Spain is looking forward to watching St. Petersburg's Mariinsky Theatre of Opera and Ballet /formerly known as Kirovsky Theatre/ perform Sergei Prokofiev's War and Peace at the Royal Opera Theatre in Madrid. The theatre's Spanish tour, which starts on Monday, is expected to become a major cultural event. "Artistic quality and monumental character of the opera, which is staged with the help of cinematographic inserts, guarantee one of the major musical events of the year," writes El Pais. The cultural supplement to El Mundo has dedicated 4 pages to a detailed account of the Mariinsky's history, Prokofiev's War and Peace and the upcoming tour. Prokofiev has been hugely popular in Spain ever since he lived and performed here in the twenties. His first wife Lina Llubera-Codina was a Spanish opera singer. Later, Prokofiev took her to Moscow, where she fell victim to Stalin's repressions and was sent to a prison camp. In all, the tour consists of 8 performances, 6 of them conducted by the theatre's head Valery Gergiyev, whom Spanish critics call "a musical genius". The performance, staged with the help of Russia's world-renowned filmmaker Andrei Konchalovsky, debuted last year and ran to packed houses in London's Covent Garden and Milan's La Scala.
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