The State Academic Mariinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg is opening its 219th season Saturday. According to spokeswoman for the theatre Natalia Matukhno, the first performance of the new theatre season will be Giuseppi Verdi's opera Otello. The theatre has chosen this show to be the first, because the music world is marking Verdi's anniversary this year. Also, Otello is the theatre's latest premiere. It was first performed during the festival "Stars of the White Nights". The opera was also successfully performed in Baden and in the Covent Garden Royal Opera House in London. Valery Gergiev, the art director of the theatre, will be the conductor at the performance. In the new season, the Mariinsky Theatre is going to have several premieres. Those who favour Verdi, will have the chance to enjoy his La Traviata opera, staged by French theatre director Philippe Arlaud. Another premiere is Mozart's Cosi Fan Tutte, which is performed by major world theatres. The opening night will be conducted by Dzhanandrea Nozeda, Gergiev's apprentice. Mariinsky will also perform opera Prince Igor by Alexander Borodin. The stage sets for the opera are exact copy of the set used for this opera at the beginning of the 20th century. The theatre will continue rehearsals of Richard Vagner's four opera saga Der Ring des Nibelungen. The operas are arranged in chronological order. Rheingold and Die Valkure have already become Mariinsky's regular performances. This year it will show Siegfried, and next year Gotterdammerung. All the four operas will be performed in German. Apart from the new performances, Mariinsky plans to hold festivals "Stars of the While Nights" and "the Mariinsky Festival" in this season. It will also hold two new festivals: the festival of Igor Stravinsky's music and a musical festival devoted to Gogol.
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