The Mariinsky Theatre’s 2012/2013 landmark season, which includes an extraordinary schedule of tours, performances, recordings and events, will see the inauguration of Mariinsky II in St. Petersburg on 2-4 May, 2013. The new opera house will join the legendary Mariinsky Theatre and the Mariinsky Concert Hall to further the transformation of the Mariinsky’s complex into one of the world’s premier centres for classical music, opera and ballet.
The milestone marks the 25th anniversary of the leadership of Artistic and General Director Maestro Valery Gergiev, taking the Mariinsky Theatre from the closing years of the Soviet era, when it had been renamed the Kirov, to a modern 21st-century lyric arts company, enhancing and underlining the Mariinsky as a centre of artistic excellence and innovation and creating one of the largest, most acclaimed and most dynamic performing arts institutions in the world.
Designed by Diamond Schmitt Architects in collaboration with acousticians Müller-BBM, Mariinsky II is situated on Dekabristov Street and connected to the historic Theatre by a pedestrian bridge over the Kryukov Canal. Mariinsky II, which is designed to complement St Petersburg’s 19th-century architecture while adding a distinctive element to the region around Theatre Square, will have state-of-the-art facilities that will enable the Mariinsky to present the most ambitious, technically-demanding productions, beyond what is currently possible on the historic stage.
The opening weekend will include a gala concert and ballet and opera performances, followed by Mariinsky’s XXI ‘Stars of the White Nights’ Festival which will run from 24 May to 14 July with performances in all three venues - the Mariinsky Theatre, Mariinsky II and the Mariinsky Concert Hall.
Joining the historic Mariinsky Theatre, which dates from 1860, and the Mariinsky Concert Hall, which was inaugurated in 2006, the Mariinsky II will expand the Mariinsky’s cultural complex on legendary Theatre Square and enable the institution to offer the public a greatly increased schedule of presentations. Mariinsky II, funded by the Russian Government, is designed by the Toronto-based firm of Diamond Schmitt Architects in conjunction with the Russian firm KB ViPS. The 851,580 sq ft Mariinsky II will be one of the largest lyric arts facilities in the world.
Jack Diamond, Principal Architect of Diamond Schmitt Architects, stated: “When I was approached by Valery Gergiev to enter the international competition to design the new Mariinsky Theatre, he presented the opportunity to work in one of the world’s most magical architectural settings, not to mention with a Maestro who is justifiably renowned as one the world’s most respected leaders in the performing arts. I am very proud of Mariinsky II and trust it will achieve our design intent, which is to channel the immense creative spirit that is at the heart of the Mariinsky Theatre and its Maestro.”