Entertainment Spices Up Forum

Entertainment Spices Up Forum

Published: June 21, 2012 (Issue # 1713)

The cultural capital is a city that knows how to put on a show. During this year’s St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF), guests and city residents alike will have the chance to experience the finest the city has to offer.

The 2012 SPIEF, which runs from Thursday, June 21 through Sunday, June 23, offers a rich cultural program geared toward participants and those accompanying them, as well as events that are open to the public. During the forum, participants can enjoy a variety of events ranging from first class ballet and opera to exhibitions of Rodin sculptures and from cooking classes to visiting the Institute of Oriental Manuscripts of the Russian Academy of Sciences.

The official cultural program kicked off Wednesday, a day before the forum officially started, with a regatta hosted by the Russian Yachting Federation at the Krestovsky Yacht Club, as well as an opera program entitled “A Bouquet of Opera” on Palace Square featuring Russian baritone Dmitry Khvorostovsky, Korean soprano Sumi Jo and 12-year-old soprano Jackie Evancho, who rose to fame on the TV program “America’s Got Talent.”

On Thursday, June 21 at 7 p.m., St. Petersburg Governor Georgy Poltavchenko will host a reception called “Reflections” for forum participants and guests at the Peter and Paul Fortress. The reception will include performances and optical illusions that play off the light of the city’s fabled white nights.

Also Thursday, participants and guests can enjoy opera, symphony and ballet programs. Thursday evening offers a choice between the Mariinsky Theater’s premiere of Giuseppe Verdi’s “Requiem,” the ballet “Sleeping Beauty” at the Mikhailovsky Theater and the chamber opera “Dido and Aeneas” at the Rimsky-Korsakov Conservatory Theater.

On Friday, June 22, those who missed the opportunity to see Verdi’s “Requiem” on Thursday will have another chance, as well as the option to attend the Montblanc New Voices performance at the Mariinsky Theater Concert Hall. The Mikhailovsky Theater presents the opera “La Bohème,” while the Alexandriinsky Theater stages “Swan Lake.”

The same classic ballet will be performed on Saturday June 23 at the Mariinsky Theater, while the Mikhailovsky will show “Sleeping Beauty.”

All weekend, guests and residents of the city can inspect bronze casts of sculptures of Auguste Rodin, the father of modern sculpture and creator of the “The Thinker,” at a new exhibition in the atrium of the Peter and Paul Fortress.

There are three opportunities throughout the program to tour the collection of Arabic, Japanese, Chinese and Indian manuscripts — the largest such collection in Russia — at the Institute of Oriental Manuscripts of the Russian Academy of Sciences in the Novo-Mikhailovsky Palace. Those accompanying forum guests will have the chance to tour the recently restored and reopened Summer Gardens, the State Hermitage Museum’s Gold and Diamond Rooms and the nearby suburbs of Pushkin (Tsarskoye Selo), Pavlovsk and Peterhof.

Like last year, this year’s International Economic Forum falls on the same weekend as the Alye Parusa (Scarlet Sails) festival, a holiday celebrating the end of the academic year and the achievements of Russia’s newly-graduated high school students. The celebration, which takes place on June 23 and starts at 9 p.m., will include a concert on Palace Square, a multimedia-pyrotechnics show on the Neva River (starting at 1:40 a.m.) and the sailing of a scarlet-sailed ship down the Neva. Expect the streets to be teeming with students and parents alike.

Those accompanying forum participants must register in order to take part in the economic forum’s cultural program. Request forms as well as further information about each event can be found at 2012.forumspb.com/en#culture_bl_link

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