VTB Bank acted as general sponsor of the new production of Modest Mussorgsky’s Boris Godunov, which will premiere at the Mariinsky Theatre as part of the 20th Stars of the White Nights festival, with performances on 25-26 May and 26 June.
The new production takes audiences back to the opera’s original version, which Modest Mussorgsky presented to the Directorate of the Imperial Saint Petersburg Theatres in 1870. At that time, the opera did not find support either from the musical or theatre committee or from critics. Theatre-goers now have a chance to see the composer’s 1869 version, more than 140 years after it was created. Previously, the original text has only been used in 1997 by Alexander Adabashiyan and in 2002 by Viktor Kramer. Now opera fans will have another opportunity to see the initial concept of the great composer.
Additional interest comes from the involvement of Graham Vick, the internationally recognized opera director and Artistic Director of Birmingham Opera Company, who has worked at Covent Garden, La Scala, the Metropolitan Opera, English National Opera and the Bolshoi Theatre, and who has been invited to St. Petersburg as stage director. Valery Gergiev is the musical director, and Evgeny Nikitin plays the role of Boris Godunov. This ensemble of different talents will make the premiere one of the main events of the opera season.
“I am a big believer in this production. Mussorgsky’s work set the tone for some of the most interesting, powerful and romantic plots in 20th and even 21st century cinema. Today opera can be compared to TV news, with theatre playing the role of journalists. This is not to say that opera should replicate what journalists do, but this effect can be created by a strong stage director, which I hope the audience will see and feel during the premiere”, said Valery Gergiev, Artistic and General Director of the Mariinsky Theatre.
In 2003 before the 300th anniversary of St. Petersburg VTB Bank was given the honored status of General Sponsor of the Stars of the White Nights festival, since when it has acted as a General Partner of the Mariinsky Theatre. In addition, VTB is on the Board of Trustees of the Bolshoi Theatre and a member of the Bolshoi Theatre Foundation, a non-profit organization. For many years VTB has supported the P.N. Fomenko Workshop Theatre, and has long-term partnerships with the State Russian Museum and the Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts. Since 2011 VTB has sponsored Russia – Culture TC channel programs.