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"The Stars of the White Nights 2023" International Ballet and Opera Festival
27 May 2023 - 11 July 2023

SCHEDULE 27 May 2023 - 11 July 2023

The Stars of the White Nights 2023 International Ballet and Opera Festival

The Stars of the White Nights 2023 International Ballet and Opera Festival The Stars of the White Nights 2023 International Ballet and Opera Festival

"The Stars of the White Nights 2023"

27 May - 11 July 2023
Mariinsky Theatre,
New Theatre and Concert Hall
Artistic Director:
Maestro Valery Gergiev

From May 27 to July 11, the Mariinsky Theater hosted the XXXI International Music Festival "Stars of the White Nights" - the main event of the St. Petersburg summer and the culmination of the musical season of the Northern capital. Spectators were waiting for performances by stars of the world stage, a scattering of repertoire rarities and solo concerts of outstanding vocalists and instrumentalists. Events of a rich program tooke place on all stages of the Mariinsky Theater at once. Artistic director - Valery Gergiev.

The large festival program started with a concert by the Mariinsky Theater Symphony Orchestra conducted by Valery Gergiev on the afternoon of May 27 in the Concert Hall. In the evening, the maestro again standed at the podium - the lyric opera "Iolanta" by Tchaikovsky, one of the recent premieres at the Mariinsky, opened on the historical stage Stars of the White Nights. And the New Stage was graced by another recent premiere - the grandiose ballet "The Pharaoh's Daughter" choreographed by Marius Petipa, which has become a real highlight of the season.

June gave the audience a lot of meetings with their favorite artists - as part of the Stars of the White Nights, world-famous opera soloists appeared on the historical and new stages. On May 31, Hibla Gerzmava performed on the new stage of the Mariinsky Theatre. The famous soprano appeared as Desdemona in Verdi's Otello. On June 3 "Italian in Algeria" Rossini was held with the participation of Ildar Abdrazakov. The famous bass performed the part of the charming bey Mustafa - one of the crowning in his repertoire. It was possible to see the artist again on stage on June 8 - his concert with the Mariinsky Symphony Orchestra conducted by Valery Gergiev was held at the Mariinsky-2.

On June 16, one cannot miss the concert performance of Bellini's opera "I Puritani" - a rare composition for the Mariinsky was performed by a brilliant cast of artists. Albina Shagimuratova and Maharram Huseynov played the main roles. Another gift for the audience was Salome by Richard Strauss – on June 21 Elena Stikhina performed in the title role. At the conductor's stand was Valery Gergiev. On June 27, Rimsky-Korsakov's "The Legend of the Invisible City of Kitezh and the Maiden Fevronia" was also performed on the New Stage in an expressive production by Alexei Stepanyuk. The part of Fevronia was performed by Irina Churilova.

A good tradition of the festival has become a series of shows of repertory rarities of the Mariinsky. On May 31, the audience saw the ballet "Shurale" by Farid Yarullin choreographed by Leonid Yakobson. This colorful story based on oriental folk tales is often called the Tatar "Swan Lake". On June 16 and 17, Glazunov's "Raymonda", one of the late big ballets by the already mature master Marius Petipa, was shown on the Historical Stage. The audience was waiting for an exciting plot, complex parties, large-scale dance scenes in the scenery and costumes of Simon Virsaladze. This year marked the 125th anniversary of the world premiere of the ballet, which took place on the stage of the Mariinsky Theatre. The first show of "Raymonda" was also dedicated to the 90th anniversary of the legendary ballerina Irina Kolpakova. Of the operatic rarities, it was worth paying attention to Prokofiev's "Semyon Kotko" (June 14), Igor Stravinsky's "Le Rossignol" (June 17), Giuseppe Verdi's "Don Carlo" (June 30).

Among the upcoming events of the Stars of the White Nights instrumental playbill were a concert by cellist Oleg Sendetsky and organist Svetlana Berezhnaya (May 27), an evening of serenades performed by the Stradivari Ensemble of the Mariinsky Theater (May 28), a performance by the bright flutist Sofia Wieland with the Mariinsky Theater Symphony Orchestra (May 30). On May 30, on the birthday of the outstanding pianist Alexander Toradze, a concert dedicated to the memory of the musician was given on the New Stage. Denis Matsuev tooke part in the concert, and Valery Gergiev conducted the Symphony Orchestra of the Mariinsky Theatre. Piano music fans also enjoyed the gala concert of outstanding young pianists, participants in various competitions and festivals, whose names were revealed to the world by Denis Matsuev (June 1). Another event was the solo concert of the bright young pianist Ivan Bessonov (June 9), winner of the gold medal of the International Competition of Pianists, Composers and Conductors. S.V. Rachmaninov.

The Perm Opera and Ballet Theater was also toured on the stages of the Mariinsky as part of the Stars of the White Nights. On May 30, the Parma Voices choir performed in the Prokofiev Chamber Hall, on June 1, Bellini's "Norma", one of the recent premieres of the Perm Opera, was performed on the historical stage, and on June 2, Verdi's "La Traviata" was performed in concert in the Concert Hall. The tour concluded with a performance of the ballet "Romeo and Juliet" (June 3) choreographed by the British classic Kenneth Macmillan - a unique production for Russia. Conductor of all three performances was Mihran Aghajanyan.

On June 27, at 19:00, the Historical Stage of the Mariinsky Theater hosted the premiere of one-act performances to the music of Béla Bartók – the ballet The Wonderful Mandarin and the composer’s only opera The Castle of Duke Bluebeard was shown. The main parts was performed by Diana Vishneva, Kimin Kim, Mikhail Petrenko and Anzhelika Minasova. Stage director - Yuri Posokhov. This performances practically do not appear on Russian stages.

Ballet fans was also treated to a series of rare repertoire shows - on July 8 and twice on July 9, Prokofiev's "Stone Flower" was performed on the Historical Stage. Victoria Tereshkina, Andrey Ermakov, Ekaterina Osmolkina and Alexander Sergeev played the main roles on July 8.

The opera poster of the last days of June and the beginning of July was rich in star names. On June 30, Verdi's opera "Don Carlos" was performed at the Mariinsky-2. Tatiana Serjan, Ekaterina Semenchuk, Sergei Skorokhodov, Ariunbaatar Ganbaatar, Maharram Huseynov and Mikhail Kolelishvili performed the famous composition for six soloists of the highest level of skill, each of whom the composer presented a complex and winning part in their own way. The same Verdi masterpiece solemnly ended the XXXI Stars of the White Nights Music Festival on July 11. Brilliant artists tooke the stage - Hibla Gerzmava, Sergey Skorokhodov, Alexei Markov, Evgeny Nikitin and Mikhail Petrenko. At the conductor's stand - Valery Gergiev.

In July, fans of the music of the Italian genius was waiting for two more performances with the participation of opera stars. On July 3, the opera "Macbeth" based on the story of Shakespeare's tragedy of the same name was performed at the Historical Stage of the Mariinsky Theatre. The part of Lady Macbeth was performed by Yekaterina Semenchuk, the part of Macduff was performed by Alexander Mikhailov. And on July 8, the opera "Rigoletto" was performed at the Mariinsky-2, which struck Verdi's contemporaries with its humanity. Ariunbaatar Ganbaatar, Antonina Vesenina and Kirill Belov tooke the stage.

There was also two stellar events on the poster of the Concert Hall in early July. On July 6, Dargomyzhsky's opera "Rusalka" was performed in concert. The part of Melnik was performed by Vladimir Vaneev, conductor - Valery Gergiev. And the next day, July 7, the leading soloists of the opera troupe dedicated a concert to the memory of Elena Obraztsova. Tatyana Serjan, Ekaterina Sergeeva, Zinaida Tsarenko, Alexander Mikhailov, Sergey Semishkur, Ariunbaatar Ganbaatar and Alexei Markov tooke the stage. They  performed famous excerpts from Rimsky-Korsakov's "The Tsar's Bride", Mascagni's Rural Honor and Bizet's "Carmen".

And on July 10 Donizetti's "Lucia di Lammermoor" was performed on the new stage of the Mariinsky Theatre. A surprise for the public was the appearance of Albina Shagimuratova in the title role. In March, the singer performed one of her crowning roles for the last time, but due to numerous requests from the artist's fans, it was decided to repeat her performance as Lucia as a special event as part of the Stars of the White Nights festival. Together with the singer, Evgeny Akimov, Roman Burdenko and Maharram Huseynov tooke the stage. At the conductor's stand - Valery Gergiev.

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About "The Stars of the White Nights" Festivals

Mariinsky TheatreNew Theatre and Concert Hall
Artistic Director: Maestro Valery Gergiev

The Stars of the White Nights is one of the brightest stars of the music and theatre universe and has emerged to be one of the most popular and grandiose music forums in its context and scale.

The Stars of the White Nights Festival was created in 1993 by Valery Gergiev, Mariinsky Theatre Artistic and General Director. Maestro Gergiev says that he conceived the first Festival as a "musical gift" to the city from the Mariinsky and its star-artists. From the very beginning the Festival has been focused on the masterpieces of the world's music discovering for its audience some rarely performed or undeservedly forgotten pieces.

The Stars of the White Nights Festival has gained in strength, popularity and international acclaim. The duration for the Festival it has expanded from ten days to three months during the last sixteen year. Renowned conductors and star-artists take as great honour the invitation to perform at the Stars of the White Nights. Each year the Festival programme includes the Theater's finest opera and ballet productions, great symphonic works, masterpieces of chamber music and new premieres.

During the last years the Festival programme has included the works created by the great classical composers – Beethoven symphonies, Prokofiev's and Tchaikovsky's operas, ballets and symphony music. Major events at the Stars have included the production of Wagner's Der Ring des Nibelungen, in addition to the Shostakovich and Mahler Symphonies series.

This festival is a must for ballet, opera and classical music amateurs. The annual Stars of the White Nights Festival takes an inspiration for its name from the short summer season when the sun never sets, and the beauty of St-Petersburg White Nights contributes to the festival's special atmosphere and its world-class programme of concerts, as audience comes out of the historic theatre at midnight into daylight to stroll along the streets of the theatrical setting of St Petersburg.

About upcoming festival "The Stars of the White Nights 2024"

SCHEDULE 27 May 2023 - 11 July 2023

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