'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":