Monday, April 22, 2013

St. Petersburg, Russia

The next business trip took me to St. Petersburg, Russia.

ROHM is bringing in a "Madama Butterfly" from the Mariinsky Theatre, so primarily for technical issues our Technical Director and I traveled all the way to Russia to see it. The original production, directed by Mariusz Trelinski, belongs to Teatr Wielki in Warsaw, and it is one that I had brought to Washington National Opera a while back. A few years ago the Mariinksy Theatre was licensed to built a slightly scaled down copy of the production which they still own. Even scaled down from its original grand scope the production still presents some scenic challenges and we wanted to see those first-hand to work out any solutions for our theatre ahead of time.

It is a wonderful production that was extremely successful and well received in Washington. 

In St. Petersburg it looked just like I remembered: striking imagery, cinematic transitions and beautiful traditional, if stylized, costuming.

A view of the Mariinsky in the snowy Russian winter....remember that when we left Muscat it was sunny and 26°C (78°F)!

My colleague, Geoff W. and I were the only ones in the royal box for the performance! Just as in days past the audience stared inquisitively into the box, wondering who these people were who rated a private suite.

We also had the chance to see a performance of "La Juive" by Halévy at the Mikhailovsky Theatre across town (next to the Russian Museum). It is a company that has seen a surge in popularity in recent years after the auditorium and lobbies were renovated and the whole company reinvigorated.

It was a productive trip overall and I enjoyed being back in St. Petersburg again. My first trip was in 1994 and in several visits since then I have gotten to know many colleagues in this beautiful city. 
Having grown up with the Wall dividing Berlin and Germany, and the world divided into the Eastern and Western blocs of the Cold War, it never ceases to impress me to be strolling around so comfortably in St. Petersburg, Russia. Oh, and right now I have a 3 year/multiple-entry Russian visa in my passport.....the world certainly is an amazing and ever evolving place !

Dosvedanya !

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