Initial planning for the Diaghilev Festival 2018
Plans for next year’s event have been announced by the organizers following the close of the International Diaghilev Festival 2017. The new series of the large-scale arts marathon will take place in Perm from 14 – 24 June 2018. A range of intriguing projects in different event formats are in store for festival attendees.
Marc de Mauny, Executive Producer of the International Diaghilev Festival:
— I think everyone would agree that the recent festival was a success: we managed to expand it, to raise the bar. An amazing communality was forged by people. I have been working in this field for over 20 years and I am able to get a keen sense of an audience at a professional level. To me, the audience present at the festival this year seems unique in its intellectual calibre, regard, focus and openness. I am proud to be a part of this audience, of being in the midst of it.
Next year the festival will open with the premiere of Arthur Honegger's oratorio Jeanne d'Arc au Bûcher (Joan of Arc: Into the Fire) staged by Romeo Castellucci with the participation of French actress Audrey Bonnet. As we know, she is practically the only character that the audience will see on stage. Joan of Arc: into the Fire will be staged in cooperation with the Opéra de Lyon, and later will become part of the Perm Opera and Ballet Theatre’s repertoire.
Gustav Mahler's compositions will be performed at the close of the festival: Symphony No. 4 and songs from the Des Knaben Wunderhorn (The Youth's Magic Horn) cycle will be performed by the Festival Orchestra under the direction of Theodor Currentzis. Revisiting the symphonic cycle by the great Austrian composer has become a tradition of the Diaghilev Festival in recent years.
Among the other events previously announced in the program is Alain Platel’s choreographic production Nicht Sсhlafen, the world premiere of which took place at RUHRtriennale in 2016. Confronting Mahler's music with African polyphonic singing, composer Steve Pringle carries on the motif of deconstruction of civilization through cultural contrasts. The idea of the authors is embodied on stage by the artists of the Alain Platel ‘les ballets C de la B’ dance company. It’s worth recalling that at the Diaghilev Festival 2014, Alain Platel and his artists presented a vocal-choreographic composition C (h) oeurs to the music of Verdi and Wagner on the Perm Opera and Ballet Theatre stage.
A performance of Needles and Opium by the French-Canadian director Robert Lepage, founder of the ‘Ex Machina’ theatre company, is also planned. Figuring amongst the performance characters are Jean Cocteau, Miles Davis and Robert — the prototype for whom was Lepage himself. In revisiting the production in 2013 after an interval of more than 20 years, the director invited actor Marc Labrech and tightrope walker Wellesley Robertson III to participate in it.
Next year’s concert programme promises an especially rich offering. Baroque compositions will be performed by the B'Rock ensemble from Ghent, while another Belgian band — graindelavoix — which performed at the festival in 2016, will return to Perm with polyphony, Byzantine and Maronite chant from Cyprus. Perhaps one of the most intriguing events of the festival is a joint performance featuring musicAeterna soloists and a foreign rock band — this project is currently still in the negotiation process. It has also been revealed that the German baritone Christian Gerhaher may perform in the Liederabend concert.
In addition, the programme may incorporate repeat performances of new choreographic productions, staged at the Perm Opera and Ballet theatre before the festival. Among them is Leonid Desyatnikov’s ballet Opera, staged by Alexei Ratmansky, as well as Nikolai Rimsky-Korsikov’s Scheherazade, staged by Alexei Miroshnichenko.
The International Diaghilev Festival has been held since 2003 and aims to maintain and develop the traditions fostered by the outstanding impresario and propagandist of Russian culture, Sergei Pavlovich Diaghilev. The festival founders are the Ministry of Culture for the Perm Territory and the Department of Culture and Youth Policy at the Perm City Administration, while the Perm Opera and Ballet Theatre is its principal organizer.