18 May – 15 July 2007
Artistic Director – Valery Gergiev
The Mariinsky Theatre presents the XV International Stars of the White Nights Festival.
Along with the historic building of the Mariinsky Theatre, one of this year's main festival venues will be the theatre's recently-opened Concert Hall located at 20 Pisarev Street. Over the nine weeks of the festival there will be over ninety performances and concerts at both venues.
Moreover, now traditional performances are planned for Ivangorod and Vyborg.
• Series of concerts marking one hundred and twenty-five years since the birth of great Russian composer Igor Stravinsky, including a concert by the London Symphony Orchestra under Valery Gergiev on 17 June, the composer's birthday;
• Mahler Symphonies series under Valery Gergiev at the Mariinsky Theatre Concert Hall;
• Festival premieres: at the Mariinsky Theatre – Puccini's Tosca with Maria Guleghina (31 May; Director – Paul Curran, Production Designer – Paul Edwards); Prokofiev's The Gambler with Vladimir Galuzin (21 June; Director – Temur Chkheidze, Production Designer – Zinovy Margolin); a ballet Aria Suspended to Stravinsky's Symphony in C Major choreographed by young ballet master Peter Quanz (7 July); at the Concert Hall – Berlioz' Benvenuto Cellini (6 July; Director – Vasily Barkhatov, Production Designer – Zinovy Margolin); the Russian premiere of Rodion Shchedrin's opera The Enchanted Wanderer (10 July) under Valery Gergiev;
• Renowned musicians Maxim Vengerov (27 May), Vadim Repin (17 June), Nikolaj Znaider (23 and 27 June) and Alexander Toradze (25 June) in the festival's symphony concerts at the Mariinsky Theatre Concert Hall;
• Stars of world opera in performances and concerts: Olga Borodina as Marfa in Khovanshchina at the opening of the festival on 18 May; Ulyana Lopatkina in The Swan Lake (19 May, 9 June) and in La Bayadere (1 June); Anna Netrebko in concert at the Concert Hall (25 May); Thomas Hampson in a recital at the Concert Hall (19 May); Maria Guleghina in the premiere of Puccini's Tosca (31 May and 26 June); Rene Pape in scenes from Russian operas at the Concert Hall (17 June) and as Filippo II in Verdi's Don Carlo (19 June); Vladimir Galuzin as Canio in Leoncavallo's I Pagliacci and as Alexei in Prokofiev's The Gambler (21 June); Jorma Silvasti as Laca in Janacek's Jenufa (24 June); Vasily Gerello in a recital at the Concert Hall (2 July); and Waltraud Meier in a programme of works by Wagner at the Concert Hall (3 July); Svetlana Zakharova in Don Quixote (4 July); Diana Vishneva in Romeo and Juliet (9 July) and in Scheherazade (15 July);
• Renowned conductors Esa-Pekka Salonen (25 June) and Paavo Jarvi (28 June) with the Mariinsky Theatre Symphony Orchestra at the Concert Hall.
• Soloists from the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra Wiener Collage with a chamber programme of works by Schonberg, Schubert, Bartok, Vysotsky and Staar at the Concert Hall (1 July);
The festival opens on 18 May with Musorgsky's opera Khovanshchina, with Valery Gergiev conducting and Olga Borodin as Marfa.
The opera programme lists three premieres. On 31 May Puccini's masterpiece Tosca enters the Mariinsky Theatre's repertoire (directed by Paul Curran and designed by Paul Edwards). At the premiere, the main role will be performed by renowned soprano Maria Guleghina, acclaimed as one of the finest interpreters of the role of Floria Tosca today. Lastly, on 21 June, the Mariinsky Theatre will present a new version of Prokofiev's The Gambler, staged by Temur Chkheidze and with designs by Zinovy Margolin. At the premiere the role of Alexei will be sung by Vladimir Galuzin, whose vocal and acting talents to a great extent determined the success of 1991 and 1996 Mariinsky Theatre productions. On 6 July at the Mariinsky Theatre Concert Hall there will be a rare performance of Hector Berlioz' Benvenuto Cellini, directed by Vasily Barkhatov and designed by Zinovy Margolin, both already familiar to Petersburg audiences for their recent Mariinsky Theatre premiere of Janacek's Jenufa.
In line with tradition, the ballet programme of the festival includes full-scale classical works from the theatre's repertoire with the company's stars and young dancers. The playbill also lists ballets by Balanchine and Fokine to music by Stravinsky in addition to the theatre's best premieres of recent years, including one-act ballets premiered at the VII International Ballet Festival Mariinsky – Le reveil de Flore and Wie der Alte Leiermann. The premiere of the young Peter Quanz' ballet Aria Suspended, set to Stravinsky's Symphony in C Major, will prove a special highlight in the festival's dance programme (7 July).
A significant proportion of the festival programme will be performed at the Mariinsky Theatre Concert Hall. The concert programme includes the Mahler Symphonies series under Valery Gergiev. The festival playbill also lists a programme marking one hundred and twenty-five years since the birth of Igor Stravinsky, which includes works by his contemporaries – Prokofiev, Bartok, Schonberg, Debussy and Sibelius, thus portraying the context in which Stravinsky worked as well as the complete spectrum of cultural common ground and mutual influences between the most outstanding musicians of the age.
In line with tradition, the Mariinsky Theatre will be appearing at Vyborg Castle (25 June) and Ivangorod Fortress (7 July) with performances of Tchaikovsky's opera Mazepa.