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04 December 2020 (Fri), 19:00 World famous Mariinsky Ballet and Opera - Mariinsky II (New Theatre) - Classical Ballet Reinhold Gliere "The Bronze Horseman" (ballet in three acts)

Running time: 3 hours (till 22:00)

The performance has 2 intermissions

Schedule for Reinhold Gliere "The Bronze Horseman" (ballet in three acts) 2021-2022

Composer: Reinhold Gliere
Costume Designer: Tatiana Noginova
Choreography: Rostislav Zakharov
Lighting Designer: Alexander Naumov
Choreography: Yuri Smekalov

Orchestra: Mariinsky Theatre Symphony Orchestra
Ballet company: Mariinsky (Kirov) Ballet

Classical Ballet in 3 acts

World premiere: 14 March 1949, Kirov (Mariinsky) Theatre, Leningrad, USSR
Premiere of this production: 31 March 2016, Mariinsky Theatre, St Petersburg, Russia

This fantasy ballet is based on Pushkin’s poem The Bronze Horseman and invites the audience to see the characters through the eyes of the poet, whose pen inexorably controls their fates.

Libretto by Pyotr Abolimov after the poem by Alexander Pushkin 

Yuri Smekalov about The Bronze Horseman

The new Bronze Horseman is not a reconstruction of the ballet which was premiered in 1949 at the Kirov Theatre, it’s a new stage version of Rostislav Zakharov’s famous ballet. I developed the concept of its adaptation for modern times with a wonderful artist, the designer Andrei Sevbo. His taste, poetic nature and romantic associations with stage space, I believe, are very suitable for a ballet about St Petersburg. Having worked with performers of Rostislav Zakharov’s ballet I understood that in the duets and in the interrelationships of the characters inThe Bronze Horseman there is so much that is sincere, honest and simple! I think that audiences today have been missing that. The ballet has a dramatic text, there is technically demanding dancing, and in terms of choreography we have expanded most of the solo roles. In my production I am trying to retain Zakharov’s choreographic idea, but I want to show it in a different light so that the ballet has meaning for the audience today. The most difficult thing in working on this ballet for me has been the level of responsibility. If you’re creating a completely new work then it’s the case that you’ve conceived it and you answer for it. But here I’m working on a production that was very dear to certain people, and for many the question naturally arises – why did they trust me specifically to return it to the stage? I want to produce the ballet in such a way that both the older generation and young audiences feel warmth in their hearts when they see it, I want them to see that today we are just as dedicated to our profession as those who convinced and charmed the audiences with their work were when this was the Kirov Ballet. I am responsible to all these people, I represent the younger generation, and accepting that is, arguably, the most worrying thing of all. 
Yuri Smekalov



A bare shore. Peter I is immersed in thought about the future of Russia and the construction of his new city on the River Neva. 

Act I 
St Petersburg, 1824. There is a popular fete on Senate Square near the monument to Peter I. Wandering artistes are giving a performance. The dance of Columbine and Harlequin is interrupted by the sounds of a military orchestra – a regiment marches across the square. The lovers Yevgeny and Parasha meet at the monument. In the growing gloom the monument to Peter the Great appears triumphantly threatening. Yevgeny delightedly tells Parasha about Peter...

The port in St Petersburg. At the wharves the construction of a ship is complete and preparations are underway for its grand launch. Founder of the Russian fleet Peter I proudly examines the new ship and gives the final instructions. Visitors from overseas arrive. Everything is ready for the festivities. Peter chops the rope and the ship slowly moves down the slips. 
The visitors pass along an alley in the Summer Garden towards Peter I’s palace for a ball. Peter introduces his god-son Ibrahim who has returned from France to a dazzling beauty who has been acclaimed by the assembly as the “queen of the ball”. The Emperor opens up a globe gifted by Dutch sailors that contains a model of the new ship. At the height of the general dancing, Menshikov organises a game – whoever is left without a woman must empty a “grand eagle cup”. The guests depart long after midnight. 
Left alone, Peter dreams of what the city he has founded at the mouth of the River Neva will be like. 

Act II 
Autumn 1824. Parasha is living with her mother in a small house on the shore of Vasilievsky Island. In the garden in the shade of the willow tree she and her friends are performing a round dance. Parasha’s mother demonstrates how they used to dance in the old days. The girls tell each others’ fortunes. Yevgeny, who is hiding behind the willow tree, admires their dancing. 
Yevgeny and Parasha dream of quiet domestic bliss. The girls give the lovers wedding garlands made from autumn leaves. 
Suddenly the wind rises and dark clouds fill the sky – bad weather is approaching. Yevgeny bids farewell to Parasha and hurries home before the bridges across the Neva are washed away. 
Yevgeny’s room. Yevgeny recalls his meeting with his beloved; all his thoughts are of the wedding. 
Outside the weather is dreadful and the flood is ever nearer. Worried about Parasha, whose house is on the very banks of the gulf, Yevgeny hastens off to his beloved. 

Act III 
On the shore a crowd of frightened citizens observes how quickly the waters of the Neva are rising. The river has burst its banks. Yevgeny despairs – his path to Parasha is cut off. Climbing onto a stone lion, with horror he views the scene of the flood. Mad with longing and fear, Yevgeny jumps into the water in the hope of swimming through the seething Neva to Parasha’s house. 
The storm has passed. Where yesterday Parasha lived, today the old house, the gate and the people have all gone – only the broken willow tree stands, drooping. Grief-stricken, Yevgeny imagines he can see his beloved once more. Yevgeny loses his reason.

Boys are making fun of the insane Yevgeny. On the site of his recent rendezvous with Parasha, Yevgeny looks with loathing at the Bronze Horseman, believing that Peter, who founded the city on the Neva, is the cause of his grief. Behind him Yevgeny hears the clatter of hooves from the horseman’s steed and enters a fatal encounter with him. Too weak to fight, Yevgeny drops down dead. 

The city founded by Peter has been transformed and its residents, as before, dream of love and happiness...

Schedule for Reinhold Gliere "The Bronze Horseman" (ballet in three acts) 2021-2022

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