Gergiev: Mariinsky sells one in four Russian theatre tickets

Gergiev: Mariinsky sells one in four Russian theatre tickets


norman lebrecht

February 02, 2017

Valery Gergiev made the extraordinary claim in Belgrade, attributing the statistic to the Russian culture minister.

The Mariinsky now has two theatres in St Petersburg and a third on the Pacific seaboard.

Bolshoi, anyone?


  • Alexander says:

    That’s correct I think. As for The Bolshoi – it is supposed to be the supermonster ( in the most positive meaning ) of Russian cultural heritage and it is full “at any weather”.
    Frankly speaking I attended some of the greatest names of the Mariinsky recently – for the last 8 months- ( including ballet superstar Diana Vishneva, Maria Guleghina and Albina Shagimuratova, not to mention Ana Maria Martinez and their ( Mariinsky) rising superstar soprano Elina Stikhina ( what a voice!) – at the new Vlad Opera House ( acoustics is much better than at Scala ( judging by the words of ( unfortunately) late great mezzo Elina Obraztsova ( she was one of the favorite singers at Scala years ago and welcomed there as often as she liked to be), 100% view from any seat and government subsidized prices ( the best seats at about 20-30 USD ;). I saw Gergiev a couple of times, he is modest and doesn’t show off. All performances are wonderful regardless to opera or ballet.
    That’s all very briefly.
    I don’t care what people say on Gergiev, I can witness – the Mariinsky in its full glory, one can easily imagine oneself somewhere in the epoch of the empress Mary and tzars. … ohh , I forgot 😉 – and Russian brandy with sparkling wine at about 5 USD/glass at their buffets 😉

  • Maria says:

    “the best seats at about 20-30 USD”

    Green with envy.

    • Alexander says:

      Maria – if you hold a Russian passport you buy it’s twice as cheap ( 30 USD, O’K, sometimes they speculate them at 100 USD, one should be wise enough to figure all things out beforehand) . If you are an expat then you should be smart enough to look like a Russian , otherwise you will pay double price ;( …. if you are not Maria Guleghina – in this case they ask you to to sing to work a debt out 😉 … Hopefully Gergiev will talk Mariella Devia into singing in this wonderful venue. The acoustics is clear and warm, the hall is rather small ( compared to the Met, about 1400 seats) and she will be heard perfectly… Kiri is also just over the pond 😉

  • Paul Mauffray says:

    Correction: you wrote that “The Mariinsky now has two theatres in St Petersburg and a third on the Pacific seaboard.”, but they actually have 3 theaters in St. Petersburg if you count their Concert Hall where I conducted staged performances of Rusalka. They frequently perform fully-staged and semi staged operas in that hall, and in this month (the shortest of the year) in that 3rd hall alone they are giving at least 8 opera performances: Die Zauberflöte (twice), The Love for Three Oranges, Cendrillon, Hansel und Gretel, Brundibár, Siberia, and La gazza ladra (which is already more productions than most American opera houses offer). That 3rd theater is of course offering other performances nearly everyday, so when you look at the Mariinsky calendar to choose between all their stages, you can always find 3 performances on every day, often 6, 7, or 8, and on Feb. 26 there are even 9 (including Götterdämmerung), and many of these are sold out (!):

  • MWnyc says:

    If the claim is true, it says more about the lack of access to theatre and opera in other Russian cities than anything else.

    • Alexander says:

      I think they say about opera theaters only , the “regular” theaters are of different statistics . Just my opinion, of course. I also heard of about 20 professional operatic theaters in (relatively) big Russian cities including their both capitals ( Moscow and Saint Petersbourg).