Guide to R17 - The 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.

Upcoming eventsSee more...

CardiffMavron Quartet

Shostakovich, Stravinsky, Tchaikovsky
Mavron String Quartet

CardiffEugene Onegin

Tchaikovsky: Eugene Onegin
Ainars Rubiķis; Caroline Chaney; Welsh National Opera; Natalya Romaniw; Claudia Huckle; Jason Bridges; Nicholas Lester


Mussorgsky: Khovanshchina
Tomáš Hanus; David Pountney; Welsh National Opera; Claire Wild; Liuba Sokolova; Adrian Dwyer; Mark Le Brocq

CardiffFrom the House of the Dead

Janáček: From the House of the Dead
Tomáš Hanus; David Pountney; Welsh National Opera; Maria Bjornson; Ben McAteer; Mark Le Brocq; Paul Charles Clarke

CardiffMariinsky Stradivarius Ensemble

Shostakovich, Stravinsky, Tchaikovsky
Valery Gergiev; Mariinsky Stradivarius Ensemble

CardiffShostakovich 12

Shostakovich, Mosolov, Beethoven
BBC National Orchestra of Wales; Thomas Søndergård; Igor Levit