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Mariinsky Opera and Ballet Theater in Saint Petersburg
January 29, 2017 15:58


Mariinsky Theatre, dearly referred to as Mariinka, got its name after the Russian Empress Maria Alexandrovna and has always been the grandest and the most Western (synonymous to artistically advanced in this case) theatre of Russia. In Soviet times (from 1934 to 1992) it was known as Leningrad State Kirov Academic Theatre of Opera and Ballet.
The splendid 'Sleeping Beauty' and original cyberpunk ballets by William Forsythe are the major ballet blockbusters here. The new 'Nutcracker' staged by Mikhail Chemiakin also enjoys popularity. Anyway, whatever you chance to watch here, will most probably be enjoyable.
For more than two centuries of its history the Mariinsky Theater has presented lots of great actors to the world: the outstanding bass, the founder of the Russian performing opera school, Osip Petrov worked here, and  great singers such as Fedor Chaliain, Ivan Yershov, Medea and Nikolay Figner, and Sofya Preobrazhenskaya perfected their mastery and basked in glory on this stage.
Outstanding ballet dancers, namely Matilda Cshesinscaya, Anna Pavlova, Václav Nizhinsky, Galina Ulanova, Rudolf Nureev, and Mikhail Baryshnikov starred in the Mariinskt Theatre. It was here that George Balanchine started his way to art.
The theater witnessed the blossoming of stage design talents of ingenious artists, such as the aKonstantin Korovin, Alexander Golovin, Alexandre Benois, Simon Wirsaladse, Fedor Fedorovsky, and many others.
The Mariinsky Theater was founded in 1783, after the Decree on establishing a theatre committee "for management of shows and music". Later on the theater was named Mariinsky in honor of the Russian empress Maria Aleksandrovna, the spouse of Alexander II.
The Maryinsky Theater repeatedly was reconstructed and transformed, with its repertoire expanding and perfecting over time.
During the Great Patriotic War the theater was evacuated to Perm, where several performances premiered, including Aram Khachaturian's ballet Gayane. Upon return to Leningrad the theater opened its season with Mikhail Glinka's opera Ivan Susanin on September 1, 1944.
In the 1950s-70s the Mariinsky Theater staged a whole set of famous ballets, including Shurale by Farid Yarullin, Spartak by Aram Khachaturian, The Twelve by Boris Tyshchenko with  Leonid Jacobson's choreography, A Stone Flower by Sergey Prokofiev, The  Legend of Love by Arif Melikov with Yury Grigorovich' choreography, and Leningrad Symphony by Dmitry Shostakovich with Igor Belsky's choreography. Along with staging new ballets the theater enshrined the  classics of Russian ballet.
The opera repertoire of the Mariinsky Theatre was replenished and renovated with Prokofiev, Dzerzhinsky, Shaporin, and Khrennikov's operas held on a par with classical masterpieces by Tchaikovsky, Rimsky-Korsakov, Mussorgsky, Verdi, and Bizet.
An important stage in the theater's history was the staging of  Tchaikovsky's operas of Eugene Onegin and The Queen of Spades performed in the 1980s by Yury Temirkanov, who headed the theater in 1976. These stage productions, which still remain in the repertoire of Mariinsky Theatre, a new generation of actors made a name for itself.
In 1988 Valery Gergiev became the chief conductor of the Mariinsky Theatre.
The theatre's two buildings are located at the address: 1, Teatralnaya Square (Mariinsky Theater) and 34, Dekabristov Street (Mariinsky-2) next to the metro stations Sadovaya and Spasskaya, Saint Petersburg.
See details on the official website of the Mariinsky Theatre 

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Author: Vera Ivanova

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