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BEIJING, December 10. /ITAR-TASS/. The St. Petersburg Mariinsky Opera and Ballet Theater and the Beijing-based National Center for the Performing Arts (China) are staging a joint production of Peter Tchaikovsky’s Opera “Eugene Onegin” in the Chinese capital, Valery Gergiev, the Mariinsky Theatre’s artistic director, said in an exclusive interview with Itar-Tass on December 9.
Maestro Gergiyev also spoke about other joint projects, including choral art and ballet, timed to coincide to the forthcoming Year of Russian-Chinese Youth Exchanges.
Gergiev is the conductor of the Mariinsky Theater’s Orchestra which gave three concerts as part of the Igor Stravinsky music festival in Beijing last weekend.
Gergiev said that the Chinese public adored both Stravinsky’s famous works like “The Firebird” and less known but also wonderful music pieces, including “Card Game”, “Capriccio” and “Fireworks”.
“Music by Russian composers, including Peter Tchaikovsky, Sergei Prokofiev, Dmitry Shostakovich and Modest Musorgsky is well known here. The Chinese audiences are familiar with the music composed by Mikhail Glinka, Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov and Alexander Borodin which had been played here many times. Stravinsky, who was a revolutionary in the 20th-century music, is no exception. These days, we have played ‘The Wedding,’ ‘Petrushka’ and ‘The Rite of Spring’. This music is very Russian. It touches the hearts of listeners,” Gergiev said.
“The Chinese public is not considered to be too sophisticated (in classical music). But I have seen tremendous changes take place here over the past fifteen years that I have been visiting China more or less regularly. An impressive National Center for the Performing Arts with an opera theatre, a concert hall and a museum has been built. This is a great achievement of our Chinese colleagues,” Maestro Gergiev stressed.