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Culture news, 31.05.2004 13:17

The 12th International Festival "The Stars Of The White Nights" opened on Sunday

Mariinsky Theater's artistic director Valery Gergiev The 12th International Festival "The Stars Of The White Nights" opened on Sunday. It will be a 50-day fiesta of distinguished classical music and dance. Established and run by the Mariinsky Theater's artistic director Valery Gergiev, this annual event has successfully served as a window to the world of opera and ballet for the local audience.

For example, don't miss tenor Vladimir Galuzin in Verdi's "Othello" (July 10) and Tchaikovsky's "The Queen of Spades" (July 13) and mezzo-soprano Olga Borodina in Saint-Saens's "Samson et Dalila" (July 9) and Verdi's "Requiem" (July 12). Bass Nikolai Putilin appears in Tchaikovsky's "Mazeppa" (June 18).

Look out also for soprano Anna Netrebko in Verdi's "La Traviata" (July 8) and Puccini's "La Boheme" (July 5) and baritone Vasily Gerello in Verdi's "Don Carlos" (June 30), Verdi's "La Traviata" (July 8), Mussorgsky's "Boris Godunov" (June 25) and Tchaikovsky's "The Queen of Spades" (July 13).

Ulyana Lopatkina dances in Balanchine's "Jewels" on June 5 and in Petipa's "Swan Lake" on June 28, while Diana Vishnyova - who also appears in "Jewels" on June 5 - dances in Ratmansky's "Cinderella" on July 17 and in Petipa's "Sleeping Beauty" on June 17.

The renowned Italian bass Ferruccio Furlanetto of Vienna's Staatsoper and the prominent Italian soprano Barbara Frittoli, who shares her time between Opera Bastille, Vienna's Staatsoper, Covent Garden and the Metropolitan Opera are intending to pay their first visits to the city. Also not-to-be-missed artists are the celebrated pianist and conductor Christoph Eschenbach; virtuoso American pianist Tzimon Barto; Ethan Stiefel, a principal dancer at the American Ballet Theater and Jose Martinez, a principal dancer in Opera de Paris.

On certain days it will be possible for dedicated music lovers to literally spend all day in the Mariinsky. This year's festival features quite a number of early afternoon shows and offers an array of late evening piano recitals by some of the world's most outstanding musicians, including Mikhail Pletnyov (June 5, 10.00 p.m.), Alexander Toradze (June 21, 11.00 p.m.), Vladimir Felzman (June 22, 10.00 p.m.) and Tzimon Barto (June 24). Audiences shouldn't be intimidated by the late performance time as it has been designed for the concerts to run without a break to ensure everyone can get home safely before the Neva bridges open at about 1.00 a.m. cutting off parts of the city from each other for hours at a time.

The central operatic event of the festival is the revival of "A Life for the Tsar," Mikhail Glinka's 1836 opera, which marked the opening of the Mariinsky theater.

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