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Events in Saint Petersburg - January 2017

Anatoliy Levitin. “Time through faces” 

1 Jan - 15 Jan

Largest personal exhibition of the painter in Saint-Petersburg 

Museum and Exhibition Center "Petersburg artist" is happy to present an exhibition of People's Artist of the RSFSR, Academician of the Russian Academy of Arts, Master of the Leningrad school of academic painting Anatoliy Levitin "Time through faces". 
Anatoliy Pavlovich Levitin born July 16, 1922 in Moscow. 
Works of Anatoliy Levitin are successfully exhibited at exhibitions and auctions of Soviet and Russian painting, his works are in the collection of the State Russian Museum, as well as in museums and private collections in Russia, China, Japan, France and other countries. 
During a long career Anatoliy Pavlovich Levitin has created many works. His portraits, genre and historical paintings, landscapes and still lifes have become another example of the development of Russian academic school in the Soviet period. As one of the brightest representatives of social realism, Anatoliy Levitin managed to organically combine in his work and the spirit of the time requirements with the individual perception of reality.

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Exhibition «What wonderful shoes!»

1 Jan - 31 Jan

Collection of figure skates at the Gatchina Palace, at the exhibition hall of the Central building, 1st floor 
The royal family spent time in Gatchina residence not only in summer, but also in winter, especially often it was during the reign of Emperor Alexander III, who chose Gatchina as a place of permanent residence. Ice skating was one of the favorite amusements of the royal family: a vast expanse of water at the Gatchina park with the coming of cold weather turned into excellent skating rinks! At the exhibition visitors will get acquainted with the history of ice skates origin, will learn about their existence at various times in different countries. The visitors also will learn how popular was this kind of winter fun in the Russian Empire and in the royal family. At the exhibition hall on the first floor of the central building will be presented 15 pairs of skates of the early XX century from the collection of Gatchina Palace. 
Exposition will be supplemented by the information stands with the stories about the earliest skates, found during the archaeological excavations, about materials and methods of skate manufacturing, along with the history of this winter fun in Russia.

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Mathilde: The Movie Costumes

1 Jan - 31 Jan

The Catherine Palace of the Tsarskoye Selo hosts a stunning exhibition showcasing about seventy clothing items specially made for “Mathilde” 

“Mathilde” is a historical blockbuster about the Russian imperial court and the ballerina Mathilde Kschessinska. Shot at Tsarskoye Selo and other palaces and estates of St Petersburg, the movie is directed by Aleksey Uchitel and will be released in March 2017. 

The highlights of our exhibition “Mathilde: The Movie Costumes” are the magnificent items made for the coronation scene of Nicholas II and Alexandra Feodorovna, which has never been filmed before. 

The famous staterooms of the palace demonstrate the following costumes from the movie: 
– coronation attire of the emperor and coronation dresses of the empresses 
– vestments of orthodox higher clergy 
– ceremonial uniforms of chamberlains and chief chamberlains, equerries and jägermeisters 
– coronation court clothes 
– maid-of-honour dresses 
– ball and visiting dresses 
– military uniforms 
– clothes of imperial court clerks and waiters 
– women’s clothing accessories

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A traditional Gift Fair at the "Galeria"

1 Jan - 10 Jan

Since December,1 to January, 10 a traditional Gift Fair takes place at the Galeria shopping and entertainment center 
With the coming of winter, in the Southern Atrium of Galeria has appeared a snowy Town Hall Square, which resembles a piece of an old European town. The fair guests will be pleased to take a walk along the streets of the fabulous Christmas houses, full of the best Christmas gifts: Christmas tree decorations, chocolates and gingerbreads, designer glassware, exciting fashion jewelery, games and toys, winter accessories, souvenirs and items for the home. Most of the Fair product range will make handmade products by Russian craftsmen and designers. 
In addition to original gifts, the fair guests will enjoy the entertainment program: live music, the people who walk on stilts, magicians, portable street theater and many others. 
At the fair for the first time there will be "living shop windows", in the style of the European Christmas scene shop windows decorated with mechanical moving bears, rabbits, and other characters. 
The fair is located on the 1st floor, in the Southern Atrium.

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La traviata, the opera

5 Jan 

The most lyrical Verdi’s work is La traviata based on the novel The Lady of the Camellias 
The title La traviata means literally The Fallen Woman, or perhaps more figuratively, The Woman Who Goes Astray. 
The title character of the play is Marguerite Gautier, who is based on Marie Duplessis, the real-life lover of author Dumas, fils. Duplessis was both a popular courtesan and the hostess of a salon, where politicians, writers, and artists gathered for socializing. Alexandre Dumas, père allegedly insisted on his son splitting up with Duplessis: and when he returned to Paris, she had already died of consumption. 
Since its debut as a play, numerous editions have been performed at theatres around the world. Giuseppe Verdi attended the Paris première of the play and soon turned to composing the opera. When Dumas, fils heard La traviata, he said: “Nobody would have remembered my Lady of the Camellias in 50 years but for Verdi, who made it immortal”. The production of the Mikhailovsky Theatre is one of the most elegant treatments of the opera.

 La traviata the opera

The Nutcracker balet

6 Jan 

The most ‘Christmassy’ of all classical ballets 
Nacho Duato has given ballet lovers a new production of The Nutcracker by Pyotr Tchaikovsky. The most ‘Christmassy’ of all classical ballets, The Nutcracker has become a symbol of magical transformation and the constant renewal of life. It tells the tale of time’s passing and how a carefree childhood comes to be replaced by the bright sorrow of youth and the dreams of unattainable harmony. Renowned French stage designer Jérôme Kaplan will also work on the choreography. The scenery and costumes are completely in keeping with classical tradition, but are also full of subtle humour.

The Nutcracker balet

The Sleeping Beauty ballet

12 Jan 

The famous ballet by P. Tchaikovsky's "The Sleeping Beauty" based on the fairy tale by Charles Perrault 
In this wonderful fairy tale has it all - beauty Princess Aurora, her patroness - good fairies. And, of course, ugly evil sorceress who tries various tricks get used to the light girl. She almost manages to fulfill his evil plans - Aurora beauty sleep a perpetual sleep in a coffin. But good triumphs - gentle kiss the prince back to life an enchanted princess, a wicked witch die of rage. This wonderful tale is even more romantic on the ballet stage.

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Ballet «Swan Lake»

18 Jan 

Ballet in four acts music by Pyotr Tchaikovsky 
Swan Lake is a ballet that has become has become a symbol of Russian art itself. The version of the famous ballet cannot be seen anywhere else in Moscow or St. Petersburg: the Mikhailovsky Theatre’s Swan Lake is the legendary ’Old Moscow’ production by Alexander Gorsky and Asaf Messerer. For many years it was considered in Moscow to be the standard production, and now it has been lovingly restored by Mikhail Messerer, Ballet Master in Chief of the Theatre. 
‘Swan Lake is a special title in the ballet repertory. We were discussing which version to choose for our theatre and turned our attention to the production by Alexander Gorsky and Asaf Messerer. According to ballet historians, the historical London Tour of the Bolshoi Theatre in 1956 could be compared to Diaghilev's Russian Seasons in the mission of establishing the priority of Russian ballet around the world. It was during the 1956 tour that the version of Swan Lake received rave critical reviews. The appearance of Mikhail Messerer at the Mikhailovsky Theatre made it possible to revive the wonderful production here’, General Director of the Mikhailovsky Theatre Vladimir Kekhman comments. 
‘Our major concern was to avoid repeating the brilliant production by Konstantin Sergeyev, which occupies such an important place in the repertory of our great elder sibling — the Mariinsky Ballet. A hundred years ago, a remarkable choreographer from St. Petersburg (who was then just starting his career as a ballet master) named Alexander Gorsky was transferring the production of Swan Lake by Lev Ivanov and Marius Petipa to the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow. And while basing it on the gracious choreography of the original, transformed the ballet and staged it in his own way. The epoch of Alexander Gorsky saw the next phase in the evolution of dance following the balletic classicism of Petipa and Ivanov. Gorsky was influenced by contemporary art; he was attracted by the innovative methods of the stage direction of Konstantin Stanislavsky and Vladimir Nemirovich-Danchenko and the new style of acting it involved. By the way, Nemirovich-Danchenko participated in a production of Swan Lake by Gorsky. 
‘My approach to the production was quite careful, as I adore the version of 1956, but I admit that my contribution, perhaps, modernizes Swan Lake, brings the ballet up-to-date. My alterations in the ballet are minor. They are mostly based on my conversations with Asaf Messerer in 1990. At the time we were talking about possible changes to the production provided he had a chance to stage the ballet Swan Lake once again. In 1956, the sets for the production were designed by the fabulous artist Simon Virsaladze. The same design is being used now: both for the sets and for the costumes. To my mind, the production corresponds to modern society: everybody wants a happy end today, and our Swan Lake will provide it’, Mikhail Messerer says.

Ballet Swan Lake

Opera «Tosca»

21 Jan 

Opera in three acts music by Giacomo Puccini 
Victorien Sardou’s drama La Tosca was created for the great actress Sarah Bernhardt. Puccini saw Sardou’s play when it was touring Italy in 1889 and, after some vacillation, obtained the rights to turn the work into an opera six years later. Turning the wordy French play into a succinct Italian opera took four years, during which the composer repeatedly argued with his librettists and publisher. The work is a melodramatic piece set in Rome in June 1800, with the Kingdom of Naples’s control of Rome threatened by Napoleon’s invasion of Italy. It contains depictions of torture, murder and suicide, yet also includes some of Puccini’s best-known lyrical arias, and has inspired memorable performances from many of opera’s leading singers. The dramatic force of Toscaand its characters continues to fascinate both performers and audiences, and the work remains one of the most frequently performed operas. 
At the Mikhailovsky Theatre one can hear the best soloists of the house.

Opera Tosca

Eugene Onegin opera

25 Jan 

Lyric scenes in three acts /music by Pyotr Tchaikovsky 
Première of the production: 26 October 2012 
„I set myself the task of securing the empathy and sympathy of the audience, giving them the opportunity to follow the secret life of the human soul“, says Andriy Zholdak, the director of Eugene Onegin. „The two main words I would use to describe the production are sensuality and beauty“. The design for the opera has been entrusted to professionals who work at leading European theatres and are capable of coming up with the unexpected. 

The performance is awarded with the National Theatre Award Golden Mask in three categories: “Best Opera Production”, “Best Opera Director” (Andriy Zholdak), “Best Light Designer in Musical Theatre” (AJ Weissbard)

Eugene Onegin opera

Ballet «Don Quixote»

26 Jan

Ballet in three acts and a prologue music by Ludwig Minkus 

Don Quixote is one of the most life-affirming, colorful and festive ballets. It’s interesting that despite its name, this brilliant piece is not a stage version of the famous novel by Miguel de Cervantes, but an original choreographic work by Marius Petipa vaguely based on Don Quixote. 
In 1869, the Moscow Bolshoi Theatre gave a première of the comic play staged by Marius Petipa to Minkus’s music, telling a story of the failed wedding of a young beauty and a rich nobleman, because of the true love of the heroine to a poor guy. In 1871, Petipa created a new version of the ballet for the première at the Bolshoi Kamenny Theatre in St. Petersburg. In 1900, a new production of Don Quixote was staged by Alexander Gorsky. Gorsky kept the scenario plan and, partly, Petipa’s choreography. Gorsky organized the crowd scenes in a new way to avoid “any symmetry”. Borrowing from the principles of theatrical aesthetics of the Moscow Art Theatre, Gorsky did much for the “revival” of academic ballet. 
In 1902, the Gorsky’s production was shown at the Mariinsky Theatre. The stars of the imperial stage, as Mathilde Kschessinska (Kitri), Nicholas Legat (Basilio), Enrico Cecchetti (Sancho Panza) contributed to the success of this remarkable performance. The production became the classical one.

Ballet Don Quixote

Ballet «Giselle, ou Les Wilis»

29 Jan

Fantasy ballet in two acts music by Adolphe Adam 

The stage life of Giselle hasn’t been an easy one. After its premiere of 1841 featuring Carlotta Grisi and Lucien Petipa, the ballet was performed in France till 1863, when it disappeared from the repertoire. The ballet has been staged in St.Petersburg since 1842. At the beginning of the 20th century during the ground-breaking Diaghilev’s Russian Seasons, the French saw their national ballet, faithfully nurtured in Russia. 
The Mikhailovsky Theatre’s the 2008 production of Giselle by Nikita Dolgushin, a specialist in historical works, managed to amaze both the public and the critics. Dolgushin, a noble Albrecht in his time as a dancer, inspired the creation of the ballet and delicately united dance and mime. He revealed the essence of the romantic ballet, the story of Giselle is told in the language of ballet classicism. Together with Viacheslav Okunev, who designed the epitome of romantic settings, Dolgushin made a production that was described by a British critic ‘an exemplary Giselle’.

Ballet Giselle ou Les Wilis

Opera «L’elisir d’amore»

 

31 Jan

Opera buffa in two acts music by Gaetano Donizetti 

Even when the prima donna is German, the tenor stammers, and the basso buffo bleats like a goat, a masterpiece can be born, and that’s how Gaetano Donizetti’s L’elisir d’amore first saw the light of the day in 1832. Felice Romani wrote the Italian libretto, after Eugène Scribe’s libretto for Daniel Auber’s Le philtre (1831). Shy and poor Nemorino has no chance with popular and rich Adina. Especially now that dashing officer Belcore arrived in town! Things change, however, when Dulcamara, with his magic potion, manages to settle all the problems. 

Notwithstanding the hurry, the opera turned out wonderfully: the amusing storyline and light melodies created a work that has long been beloved of audiences.