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January 20, 2010

'War and Peace,' concert featuring Anna Netrebko part of Mariinsky Opera's DC visit

The visits to the Kennedy Center by the Mariinsky Opera and Orchestra from St. Petersburg have been major highlights of the past decade. The company's 2010 residency, again conducted by the magnetic, globe-trotting Valery Gergiev, will include a fully-staged, note-complete production of Prokofiev's "War and Peace" (March 6, 7), which would be reason enough to build interest.

This year, there won't be any other stagings (the economy affects everyone, you know), but Gergiev will lead complete performances of "Eugen Onegin" (Feb. 27) and "Boris Godunov" (Feb, 28) in concert form. There will also be concerts devoted to scenes from

other Russian operas: Rimsky-Korsakov’s "The Legend of the Invisible City of Kitezh," Mussorgsky’s "Khovantchina" and Borodin’s "Prince Igor" (March 3); and an all-Tchaikovsky bill that includes excerpts from "Iolanta," "Mazeppa," and "The Queen of Spades" (March 4).

The starry news of the Tchaikovsky night is the participation of soprano Anna Netrebko in the "Iolanta" selections. She may be the best known of the Russian artists appearing on this Mariinsky visit, but you can count on many distinctive voices and, of course, a dynamic orchestra -- Gergiev has honed this company into quite a showcase.

To get you in a Marrinisky mood, here's Gergiev conducting the orchestra in the whiz-bang Overture from Glinka's "Ruslan and Ludmilla":

Posted by Tim Smith at 5:28 PM | | Comments (3)


It would be fantastic if a US company would program Iolanta and cast Trebs. Her summer performance was heart-wrenching and by far her best role in '09.

Hear, hear. TIM

Better still would be a full length Rimsky opera such as "The Snow Maiden", with Anna, which I have heard she at one time indicated she would like to do.

We just received our tickets for this performance and can't wait. We are huge Anna fans!Thanks for the heads up.

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About Tim Smith
Born and raised in Washington, D.C., I couldn't help but develop a keen interest in politics, but music, theater and visual art also proved great attractions. Music became my main focus after high school. I thought about being a cocktail pianist, but I hated taking requests, so I studied music history instead, earning a B.A. in that field from Eisenhower College (Seneca Falls, N.Y.) and an M.A. from Occidental College (Los Angeles). I then landed in journalism. After freelancing for the Washington Post and others, I was classical music critic for the Sun-Sentinel in South Florida, where I also contributed to NPR. I've written for the New York Times, BBC Music Magazine and other publications, and I'm a longtime contributor to Opera News. My book, The NPR Curious Listener's Guide to Classical Music (Perigee, 2002), can be found on the most discerning remainder racks.

I joined the Baltimore Sun as classical music critic in 2000 and, in 2009, also became theater critic, giving me the opportunity to annoy a whole new audience. In 2010, my original Clef Notes blog expanded to encompass a theatrical component -- how could I resist calling it Drama Queens? I hope you'll find both sides of this blog coin worth exploring and reacting to; your own comments are always welcome and valued (well, most of them, at least).

Think of this as your open-all-hours, cyber green room, where there's always a performer or performance to discuss, some news to digest, or maybe just a little good gossip to share.
Note: Tim Smith now writes about the fine arts at This blog will be kept in place as an archive for an indefinite period. Please visit the new location to get the latest Mid-Atlantic arts coverage.
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