On January 29th, the business program of World Economic Forum Annual Meeting -2005 was traditionally culminated by its main cultural event. This year it was a grandiose show titled the `Russian Night`.
It was the first time in the history of WEF that a single country had been entitle to host the main cultural event of the Forum.
Inspired by the last year performance of the world famous Mariinski Theatre orchestra directed by maestro Valery Guerguiyev which was organized by Vneshtorgbank, the Forum organizers decided this year to entitle Vneshtorgbank, a regular participant in the Forum, to host the main cultural event of the Forum 2005.
In the first part of the Russian Night show the Forum participants were invited to attend the concert of prominent Russian ballet and opera artists. To perform for this special occasion the Bolshoi ballet and opera stars arrived at Davos,ong them ballet dancers Svetlana Zakharova, Nikolai Tziskaridze and Ilse Liepa; opera singers Badri Maisuradze, Elena Zelenskaya and Vladimir Matorin.
The audience was welcomed by the WEF Founder and President, Klaus Schwab and Vneshtorgbank President and CEO, Andrey Kostin. Addressing the concert guests, Klaus Schwab said that an opportunity to get acquainted with the glorious Russian culture is a real milestone in the history of the World Economic Forum. And Andrey Kostin added that alongside its world-known classical heritage, Russia would present modern trends in music that would turn the concert into a joyful trip to a fast-developing Russia and change the traditional stereotypes about the country.
Among those who attended the Bolshoi performance were Polish President Aleksander Kwasniewski, President of Czechia Vaclav Klaus, President Vaira Vike-Freiberga of Latvia, Germany`s Deputy Finance Minister Caio Koch-Weser, Josef Ackermann, Head of Deusche Bank, IBS President Anatoly Karachinsky, Jean Lemierre, EBRD President, and Olga Dergunova, Chairwoman, IBM Russia and CIS.
Opera stars of the Bolshoi - Badri Maisuradze (tenor), Elena Zelenskaya (soprano) and Vladimir Matorin (bass) presented the best of their repertoires - arias from masterpieces of Ruggiero Leoncavallo (I Pagliacci), Gicomo Puccini (Tosca, Turandot), Petr Tchaikovskiy (The Queen of Spades), Giuseppe Verdi (La Forza del Destino), Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov (Sadko) and Modest Mussorgsky (Louse).
The second part of the concert was a gorgeous ballet show. The Congress Center visitors were captivated by Nikolai Tziskaridze and Ilse Liepa performing Pas de deux from the Queen of Spades, Maria Alexandrova and Andrey Uvarov, Grand Pas, Don Quixote, Svetlana Zakharova as Dying Swan, Nina Kaptzova and Dmitriy Gudanov, Pas de deux, Silfide. To enable the ballet artists dance and prevent any possible injury, Vneshtorgbank bought a special flooring for the Congress Center stage.
The second part of the Russian night show was a soirée with a most comprehensive musical program staged at the largest premises available in the Congress Center, which was actually a swimming pool. Especially for the event, the swimming pool was safely covered and a nicely looking scene was constructed. The music hall was decorated with illuminated columns bearing drawings to reflect modern interpretation of Russian folk characters.Russia`s traditional cuisine was generously offered by one of the finest dining establishments in Russia - the Pushkin` café.
Within the musical program of the Russian Night show the guests enjoyed performance by a variety of Russian groups and artists: Igor Butman jazz band, `Veretentze` (Spindle) folk ensemble, `Chaif` rock group, Valeriy Meladze, `Markscheider Kunst`, Fedorov, Volkov and Starostin trio, Nino Katamadze and `Insight` Band.
To be able to host the Russian Night, Vneshtorgbank brought to Davos about 180 people, more than 2 tons of special equipment and 2.5 tons of souvenirs and printed materials.