June 14, 2018


The International Diaghilev Festival 2018 opened in Perm

On the 14th of June the International Diaghilev Festival 2018 got started. This year the XII Diaghilev Festival presents different genres and art movements, styles and formats. Ancient music will surely be performed and research of contemporary music tendencies will continue, extraordinary interpretations will be found side by side with academic performance, night events will be followed by early morning concerts. The festival lasts eleven days and occupies ten city venues.

Today the international Diaghilev Festival was opened with the premiere of the dramatic oratorio “Jeanne d’Arc au bucher”. The Festival will present 30 events of the main Programme and over 100 events of the Festival club. There will be one world premiere and seven Russian premieres.

Teodor Currentzis, artistic director of the International Diaghilev Festival:
— Diaghilev Festival is improving each year and presents new phenomena and methods of the contemporary theatre, preserving and researching what was long before we were born. Our task is to reconsider what was created then and now, since a lot of things we consider to be true and well-known are not like this. We want people to get distracted from “show” offered by mass culture. We want to demonstrate how beauty is being created in art. The festival doesn’t mean only performances and concerts. The festival means something that happens in between the events. We create the space where people may discover other ways of existence, realise who we are. Educational projects, workshops and meetings that surround the main events of the Festival, create this very special atmosphere, artistic environment, apt to generalize new concepts and meanings, to let life and art evolve. The Diaghilev Festival is a big theatre staging where participants are our audience and directors and artists are performers. This is a co-creativity of people who realize the “now” moment, searching for the path to the future at the same time.


The central event of the Diaghilev Festival is the premiere of the dramatic oratorio “Jeanne d’Arc au bucher” by Arthur Honegger directed by one of the most sought-after and talked about directors in the world Romeo Castellucci. “Jeanne d’Arc au bucher” Is a co-production of Perm Opera and Ballet Theatre and several big Houses of Europe: Lyon National Theatre (France), De Munt (Belgium) and Basel Theatre (Switzerland). Production premiered last year in Lyon and stirred up controversies. Castellucci’s new production opens the Diaghilev Festival. Principal parts are performed by drama actors, French cinema and theatre stars, Audrey Bonnet and Denis Lavant. In Perm version music aspect is represented by the orchestra and choir musicAeterna. The production will be onstage of the theatre for the first three days of the Festival. Teodor Currentzis (June 14 and 16) and Pyotr Belyakin (June, 15) will take a lead at Conductor’s podium.

Romeo Castellucci, Director:
— This Jeanne d’Arc is not a woman of God or victim of political intrigues. It is about being able to radically abstract away from dissemination of this character with all its idealogical layers. This production is a rescue operation of Jeanne d’Arc from layers of interpretations to show a human being unvarnished, in complete nudity. This is an allusion to stratigraphic and archeological excavations and a way to give realistic features to the character whose incredible power transforms into vital and expressive element.

Andrey Kuzyaev, President of JSC “ER-Telecom Holding”:
— ER-Telecom has been a friend and partner of Perm Opera and Ballet Theatre for many years. Our company is specially pleased to be part of the bold and innovative performance “Jeanne d’Arc au bucher”. I am certain that a new view extrapolated on the story of Maid of Orleans will give unforgettable emotions of “Diaghilev-like” range to Perm citizens and guest.

Choreographic project, avant-garde ballet Nicht schlafen, created by the famous Belgian choreographer Alan Platel, stands its ground and will be presented at the exact hight of the Festival, on the 19th and 20th of June. Performed by the dance company les ballets C de la B, this bold and hard-edged production with choreography to the music by Gustav Mahler and African polyphonic singing contradicting with it, with radical and disturbing design, was firstly presented at RUHRtriennale 2016. Creative work of Platel is known to Perm audience from his vocal and choreographic composition C(H)OEURS to music by Verdi and Wagner presented in the Diaghilev Festival 2014.

Research of various forms of artistic exploration goes on in a production “Needles and Opium”, created by a founder of the company Ex Machina, theatre and film director Robert Lepage. One more internationally acclaimed project, experimenting with expansion of vocal techniques and combination of different arts, is a performative event by Meredith Monk — “Cellular Songs”. Plus one more project — a scenic act performed by Austrian actress Isabel Karajan “Miss Death meets Mr. Shostakovich” .

Company that in its work develops ideas of one of the key practitioners of the contemporary European theatre, polish director Jerzi Grotowski, participates again in the Festival this year. This time actors of the  Workcentre of Jerzi  Grotowski and Thomas Richards will show the preview of the new performance “Katie’s story” directed by the member of the creative group of the Centre Agnieszka Kazimierska

One of the most anticipated events — Mahler’s symphony performed by the festival orchestra led by Teodor Currentzis, traditionally closes the Programme of the Festival. This time Symphony #4 and other works related to it from the vocal cycle “Des Knaben Wunderhorn” will be performed.


With calmer style but rich content, the concert Programme of the Festival is represented with Chamber concerts, solo performances, gala concerts of prominent contemporary musicians.

For the first time over years, there is jazz music in the Programme played by a recognized maestro of improvisation, Russian-born London musician Evgeny Strigalyov. Ancient music, polyphonic Byzantine and Greek music,  is performed by the ancient music ensemble graindelavoix (Belgium). Audience of the Festival will have an opportunity to listen to the complete cycle “Songs of Bukovina” performed by opera diva of Perm Opera Nadezhda Pavlova and pianist Alexei Goribol.

Another permanent participant of the Festival, Moscow Contemporary Music Ensemble, will continue investigating the space of contemporary music with works by Enno Poppe, Robin Hoffmann, Georg Friedrich Haas.

Choir musicAeterna will perform extracts form the piece by young composer Alexei Retinsky. The work was first presented to the audience by Teodor Currentzis in February in Moscow.

The Diaghilev Festival continues playing with formats. Night piano-gala will welcome four famous pianists: Alexei Lyubimov, Alexander Melnikov, Alexei Zuev and Vyacheslav Poprugin. To see the sunrise at the Kama river after subtle morning concerts at Perm Art Gallery is an exquisite  experience offered by the Festival. For those interested in sound sleep, there is a new format - sleep concert. Not only is every listener provided a bed but also a pillow and blanket to sink in complete darkness, dream and sounds of music after the third bell. An eight-hour lullaby will be performed by musicians of the Festival orchestra, Nikolai Skachkov and Sergey Poltavsky.

Marc de Mauny, producer of the International Diaghilev Festival:
— The attractive and powerful aspect of the Festival is that not only can everyone choose an event which is in his/hers interests and taste, but also discover something new. There is space for different epochs, styles, genres and art movements. That said, the Programme doesn’t offer anything of familiar or traditional character. All goes beyond time being pure art as it is. It is a large-scale festival that came to a level of the largest European festivals, such achievement being possible thanks to the partnership with Sberbank.


Alongside with usual venues, this year the Festival works in some new spaces, such as: Soldatova Culture Palace, Theatre for Young Spectators and the “Ural” hotel.

Besides, Shpagin factory will be transformed into one of the venues of the Festival, too. The space of 2000 square meters is properly equipped for holding concerts. On June, 23, the Festival Orchestra will perform Mahler’s Symphony #4, which closes the Festival the following day. After the official closing of the Festival, guests will be again expected at the factory for the Diaghilev Festival Party. Stage will be shared by three dissimilar groups, selected by maestro Teodor Currentzis: Sal Solaris (Moscow), Shortparis (St.Petersburg), Gnoomes (Perm).


Festival club will be working near the theatre being a place for meetings, discussions, creating new ideas. More than 80 events are to be accommodated by the cozy pavilion, its terrace and coffee-shop, all of them to work 154 hours in total. Audience will have an access to video versions of performances of the festival in Aix-en-Provence, directed by Dmitry Chernyakov, Katy Mitchell, Richard Jones, Peter Sellars. Theatre park will become a place for dancing classes and readings.

Present day theatre methods, new techniques, theatre language can be discussed at lectures and master classes of the educational programme which is to be attended by Russian and European experts of contemporary music and theatre. Students — members of the educational programme — will show their project to the audience -  mini opera, newly created by them. For the first time the educational programme includes a separate “Women in Art” section. Having chosen quite uncommon professions among women, like conducting, clarinet playing and percussion, female students, within the project, will have extra opportunity to extend their music experience. “Women in Art” is supported by the beneficial owner of PJSC “Metafrax” Seyfeddin Rustamov.

Besides, actors from the Workcentre of Jerzi Grotowski and Thomas Richards will conduct a five-day master class (June 17-21) “Towards an Open Choir” for professionals. Participants will get to know a technique and a form of performative art “Open Choir”, developed by the group of the Centre. Open Choir is a free and open event, where everyone is gently invited to take part. This unique meeting of people allows people to come in contact with each other and with themselves through songs and dance of African American tradition. Action starts with an entrance of actors, gradually involving all the attendees. A five-day immersion will result in a meeting of actors and attendees on the 21st of June in the House of Diaghilev in a form of the “Open Choir”.

The XII Diaghilev Festival is held with the support of the Ministry of Culture of Perm Krai.  General sponsor of the Festival is PJSC “Sberbank”, an official partner is PJSC “Lukoil”


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