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Summer ballet in St Petersburg


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Travelling to St Petersburg in July 2012 from the far side of the world in New Zealand, I would love to see a Russian ballet. I was amazed to see four companies performing Swan Lake at that time, but have been told the top-flight companies are all touring internationally then. Can anyone tell me which if any of the Russian Classical Ballet Palace Theatre, Ballet Theatre of St Petersburg Conservatoire, Hermitage Theatre of Classical Balletor Alexandrinsky Imperial Ballet Theatre are worth going to? My partner will be go under sufferance, so it’s probably not worth it for a below-par performance! Thanks.

 

 

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Its some years ago since I saw ballet in St Petersburg. We too were there in the summer when many companies are on tour, however we did go to a show case at the Hermitage Theatre and it was lovely. A short program, but the theatre is tiny (it's almost like being in someone's front room) and it's very ornate. I think my husband enjoyed it just for the experience of being in the theatre. Not the same as seeing a full sized production of a full length ballet in a large theatre, but as an experience it was very enjoyable for both ballet lovers and non ballet lovers in the family! More of a spot light on ballet really. I think we bought tickets from one of the many kiosks in the city if I remember rightly.

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I've been to two of these, Su.

 

Of the five Saint Petersburg ballet theatres that I've been to, I would certainly recommend the Ballet Theatre of St Petersburg Conservatoire 'Pricewise.' Also their performance was probably as good as any non-Mariinsky one that I've seen in Saint Petersburg. It's across the street from the Mariinsky and is an advanced student(?) company. The inside of the theatre is not ornate. Tickets were very inexpensive, about ten pounds(?).The student(?) Orchestra was as fine as I've heard anywhere !

 

I would agree with glowlight, Su, that the Hermitage is a lovely experience, but the tickets were as much as front seats at the Mariinsky, about 100 pounds.

 

The Mariinsky is in a class of its own in Saint Petersburg. The only other company that comes close in star power is the Mikhailovsky.

 

I saw the "Saint Petersburg Ballet Theatre" once in Geneva a year ago with Irina Kolesnikova. She was exceptional, but is not performing as much anymore. Otherwise the company seemed young and exciting.

 

There's another company in Saint Petersburg, directed by former Mariinsky principal dancer, Andrian Fadeyev, the Leonid Jacobson Saint-Petersburg State Academic Ballet. I've yet to see it.

 

I've never used a "kiosk" for tickets so I can't tell you anything about them. I almost always get tickets over the internet directly from the company's site for the best price, probably at least a third less than an agent. Also you will be certain of having seats. The Conservatoire ticket I bought by going to their ticket office several days before the performance.

 

Added comment;

 

I forgot that you are from New Zealand, Su. The tickets prices that I mentioned are in UK pounds.

Edited by Buddy
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Gosh I'm sure the Hermitage Theatre wasn't that expensive when we went - it was quite a few years ago so maybe the prices have gone up (quite likely I suppose) as its got more popular.

 

I feel even more priviliged to have been there now.

 

PS Su - don't miss a trip to The Hermitage museum while you are there. It is truely amazing.

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Hello, Su, and welcome. I'm glad someone's been able to help you on this, because I looked at the names and thought "never heard of any of them"! Just goes to show what a great forum this is when people help out in this way.

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Best to steer clear of the Alexandrinsky. The theatre is beautiful but the ballet company is a small number 'scratch' affair with very average quality principals. We have heard that it is a much favoured destination for cruise ship passengers.

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Thanks everyone for your helpful comments and information - I agree that a forum like this is invaluable for someone in my situation confronted with too many choices and not enough detail. The Hermitage showcase could be an option in a similar spirit of compromise as glowlight's!, otherwise the Ballet Theatre of St Petersburg Conservatoire sounds like the one, thanks.

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Su, I just did a quick internet check for July, 2012 and the Mariinsky will have various performances until July 14. The Mikhailovsky will have the same during the entire month. I would normally highly recommend the Mariinsky, but the Mikhailovsky now has a few of the biggest names in the world (Osipova, Vasiliev, Sarafanov, Semionova (I don't know when she starts)), so if you have time to check casting this might make a difference.

 

Here is a good site to see what's going on. They do give some casting, but casting can change. They already have the Mikhailovsky casting. To see the top Mikhailovsky dancers you may want to get tickets as soon as possible. I wanted to see Perrin and Sarafanov in March, but the tickets were sold out almost two months in advance.This is a private ticketing company. It seems good, but might charge up to 50% more than the ballet companies' own sites, which I would recommend, if you have the time. They are fairly easy to use.

 

http://www.balletand...ay_type_2=2#mo1

Edited by Buddy
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Hi Buddy, thanks for your extra research for me: that's great. Unfortunately our timing is awful - we arrive on 15 July in time to see the final performance of Tosca, so we at least do see the Mariinsky Opera and the theatre itself in action. The Mikhailovsky doesn't really work either as we are away again on 19 July, with only a concert performance of Carmen available during that time - not ideal but definitely a possibility. I think it's going to be 'support the up-and-coming students time' at the Conservatoire and maybe we'll have the pleasure of saying in future "I saw him/her at the very beginning"! Cheers Su

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Su, I'm surprised how much the ticket company that I posted is asking for the Conservatoire. At that price you may want to still consider the Hermitage. If you aren't that concerned about seeing any of these available ballet performances you might want to get to the Mariinsky a half hour earlier and walk across the street to the Conservatoire to see if their ticket box is open, if seats are available for your night and if the price is much more reasonable. I'm sure that I didn't pay more than 15 pounds for the "Swan Lake", on the ground floor, that I saw there about five years ago. Sometimes, though, as a traveller it's just easier to pay the extra money. I'm hopeful that you would see an equally pleasant performance at either of these theatres.

 

LIke Glowlight I would definitely recommend seeing the Hermitage Museum of Art. The Rembrandts (many), the Leonardo da Vincis (two), a small, but fascinating Michelangelo statue (all somewhat together at the back, downstairs) and the French Impressionist/Post Impressionist/Modern (all in same area, towards the front, upstairs) are the usually recommended highlights and I would thoroughly agree. Since this was the former royal palace you will also see beautiful decoration everywhere. It's a huge place, so allow plenty of time to find your way around.

 

Have a wonderful trip !

Edited by Buddy
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