Charisma, Punch and Pull
RODERIC DUNNETT listens to
Valery Gergiev conduct Szymanowski and
promote the opening of Mariinsky2
The conductor Valery Gergiev may be the most dynamic force in Classical music today -- a kind of Leonard Bernstein of his era, granted that others might equally lay claim to that mantle -- but it is clear the dynamo has a forceful team behind him.
Now those forces, the movers and shakers of the Mariinsky (in Soviet times, Kirov) Theatre in St Petersburg, of which Gergiev is the long-standing Artistic and General Director (the number of operas he takes the helm for in a year, many of them Russian, is breathtaking), have come up with, and almost executed, a plan for a dramatic new space (spaces, in fact) which, as Mariinsky2, will transform the building into apparently the largest opera and ballet complex in Europe -- supplanting, I suspect, the Teatr Wielki in Warsaw -- and perhaps the world; though the accompanying press release claims it only as 'one of the largest' opera and production facilities in the world.
Gergiev was out on the stump the other day, as he so often is, indefatigably promoting the project -- which comes to fruition remarkably soon, in May 2013 -- to a British and international press conference, staged at the Russian Embassy in Kensington under the benign chairmanship of Ambassador Dr Alexander Yakovenko. The interview, sensibly phased and so far as was viable pretty probing, was conducted by British journalist and broadcaster Martin Sixsmith, a seasoned expert on Russian affairs, and well versed in that and other languages...
Copyright © 26 December 2012