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Italian minister hails Russian Season festival

January 16, 9:06 UTC+3 ROME

The gala concert of the Mariinsky Theater Orchestra in Rome was the best beginning for the year of big cultural events, the Italian minister of culture says

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ROME, January 15. /TASS/. The Russian Seasons festival in Italy is proof of special relationships with Russia, Italian Minister of Cultural Assets and Tourism Dario Fanceschini told TASS on Monday.

"No doubt, the gala concert of the Mariinsky Theater Orchestra conducted by Valery Gergiev at the National Academy of St. Cecilia in Rome, which kicked off the Russian Season festival, was the best beginning for a year of big cultural events to be held in 40 cities. This festival is yet another evidence of special ties that link Russia and Italy where culture is playing the leading role," he said.

The Russian Seasons culture festival opened on Sunday with a gala concert by the Mariinsky Theater Symphony Orchestra conducted by world-acclaimed maestro Valery Gergiev at the National Academy of St. Cecilia in Rome. The program of the festival, which will last throughout 2018, features more than 250 events, including about 60 symphonic music concerts, more than 50 theatrical productions, around 40 ballet performances and an extensive exhibition program. The best music bands and drama companies, renowned performing artists and young talents will be touring the country throughout the year. Other events include a festival of young filmmakers, as well as gastronomy events and educational projects.

One of the biggest events will be a guest performance of Russia’s legendary Bolshoi in Milan’s La Scala opera house with the La Bayadere and The Taming of the Shrew ballets. Russia’s Vakhtangov State Academic Theater will present Masquerade and Anna Karenina in Naples at the end of this month.

The first Russian Seasons festival was held in Japan in 2017 and gathered over 3.5 million visitors in 42 cities.

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