was an eloquent Sieglinde from Mlada Khudoley, and an authoritative Brunnhilde from Larisa Gogolevskaya. Gergiev was uncharacteristically subdued, leaving the spotlight to the singers.”

The reviewer of Cardiff’s Western Mail was unstinting in his praise: “Take a combination of the finest baritone on the planet and one of the greatest conductors anywhere and the result is a musical explosion like you have never heard. […] On Friday night [9 October] Terfel’s entry to take on the role of Wotan was unforgettable and his performance was one of true excitement, his tone rich and deeply satisfying, his involvement and commitment and his very powerful presence, awesome.
On Sunday, Bryn was back for the final gala concert which was an absolutely fitting climax to a festival of incredible standards. […] Rumours abound that Russians are not good Verdians but this performance [of the Requiem by the Mariinsky’s singers] disproved such a view. This was easily one of the most powerful performances of this genre since I heard Giulini directed in the ’60s.
And what a quartet of soloists Gergiev possessed.”

“For the first time in many a year the wonderful Bryn Terfel was actually eclipsed by a mezzo in the form of Ekaterina Gubanova. She possessed a voice of sensual qualities and a unique understanding of every note she sang.
Alongside her, soprano Victoria Yastrebova was almost as stunning and there was a tenor of white-hot intensity in the glorious Sergei Semishkur.”

Another reviewer of The Guardian referred to Alexei Markov in the role of Robert in the opera Iolanta as “the most impressive of the Mariinsky principals.”

The tour’s next stop is Belfast, Northern Ireland, at the Belfast Festival at Queen’s. Here, today, on 16 October, the Waterfront will be hosting the Orchestra under Valery Gergiev in a performance of Dmitry Shostakovich’s Seventh Symphony and Henri Dutilleux’ Correspondances with Anastasia Kalagina, who also performed the solo in the Russian premiere of this work by the patriarch of French music.

The final concert of the British tour will take place on 18 October in Glasgow, Scotland’s largest city, at the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall as part of the International Season of Classical Music. The programme includes works by Shostakovich and Dutilleux.