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Festival: R17 - Russian Centenary Season in Wales


2017. 100 years since the Russian Revolution. Arts organisations across Wales are marking the centenary with a season of performances and events in the first collaboration of its kind – one which captures Wales’ historic connections with the emerging Soviet Union. 

Highlights of the R17 – or “Russia 17” - season include a contemporary re-interpretation of the 1917 ballet Parade, a masterclass by the R17 Patron and Artistic Director of Mariinsky Theatre St Petersburg Valery Gergiev, and a Welsh National Opera Russian season.  

  R17’s programme is a cultural reflection on the centenary through the eyes of Wales. Specially commissioned events are taking place in Welsh venues such as the landmark Wales Millennium Centre to the National Museum of Wales, and St. David’s Hall, which recently ranked ninth in Leo L Beranek’s best sounding concert halls in the world. 

Why Wales? There is a strong historic resonance between the revolution and the radical traditions of the South Wales Valleys. Immediate links were forged with the emerging Soviet Union: letters sent from Lenin himself to Valleys miners and the foundations of the first UK Communist Party established in the Valleys. The red flag flew at pitheads and the area’s socialist sympathies produced several important Communist trade unionists.

Audiences will be able to enjoy a multi artform season featuring opera, ballet, drama, talks, concerts and much more.

The R17 season consortium is made up of the following partners: BBC National Orchestra of Wales, British Council, Cardiff University, Chapter Arts Centre, Film Hub Wales, Ffilm Cymru Wales, Ffotogallery, Living Pictures Productions, National Museum Wales, National Dance Company Wales, The Mavron Quartet, Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, Sinfonia Cymru, Sherman Theatre, St David’s Hall Cardiff, Touch Trust, Wales Millennium Centre and Welsh National Opera.

For more information visit the R17 - Russia! Culture! Revolution site.

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Scintillating season opener from the BBCNOW

Thomas Søndergård conducts the BBC National Orchestra of Wales in Mosolov, Shostakovich and Beethoven with Igor Levit
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An arresting From the House of the Dead

David Pountney's House of the Dead makes for high entertainment at Welsh National Opera.
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Stark and spellbinding: Mussorgsky's Khovanshchina

Welsh National Opera’s new season commemorating the centenary of the 1917 Revolution with three Russian-themed works opens with both a bang and a whimper with this trenchant revival.
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