Thursday, 31 March 2016

The Mariinsky Theatre's Primorsky Stage

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Vladivostok is 4,067 miles from St Petersburg as the crow flies yet it appears to host an outpost of the Mariinsky Theatre known as the Primorsky Stage. I understand that Primorsky means "Maritime" in Russian and the portion of the map coloured red on the above map is the Primorsky Krai of which the principal city is Vladivostok.

According to the Mariinsky's website, The State Primorsky Opera and Ballet Theatre is the most modern theatre in the Far East and one of the newest in Russia. It was built for the APEC summit in 2012. The theatre has its own resident company which includes several foreign dancers including the American Joseph Phillips whom Cheryl Angear interviewed in Ballet News some years ago (see Cupcakes & Conversation with Joseph Phillips, Corps de Ballet, American Ballet Theatre Ballet News 12 Feb 2012).

Its repertoire includes Swan Lake, Giselle, The Nutcracker, Le Corsaire and The Firebird which we have all seen plus The Fourteenth which appears to take its name from Shostakovich's Fourteenth Symphony setting to music several poems by various authors. The Fourteenth had its première on the Primorsky stage on 19 Jan 2014.

Maybe not everybody's cup of tea (personally I prefer the composer's Tea for Two which is incorporated into Jean-Christophe Maillot's Taming of the Shrew) but the fact that there is a modern opera house with what appears to be a first class company in this naval town at the far extremities of the Russian Federation is remarkable. I am not sure that I shall ever get to see this theatre or its dancers but I'm curious and I have been to Japan three times which is even further away.

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