All the theaters in the country closed. Do not operate concert halls. As exists in the new environment Mariinsky theatre?
Valery Gergiev: Everywhere – in North America, Europe, Asia, canceled all concerts and performances. And just a few days ago, March 20, we gave the premiere of the Opera “War and peace” by Sergei Prokofiev in Vladivostok. It was a gigantic work. We were preparing the play for four months and to cancel the premiere because of the coronavirus was hurt, so we gave the team the opportunity to speak. How many theaters in Russia can take this Prokofiev score? Two, three. In this play, all the party was singing soloists Seaside company. This premiere was a huge event.
Mariinsky theater presents its plays in an online format. How do you plan to exist in this mode?
Valery Gergiev: of Course, we could play in recitals, performing in small ensembles on stage, broadcasting concerts for the public. But we have this week given the orchestra, singers, choir, ballet troupe – all our staff, the opportunity to be home. Last Sunday someone came to rehearse “the snow maiden” by Rimsky-Korsakov, our April premiere, but Monday at the theater, there is no rehearsal. About live performances now generally can not speak: each play involves up to 400-500 people, including workshops and technical staff. Even for chamber productions like “Mozart and Salieri”, to gather, to hang decorations, to adjust the light, etc.
Valery Gergiev has called a unique body in “charge”
So now we are going to show some other famous performances. On the platform of the Mariinsky-we TV has already aired in dirthe ima life the opening concert of the festival of harps “Northern lyre”, showed in the recording of “Cinderella” by Prokofiev with Diana Vishneva, “Anna Karenina” by Rodion Shchedrin with Ulyana Lopatkina, “the fountain of Bakhchisarai”, Rimsky-Korsakov – “the Tale of Tsar Saltan”, “Golden Cockerel” with Aida Garifullina. To the 180th anniversary of Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, we present a series of his symphonies performed by the Mariinsky orchestra. Some days our broadcast has already been seen by about a million people.
many theaters, which these days broadcast their performances, there are problems with copyright.
Valery Gergiev: We paid for copyright when I was doing recordings of their performances: this is called “purification”. Now we can stream them for free for fans of classical music and support in these difficult times, the mood of the people, to maintain the vital pulse of the theater. The Mariinsky theatre can go across the established standards, today’s orders, continuing to operate as usual, and I have no right to risk the lives and health of our artists. We strictly follow all the requirements, but we continue to acquaint the public with our work. I think very few people have seen or only saw once in the Mezzo “Anna Karenina” by Rodion Shchedrin. Now they can watch the ballet at the Mariinsky TV – and not only in Russia but also in Japan, in new York, since it is an international platform. Today no one knows what awaits us in the near future, what are our prospects in April, in may, we are all in a new reality. But, whatever happens, the Mariinsky theatre will continue to broadcast the performances of the material we have.
the Problem is complicated by the fact that people pass tickets for the canceled shows and theaters, this translates into economic disaster.
Valery Gergiev: Economic losses of Mariinsky theatre is huge. It is too early to sum up: all tnly began. But at the Mariinsky theatre ticket sale reaches 350-400 million rubles per month. As a rule, in our Billboard more than a hundred events every month, so the so-called “naradah” we very soon get to a billion rubles.
I Want to believe that our society will prevail a sense of caution, discipline and concentration at this emergency problem
You’re hoping for some kind of state compensation in this situation?
Valery Gergiev: We know that some degree of compensatory instruments will be involved, but I guess the biggest loss would be the most active, successful organizations. We give up to 1,500 performances a year at the Mariinsky theatre: it’s a very big number. On Sundays, during the holidays we have up to ten performances a day, and even such major works as the ballets “Romeo and Juliet”, “Cinderella”, “Swan lake” put on a poster twice in the morning and the evening, so they are in demand. I’m not even talking about our branches in Vladivostok and Vladikavkaz: there is also a large program. We put with the participation of Academy of young singers to a huge number of children’s operas in the hall Prokofiev: “Giant” of Sergei Prokofiev, operas by Tikhon Khrennikov, Sergei Banevich, other composers. For these shows come to us with their families. We have just built another hall – Chamber theater: is a building next to the Concert hall of the Mariinsky theatre. A new hall nearly 200 locations built with the support of the state, the Ministry of culture, my Foundation. Our numbers are eloquent. In the budget of St. Petersburg we are paying about seven hundred million rubles, and as Director of the Mariinsky theatre, I think that such a huge cultural metropolis like St. Petersburg, receiving such a serious contribution to the city Treasury, could distinguish, for example, one hundred million rubles for children’s programs.
How did the unique premiere of “revolver” at the Alexandrinsky
Today you have stopped all international tour. This is a serious blow to the theatre?
Valery Gergiev: We lost a huge number of touring performances. We always toured a lot: according to statistics, in 2018, the theatre was 244 tour performances! Now we had to play in Spain, Switzerland, France, and some two or three weeks ago we went to the Dominican Republic with Daniil Trifonov, performed in Colombia. I was still in America.
When you played last time?
Valery Gergiev: March 10, I had “the flying Dutchman” by Wagner at the Metropolitan Opera in new York city, broadcast to the whole world in theaters, including in Russia. The Prime Minister with the participation of artists of the Mariinsky theatre took place on March 2. Since then has passed more than twenty days, and it seems that it was last season – so things have changed. I myself lost a few speeches in America: we had to play with the new York Philharmonic orchestra in a program of works by Rodion Shchedrin, Sergei Rachmaninoff, Igor Stravinsky, and with the Chicago Symphony orchestra, which I think is the best orchestra in America, the Leningrad Symphony by Dmitri Shostakovich. I was waiting for this meeting, but had to be postponed. As for the Mariinsky theatre, the cancelling hundreds of performances every month, we don’t want to lose my audience, so all fans of the Mariinsky theatre, which today, just as we should be at home, literally in the apartment or Villa, you can watch our performances on the platform of the Mariinsky TV, and the service Okko, our new partner in the cooperation programme of the theatre with Sberbank Of Russia.
What’s in the light of current events, the prospect of the Easter festival, whose opening is to be held on 19 April?
Valery Gergiev: Everything is absolutely unpredictable dynamics of the situation changes every week. The Easter festival will be held. Question: in what terms and in what regions? Usually we perform 25-30 Russian regions: this is a giant scale, distances, costs, a huge number of involved artists. But now to make any statements before.
it is Known that the coronavirus has infected Placido Domingo. You call him? How does it feel?
Valery Gergiev: He was at our premiere of “the Flying Dutchman” at the Metropolitan Opera on March 2, that is, more than 20 days ago. The important thing is that he feels a moral and emotional support he multi-million audience of admirers of his talent around the world. This collective energy will help him, he will stand in the fight against the disease. We all wish him a speedy recovery.
You are the busiest man on the planet and are now in isolation. How do you feel in this mode – without the usual pace concerts, performances, contracts?
the Bolshoi is presenting online performances from the “Golden Fund”
Valery Gergiev: As any practices-professional, I find it in any twist of fate not only disadvantages but also advantages. I now have the opportunity to clarify our plans, recording, performances. We hope to start soon to some rehearsals of small ensembles. Today, all leading singers, musicians and ballet – all huge Mariinsky theater.RA is located here in St. Petersburg. We expect at least some clarity. I think in a week we will have to understand the trend of what is happening. Unfortunately, we see how negatively the situation in Europe. I want to believe that our society will prevail a sense of caution, discipline and focus on this emergency issue. The recommendation to be home, certain rules of hygiene, following the advice given to doctors, including internationally, is a vital necessity for each of us. I am concerned with the fact that the state, closing the Hermitage Museum or Mariinsky theatre, will not close the metro, where hundreds of thousands of people gathering at the same time, every day have a much higher risk. The whole world is undergoing the tragic experience of China, Italy, Spain, France, and all it is absolutely clear that the coronavirus is a terrible threat. But it’s also ourselves very much depends! Don’t want to predict anything, but I will say one thing: the least affected will be the most disciplined. Each of us must be the instinct of self-preservation. And our government, the leadership of the regions again and again to be sent a clear signal to people that they simply knew: it’s dangerous!