Mariinsky Theatre 1783-2008

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Beautifully produced by Foxtrot Films, this South Bank Show documentary captures the full splendour of the Mariinsky Theatre on the occasion of its 225th anniversary. Opening with footage of the anniversary gala night, the program unfolds the rich cultural history of the Mariinsky using excerpts of recent performances, interviews and archival materials. It explores the centrality of theatre during the reign of Catherine the Great and the prestige of the Mariinsky’s unique operatic and musical traditions.

Midway through, the focus shifts to ballet to show students at the Vaganova Academy, along with clips of Scheherazade, Swan Lake, Firebird and La Bayadere. Among the interviewees are Valery Gergiev, the soprano Anna Netrebko, Maya Plisetskaya and her husband Rodion Shchedrin, Altynay Asylmuratova (Director of the Vaganova Academy) and Ulyana Lopatkina, who is also seen dancing a superb Dying Swan.

Featuring wonderful shots of St Petersburg and behind-the-scenes footage of the Mariinsky’s costume, wig and scenic departments, the program also offers a glimpse of the Hermitage Theatre built by Catherine the Great, and the new Mariinsky Concert Hall which opened in 2006.

  • Available from Foxtrot Films via Amazon marketplace
  • 50 minutes plus extras
  • PAL 16:9 (NTSC available on request, contact Foxtrot Films)

Produced and directed by Margy Kinmonth
Executive Producer Maureen Murray
Presented and edited by Melvyn Bragg for the South Bank Show
A Foxtrot Films production co-produced with The Valery Gergiev Foundation in association with ITV Productions and Granada International