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Performer: Mariinsky Theatre Chorus

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St PetersburgDie Frau ohne Schatten

Strauss R.: Die Frau ohne Schatten
Valery Gergiev; Jonathan Kent; Mariinsky Opera; Avgust Amonov; Mlada Khudoley; Olga Savova; Vadim Kravets

St PetersburgIl trovatore

Verdi: Il trovatore
Mikhail Sinkevich; Pier Luigi Pizzi; Mariinsky Opera; Roman Burdenko; Irina Churilova; Natalia Yevstafieva; Hovhannes Ayvazyan

St PetersburgThe Enchantress

Tchaikovsky: The Enchantress
Zaurbek Gugkaev; Mariinsky Opera; Elena Stikhina; Vladislav Sulimsky; Olga Savova; Alexander Mikhailov

St PetersburgTurandot

Puccini: Turandot
Christian Knapp; Charles Roubaud; Mariinsky Opera; Mlada Khudoley; TBC; Tatiana Pavlovskaya; Yuri Vorobiev

St PetersburgBeethoven’s Ninth Symphony

Beethoven: Symphony no. 9 in D minor "Choral", Op.125
Mariinsky Theatre Orchestra; Stanislav Kochanovsky; Viktoria Yastrebova; Nadezhda Serdyuk; Alexander Mikhailov; Ilya Bannik
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A study in black and terror in Naples

Natalia Kreslina (Katerina) © Luciano Romano
Many scenes could risk to be particularly disturbing,  but their overt brutality appeared functional, to the structure of the drama. A dark, gloomy story as unambiguously told as it should be.
****1
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Gergiev and the Mariinsky keep the Red Flag flying

Valery Gergiev conducts the Mariinsky Orchestra © BBC | Chris Christodoulou
“Our business is rejoicing, our business is rejoicing.” In the Soviet Union, composers quickly learnt when to toe the Party line.
****1
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Mariinsky forces sparkle in Prokofiev's comedy

The Wales Millennium Centre in Cardiff celebrates its 10th anniversary this autumn, and as part of the celebrations the Mariinsky Opera, under its conductor Valery Gergiev, was invited back for a concert performance of Prokofiev’s comic opera, Betrothal in a Monastery.
*****
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An International Composers Competition in St. Petersburg: Part 1

Last week, I was lucky enough to visit St. Petersburg to hear two concerts featuring winning pieces from the newly-launched St. Romanos Melodos I International Composers Competition. The aim of this competition is to revive ‘the spiritual and musical traditions founded in pre-revolution Russia’, and it was a fascinating window for me into a very different musical culture.

Gergiev and the Mariinsky excel in Wagner's Parsifal at the Birmingham Symphony Hall

Why attend a concert performance of an opera? What is the point without the action and the spectacle collectively resulting in, hopefully, the awe-inspiring whole? In answer to this I should like to suggest that concert performances of opera are the perfect opportunity to really ‘get under the skin’ of a work, for two principal reasons.
****1
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