Not All Work and No Play at the Economic Forum

Not All Work and No Play at the Economic Forum

Published: June 16, 2011 (Issue # 1660)

Natasha Razina

Greek virtuoso violinist Leonidas Kavakos will perform on Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings at the Mariinsky Theater Concert Hall.

A regatta, a concert by Sting, culinary classes and a plethora of opera and ballet performances will inject a dose of culture into the program of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum that takes place from June 16 to 18. Not all of the fun is restricted to those taking part in the forum itself, however, as city residents will be able to take advantage of many of the events on offer.

Thursday, June 16

While those taking part in the briefings and roundtables get down to business on Thursday morning before the official opening of the forum, their spouses will travel to the city’s historic suburb of Pushkin (formerly Tsarskoye Selo) for an excursion around the Catherine Palace, including its iconic Amber Room.

At 3 p.m. on Thursday, a regatta will be held at the Krestovsky Yacht Club, in which participants of the forum will have the chance to sail together with international sailing professionals. The program includes a competition, reception and awards ceremony for the winners. The regatta will take place at 4 Yuzhnaya Doroga on Krestovsky Island.

On Thursday evening, British pop, blues and rock singer Sting will perform a free concert right in the heart of the city on Palace Square. Sting will perform a program called Symphonicity together with a symphony orchestra. The concert is scheduled from 8 p.m. through 11 p.m.

For ballet lovers, the city’s Mariinsky Theater will perform the ballet “Jewels,” set to music by Faure, Stravinsky and Tchaikovsky, and choreographed by George Balanchine. The performance starts at 7 p.m.

Down the road at the Mariinsky’s concert hall (37 Ulitsa Dekabristov), violinist Leonidas Kavakos will perform with the Mariinsky Theater Symphony Orchestra. The theater’s artistic director, Valery Gergiev, will conduct a program featuring music by Mendelssohn, Sibelius and Shostakovich from 6 p.m.

Two more ballets can be seen at the Alexandriinsky Theater (2 Ploshchad Ostrovskogo) where “La Bayadere” will be performed at 8 p.m., and at the Theater of Musical Comedy

(13 Italianskaya Ulitsa), which will present “Swan Lake,” performed by the Konstantin Tachkin Ballet Theater at 8 p.m.

At the Tauride Palace (47 Ulitsa Shpalernaya), the Soloists of the Catherine the Great ensemble and the Russian Horn Orchestra will play 18th-century Russian music and European baroque at 8 p.m.

Tickets can be purchased at the Cultural Program information booth in Pavilion 4 of LenExpo center, where the forum takes place.

Friday, June 18

On Friday morning, the spouses of forum participants have the chance to go on an excursion to another St. Petersburg suburb, Peterhof.

On the same day, participants can attend a cookery master class given by the chef of St. Petersburg’s brand new W Hotel. This event requires prior registration.

Friday also sees the traditional forum reception in the Mikhailovsky Gardens, to which guests of the forum are invited on behalf of St. Petersburg Governor Valentina Matviyenko. The reception, which also requires prior registration, will feature theatrical and comedy performances, as well as a concert program by young jazz musicians. The event starts at 7 p.m.

On Friday night, the Mariinsky Theater presents the one-act ballet “Carmen Suite,” starring Svetlana Zakharova of Moscow’s Bolshoi Ballet Theater, followed by the four-act ballet “Symphony in C Major” featuring the Mariinsky’s leading dancers: Ulyana Lopatkina, Alina Somova, Olesya Novikova and Yevgenia Obraztsova. The performance will start at 8 p.m.

Kavakos will take to the stage of the Mariinsky Concert Hall for the second night running, for a program of Prokofiev and Shostakovich, once again conducted by Gergiev. The concert starts at 6 p.m.

The indefatigable Mariinsky orchestra — and Gergiev — will return to the stage of the concert hall at 10 p.m. for a second concert titled “New Voices of Montblanc.” The orchestra will also play Giuseppe Verdi’s “Requiem.”

Not to be outdone, the Shostakovich Philharmonic will host the Andreyev State Russian Orchestra playing a concert titled “Music of the White Nights.” The lead singers of the Mariinsky Theater, Irina Mataeva and Viktor Chernomortsev, will also perform during the concert, which begins at 7 p.m.

Also Friday, it’s the turn of the Alexandriinsky Theater to show “Swan Lake” performed by the Konstantin Tachkin Ballet Theater at 8 p.m.

Jazz lovers will head down to the State Academic Cappella (20 Naberezhnaya Reki Moiki) to see “Masterpieces of World Jazz” featuring Igor Butman, David Goloschekin and Anatoly Kalvarsky at 10.30 p.m.

Saturday, June 19

On Saturday, the Mariinsky Theater will present graduation performances by the prestigious Vaganova Ballet Academy at 12 p.m., followed by Tchaikovsky’s ballet “Swan Lake” at 7 p.m.

The day — and the forum — will culminate in the annual school-leavers’ celebration, Alye Parusa (Scarlet Sails). At 1.30 a.m., a ship with scarlet sails will sail down the River Neva, preceded by a concert on Palace Square for classes of 2011. There will also be a multimedia light and pyrotechnical show over the Neva.

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