Mariinsky Theater to perform at CSIAF
With a crew of 400 people, the Mariinsky Theater is without doubt the biggest foreign performance outfit at this year’s China Shanghai International Art Festival (CSIAF).
The troupe will from Oct 18 to 25 put up two performances of Tchaikovsky’s opera Queen of Spades, two symphony concerts featuring Russian compositions, as well as two ballet performances of Romeo and Juliet at the Shanghai Grand Theater (SGT).
This is the first time in the theater’s 18-year history that a performance troupe as large as the Mariinsky Theater will be performing in its premises, said Zhang Xiaoding, general manager of SGT.
Valery Gergiev, the artistic director of the Mariinsky Theater, will be conducting all of these performances during the CSIAF. The Russian first visited Shanghai in 1999 and has since been to the SGT on multiple occasions with different symphonies.
The Mariinsky Theater’s performance schedule in Shanghai was jointly designed by Gergiev and SGT and it aims to present some of Russia’s most representative musical works. The first performance that audiences will get to enjoy is the new opera The Queen of Spades, which is based on a novel of the same title by Alexander Pushkin.
Zhang said that the two symphony concerts will allow audiences to experience the combination of Western classical music and Russian folk music.
“You will get to discover how Romanticism in classical music provides the perfect interpretation of the national spirit of Russian people,” said Zhang of the concerts.
As the SGT is currently presenting a year-long celebration of the 400th anniversary for the birth of William Shakespeare, the Mariinsky Theater had decided to include the first ballet adaptation of Romeo and Juliet as part of its repertoire at the CSIAF.
Beijing-based dance critic Ou Jianping called the Mariinsky Theater “a museum of classical ballet” and said that their ballet rendition of the Shakespearean classic, with composition by Sergei Prokofiev and choreography by Leonid Lavrovsky, is a masterpiece that audiences are bound to enjoy. Tickets to this ballet performance, according to Zhang, had record time.
The St. Petersburg-based Mariinsky Theater had early this year taken over a new theater complex in Vladivostok and started the International Mariinsky Far East Festival. Gergiev said that he hopes to collaborate with the SGT to attract Chinese artists to the festival in the future.
In order to make Russian art more accessible to the wider public, the SGT has also included in the CSIAF an interactive, nonprofit concert titled Peter and Wolf. The concert, which has low-priced tickets, is targeted specifically at young audiences.
“It is a wonderful project composed by Prokofiev especially for children and I really hope that they will enjoy it,” said Gergiev. sold out in
Festival in Russia.
The number of Chinese performances reached an all time high at this year's CSIAF.
The Mariinsky Theater will be working with SGT to attract more Chinese artists to its Mariinsky Far East