The Bolshoi gets off to a flying start


The Bolshoi’s music director as from now till the end of 2011 will be the well known Petersburg composer Leonid Desyatnikov, three of whose works have been presented at the Bolshoi — the ballets Russian Seasons and Old Ladies Falling out choreographed by Alexei Ratmansky, and The Children of Rosenthal (director Eimuntas Nekrosius), a new opera commissioned by the Bolshoi Theatre. At the present time, Desyatnikov is working on a new ballet for the Bolshoi Lost Illusions, also with choreography by Alexei Ratmansky (premiere — April 2011). In the maestro’s own words, the suggestion that he should shoulder responsibility for the Bolshoi’s music policy was so discouragingly unexpected, that...he ended by giving his consent. In a consulting, supervisory and psychotherapeutic capacity — is approximately how he might have described his future activities on taking up his new post, he himself having characterized them along the lines of crisis-management. “At any rate, I will not be conducting”, he promised.

Stepping into the breach, however, are such world famous conductors as Alexander Lazarev, Vasily Sinaysky, Kyril Petrenko, Vladimir Jurowski and Teodor Currentzis, all of whom have agreed to collaborate with the Theatre and three of whom will be starting work at the Bolshoi in the forthcoming season. “Such a list of conductors would do honor to any of the world’s major opera houses”, said Mikhail Fikhtengolts, the new head of the department of repertoire perspective planning, who was presented to journalists at the press conference and who participated both in the negotiations with the above-named maestros and in the creation of the Young Singers Program, which he will supervise together with the famous teacher of young singers Dmitry Vdovin, who was also introduced to the mass media at the press conference.

Bolshoi General Director, Anatoly Iksanov, and Artistic Director of the Ballet Company, Yuri Burlaka reported on the Theatre’s numerous and very successful tours and listed the premieres of the new season. The Theatre’s new Music Director, Leonid Desyatnikov, talked about its long-term plans.

Among the opera titles which will be appearing on Bolshoi billboards in the next three seasons are: Alban Berg’s Wozzeck, Mozart’s Don Giovanni, Philippe Fenelon’s The Cherry Orchard (world premiere in concert performance at the Bolshoi — a project forming part of the French Days of Culture in Russia, stage premiere at the Paris Opera with the participation of our singers — a project forming part of the Russian Days of Culture in France), Richard Strauss’s Der Rosenkavalier. Among the directors who will be making their Bolshoi Theatre debuts are Anatoly Vasilev, Kyril Serebrennikov, Vasily Barkhatov.

Additions to the ballet repertoire will be works by William Forsythe, Jiri Kylian, Wayne McGregor, new to the Bolshoi works by George Balanchine and Roland Petit, as well as new versions of Marius Petipa and Mikhail Fokine ballets.
In September 2010, the world premiere of Apocalypse, with choreography by Angelin Preljocaj, will be held at the Bolshoi Theatre. “The ballet is mounted to ultra-contemporary DJ music, so presumably audiences will come to the Bolshoi who have never been there before”, Leonid Desyatnikov commented.

Large-scale tours are envisaged — opera and ballet at London’s Royal Opera (end of 2009/10 season), opera at Madrid’s Teatro Real and the Lucerne Festival (start of 2010/11 season) and others. In the winter of 2011, the Bolshoi will play host to the Paris Opera Ballet Company.

Anatoly Iksanov once again emphasized that “he very much hoped — indeed, he was convinced — that on 2 October 2011, the Bolshoi Theatre main stage would open after refurbishment”. This date is to be marked by the premiere of Glinka’s Ruslan and Lyudmila in a production by the internationally acclaimed conductor Vladimir Jurowski and director Dmitri Tcherniakov.

At the press conference a new opera sponsor was introduced — Enel, the Italian energy company, in whose name Signor Carlo Tamburi, the director of its department of international relations, spoke. The Company is represented in 23 countries — from North America to Asia -, he said. And everywhere, including Russia, it carries out extensive charitable and sponsorship work. In Russia, for instance, it supports the Moscow Biennale of Contemporary Art. To collaborate with the Bolshoi Theatre, one of the world’s leading opera houses, is a particular honor and privilege, Carlo Tamburi added.

Almost immediately the press conference was over, the traditional Company Assembly began. Congratulations to the Company on the start of the new season came from the Theatre management and also from Alexei Shalashov, director of the Ministry of Culture’s Department of Contemporary Art and International Cultural Relations. Mr. Shalashov praised the brilliant skills of Bolshoi Theatre artists and remarked that in their efforts to secure tours from the Bolshoi, countries fought over it, literally tearing it to shreds. In other words, the wish to host a Bolshoi tour spans just as vast a geographic area as that covered by the activities of Enel.

Leonid Desyatnikov and Yuri Burlaka gave one more short survey of the forthcoming season. Director of the Bolshoi Opera Company Makvala Kasrashvili congratulated the Company on the renewal of attention to beginner singers, underlining the continuity between the previously existing group of probationers attached to the Company and the new Young Singers Program. She noted with great satisfaction that the outgoing season had proved to be rich in promising debuts (Lolitta Semenina, Svetlana Shilova, Marina Lapina, Oleg Kulko) and had brought a great victory at a major international competition (Yekaterina Shcherbachenko). Yuri Burlaka too promised a great many interesting debuts by “famous and quite unknown dancers” in the forthcoming season. And, as always happens at the Company Assembly, he introduced the new generation of the Bolshoi Ballet which will provide us with many of the interesting debuts and which consists almost entirely of international competition prizewinners. They are Olga Barichka, Angelina Vorontsova, Maria Mishina, Anna Turazashvili, Daria Khokhlova. Dmitry Dorokhov, Dmitry Yefremov and Denis Rodkin.

Leonid Desyatnikov made the following, among other, comments at the press conference: “At the Bolshoi, of course, there should be a lot of Verdi, many titles from the popular world repertoire, from the Russian classics and modern music, but the main thing it needs, in order to be accepted as a normal theatre, is to shake off the pathos and unnecessary rhetoric by which it is surrounded”. Both the press conference, and Company Assembly, and those new plans over which old and new teams at the Theatre toiled, were geared to demonstrating that the Bolshoi Theatre seeks to be just such a “normal” theatre, enjoying close links with the world’s other leading opera houses.

As per tradition, at the end of the Company Assembly, the Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Council of Trustees, Konstantin Remchukov, presented the Council of Trustees’ prizes.

The 233rd season prizewinners were:

Alexei Maslennikov,
opera director (53 years with the Bolshoi!) — for outstanding creative achievements and many years of selfless work for the Bolshoi Theatre
Alexander Kopylov, conductor (46 years with the Bolshoi!) — for outstanding creative achievements and many years of selfless work for the Bolshoi Theatre
Nadezhda Gracheva, prima ballerina for outstanding creative achievements in the 233rd season
Yekaterina Shipulina, leading ballet soloist — for outstanding creative achievements in the 233rd season
Oleg Kulko (tenor), opera soloist — for his brilliant performance of the roles of The Pretender (Boris Godunov) and Herman (The Queen of Spades)
Lolitta Semenina (soprano), opera soloist — for her brilliant performance of the roles of Micaela (Carmen), Cio-Cio-San and Liu (Turandot), Musetta and Mimi (La Boheme)

Lisa Pluchek, ticket attendant (50 years with the Theatre!), Leonid Bolotin, engineer with the workshop of sound-amplification, theatre communication and scenic television at the stage management department (53 years with the Theatre!), Maria Yarilovets, artistic-constructor with the technical service (40 years with the Theatre!) — for her many years of work and devotion to the Bolshoi Theatre

Best Bolshoi Theatre orchestra members:
Viktor Grishin,orchestra soloist
Konstantin Semyonov, orchestra soloist
Sergei Solovyov, orchestra soloist

Best Bolshoi Theatre chorus members:
Vladimir Danilov,chorus artist
Alexander Kritsky, chorus master
Svetlana Grabar, chorus artist

Members of the Stage Management Department and Production Workshops -for outstanding achievements in creating the outer forms of a production and their personal contribution to the realization of the Bolshoi Theatre’s creative plans:
Mikhail Sokolov, lighting designer at the workshop of scenic lighting and electronic equipment; Alexander Shishov, scenic workshop painter;
Nadezhda Zubareva, deputy head of the male costume workshop, Natalia Aldoshina, head of the female costume-sewing workshop

Best ballet dancers:
Natalia Malandina, ballet soloist
Maxim Valukin, ballet dancer
Yelena Serebrova, ballet dancer
Yekaterina Nagurskaya, ballet dancer

Best Mime Ensemble members:
Alexander Krutyakov
Roman Mironov
Olga Mikhailova
Nikolai Mayorov
Andrei Senotov


28, 29, 30, 31 October, 2, 3 November 2010
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Conductor — Teodor Currentzis
Director — Dmitri Tcherniakov

2, 3 December 2010
Philippe Fenelon
World Premiere
(Concert Performance)
Conductor — Tito Ceccherini

19, 20, 21, 23, 24 June 2011
Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov
Conductor — Vassily Sinaisky
Director — Kirill Serebrennikov

14,15,16,17,18,19 September 2010
Laurent Garnier
World Premiere
Choreographer — Angelin Preljocaj
Scenographer — Subodh Gupta

22,23,25,26 December 2010
One-act ballets

Thom Willems
Russian Premiere
Choreography, Scenography, Lighting and Costumes — William Forsythe
Costumes (Pas de deux): Gianni Versace

Igor Stravinsky
Moscow Premiere
Choreographer — George Balanchine
Costumes — Barbara Karinska

Will be presented with Serenade by George Balanchine
(premiered at the Bolshoi Theatre in 2007)

21, 22, 23, 24 April 2011
Leonid Desyatnikov
World Premiere
Choreographer — Alexei Ratmansky
Conductor — Teodor Currentzis

21, 22, 23, 24, 25 July 2011
One-act ballets

Joby Talbot and Jack White
Russian Premiere
Choreographer — Wayne McGregor

to music by Igor Stravinsky
Choreographer — Jiri Kylian
Russian Premiere

The 2010/11 Season will kick off with two major Bolshoi Theatre foreign tours: the Bolshoi Opera will present Dmitri Tcherniakov’s EUGENE ONEGIN at Madrid’s Teatro Real (7-12 September) and at the Lucerne Festival (15 September).
A landmark event in the 2010/11 Opera Season will be the premiere of Mozart’s DON GIOVANNI (first night 28 October) in a production by Dmitri Tcherniakov. Conductor — Teodor Currentzis.
The world premiere (2 December 2010) at the Bolshoi Theatre of THE CHERRY ORCHARD, an opera by the contemporary French composer Philippe Fenelon, continues the Theatre’s tradition of commissioning and performing new music. This premiere forms part of the Days of French Culture in Russia.
The 2010/11 opera season will wind up with the premiere of a new production of Rimsky-Korsakov’s THE GOLDEN COCKEREL (first night 19 June) by one of the pacesetters of the Moscow theatre scene Kirill Serebrennikov. Conductor — Vassily Sinaisky.
During the 2010/11 season, there will be three Bolshoi Theatre Orchestra concerts conducted by Vladimir Jurowski (4, 12 and 13 October) .
The 2010/11 Ballet Seasonwill be entirely devoted to the music and choreography of the 20th and 21st centuries — this is the first time the Bolshoi Theatre has built a season round a theme. To get a feel of the style, manner and nerve of the present day and to discover the pulse of tomorrow is the natural wish of all live theatre.
The season opens with the world premiere (14 September) of a one off project, a full-length ballet CREATION-2010 by Angelin Preljocaj, the French contemporary dance choreographer. This is a Bolshoi Ballet and Ballet Preljocaj, Aix-en-Provence co-project. Preljocaj made his name in the classical ballet world with his ballet Le Parc, at the Paris Opera. In Russia, he has been famous since 1994, when he presented here his Hommage a Diaghilev program, consisting of his own reinterpretations of the Diaghilev ballets. 2010 has been announced as the Year of France in Russia and the Year of Russia in France. CREATION-2010 is expected to be the state-of-the-art cultural event of the Year. The project is unique in that working together on the production will be 10 Bolshoi Theatre and 11 Ballet Preljocaj dancers. The ballet will remain in the Bolshoi and Ballet Preljocaj repertoires. Angelin Preljocaj has invited scenographer Subodh Gupta and composer Laurent Garnier, who are both at the cutting edge of their respective professions, to participate in the production.

From 22 — 26 December, the Bolshoi Ballet Company will present ballets by Balanchine and Forsythe.
RUBIES by Igor Stravinsky (Capriccio for piano and orchestra) and George Balanchine presents neoclassical ballet of the second half of the 20th century.
The neo-modernist end-of-20th century movement is showcased in HERMAN SCHMERMAN, a ballet by the outstanding contemporary choreographer William Forsythe (Forsythe comments as follows on his ballet: “I first heard that phrase (‘Herman Schmerman’) used by Steve Martin in the film Dead Men Don’t Wear Plaid. I think it’s a lovely title that means nothing. The ballet means nothing, either. It’s a piece about dancing that will be a lot of fun. It’s just five talented dancers dancing around—and that’s good, isn’t it?”). HERMAN SCHMERMAN marks the Bolshoi Ballet Company’s first experience of working with William Forsythe.

From 21-24 April, the Bolshoi will show its second world premiere of the season — the three-act ballet LOST ILLUSIONS. The Bolshoi Theatre commissioned the score from composer Leonid Desyatnikov. The ballet will be choreographed by Alexei Ratmansky, the ex-artistic director of the Bolshoi Ballet and resident choreographer of American Ballet Theater. Today choreographer Ratmansky is in great demand worldwide. In producing LOST ILLUSIONS, the Bolshoi Theatre continues the Russian tradition of creating full-length ballet-dramas (the production team will work from a libretto, written in the 1930’s after the novel by Honore de Balzac). The music director of the production will be Teodor Currentzis.

The ballet season will end with program of one-act ballets by McGregor, Kylian and Balanchine (first night 21 July).
George Balanchine’s Rubies and Jiri Kylian’s Symphony of Psalms are acknowledged choreographic masterpieces of the outgoing century. Whereas the ballet Chroma is a typical child of the 21st century.
CHROMA (composers Joby Talbot and Jack White) was produced by the increasingly popular British choreographer Wayne McGregor, founder of the Random Dance Company, opera and theatre director, as well as resident-choreographer of London’s Royal Ballet. It was for The Royal Ballet that CHROMA — which was a smash hit in London winning an Olivier Award for Best New Dance Production — was created in 2006. CHROMA marks the start of the Bolshoi’s longterm cooperation with McGregor from whom it has commissioned a new ballet to be produced in 2013.

On 8 December 2010 the Year of France in Russia celebrations will be brought to an end by a big gala concert in which Paris Opera soloists will appear alongside members of the Bolshoi Ballet Company.
The central event of the winter 2011 touring season will be the Paris Opera Ballet Company visit to the Bolshoi (6-27 February). The French dancers will be presenting Angelin Preljocaj’s famous ballet LE PARC plus a program of one-act ballets.
As in previous seasons, the Bolshoi Theatre Opera and Ballet Companies and Orchestra will have an active touring schedule: in October 2010, leading Bolshoi Ballet soloists go on tour to Japan; the Bolshoi Theatre Symphony Orchestra will undertake two extensive tours of Germany, Austria (April 2011) and Great Britain (May 2011).



2,3,5,6,8,9 November 2011
Mikhail Glinka
Conductor — Vladimir Jurowski
Director — Dmitri Tcherniakov

4, 5, 6, 7, 8 April 2012
Richard Strauss
Conductor — Vassily Sinaisky
Director — Stephen Lawless

26,27,28,29,30 June 2012
Pyotr Ilych Tchaikovsky
Conductor — Alexander Lazarev
Scenographer — Valery Leventhal


6,7,8,9 October 2011
Pyotr Tchaikovsky
Choreography by Marius Petipa in a revival by Yuri Grigorovich
Scenographer — Ezio Frigerio

5,6,8,9,10 May 2012
Russian Premiere

2011/12 Season — this is the first season we will be working again in two theatres — the New Stage and the Bolshoi Theatre Main Stage, now open after refurbishment. Throughout the season, work at the Main Theatre will be concentrated in two directions — presentation of new operas and ballets and a revival of the Theatre’s historic productions.
A few days after the ceremonial opening of the Main Theatre 2 October 2011, The Bolshoi will present its first premiere of the season — Tchaikovsky’s THE SLEEPING BEAUTY in a revival by Yuri Grigorovich (first night 6 October) with new sets by the famous Italian theatre designer, Ezio Frigerio.
This will be followed a month later, 2 November, by the premiere of Glinka’s opera RUSLAN AND LYUDMILA, with Vladimir Jurowski as music director of the production and Dmitri Tcherniakov as director and scenographer.
The 2011/12 Opera Season will also include the premiere of Richard Strauss’s DER ROSENKAVALIER (the first ever Bolshoi Theatre production of the opera), in the Main Theatre (first night 4 April 2012). The production team will include conductor Vassily Sinaisky and director Stephen Lawless.
On June 26, in the Main Theatre, the premiere will take place of Tchaikovsky’s opera The Sorceress. Music director of the production will be Vassily Sinaisky, and scenographer — Valery Leventhal.
At the Main Theatre, revivals are in the pipeline of works which represent the Bolshoi Theatre’s ‘gold reserve’ — for instance, Mussorgsky’s opera BORIS GODUNOV in the Leonid Baratov production, with scenography by Fyodor Fedorovsky (first night l December 2011), and also of Verdi’s opera FALSTAFF, in the Giorgio Strehler production, with scenography by Ezio Frigerio (first night 26 January 2012).

2011/2012 Ballet Season. In addition to THE SLEEPING BEAUTY and the return to the Main Theatre of Grigorovich’sNUTCRACKER, the season will be marked by major ballet premiere — the Bolshoi Theatre and The Balanchine Trust, New York, co-project BALANCHINE WALTZES (first night 5 May 2012). The program will be made up of three famous works by the choreographer: the two-part ballet LIEBESLIEDER WALZER to chamber vocal music by Johannes Brahms (Russian premiere), LA VALSE to music by Maurice Ravel, and also VIENNA WALTZES to music by Johann Strauss, Franz Lehar and Richard Strauss (Russian premiere).

On 2 January 2012, the Bolshoi Theatre will celebrate the 85th birthday of the outstanding choreographer YURI GRIGOROVICH.

A most important event in the first few months after the Bolshoi Main Theatre re-opens, will be seasons by visiting Ballet and Opera Companies and leading Symphony Orchestras from all over the world — including Milan’s La Scala.