LIFE&CULTURE

Moscow playbill:

Hot ice and rainbow flames

From ice shows to the mystical “Queen of Spades” opera and the fiery Ritchie Blackmore – that’s the rich cultural kaleidoscope that awaits Moscow guests and residents in the winter and spring of 2018.

One of the most anticipated events of this winter seasons is the world premiere of the musical on ice based on Alexander Pushkin’s “Ruslan and Lyudmila.” This show has drawn a lot of attention, because Tatiana Navka has taken up the project. The 42-year-old woman is a famous athlete, Olympic ice skating champion, and a renowned queen of the ice rink. Over two years ago, Tatiana married Vladimir Putin’s press secretary Dmitry Peskov. This isn’t the first marriage for Tatiana or for Dmitry. The couple has a daughter named Nadya. Having a child in the family moved the athletic star to re-read a fairytale she remembered from childhood. That’s how the idea for the project was born. The prominent figure skater will play Pushkin’s Lyudmila herself. This isn’t her first experience with ice shows. Navka has also played lead roles in the ice shows “Carmen” and “Town Musicians of Bremen.”

Ruslan will be played by the famous figure skater Peter Tchernyshev, who is a five-time US champion. The grandiose show, which will feature all the most advanced technologies and lighting effects, will be running from December 29 until January 7 at Megasport Sport Palace.

“Ruslan and Lyudmila” will have some serious competition from the show on ice “The Nutcracker.” The equally impressive figure skater Evgeni Plushenko (seven-time European champion, three-time World champion, and two-time Olympic champion) and his wife, the producer Yana Rudkovskaya, are working on the project for the second year in a row. This ice story for the whole family with magical elements, based on the fairytale “The Nutcracker and the Mouse King” by the German author E. T. A. Hoffmann with music by Pyotr Tchaikovsky, already ran last year. This winter, “The Nutcracker-2” will feature more than excellent ice skating, 3D effects, and fantastic stage design. International figure skating stars will be performing to live music played by The Vienna Johann Strauss Orchestra. There will also be a live elephant on the ice! The show will be running at the Olympic Stadium from December 22 to January 6. It’s the same dates as Tatiana Navka’s show. So the first week of January will be a true battle of ice shows in Moscow.

For those who like to ice skate themselves, there are plenty of opportunities all over Moscow. The biggest ice rink with artificial ice opened at VDNKh on December 1. The total area of the ice rink amounts to over 20,000 square meters, and the rink can accommodate over 4,500 guests. Those who want to ice skate and simultaneously look at the ruby stars of the Kremlin can enjoy a rink right in the middle of the city. At the Red Square, the famous GUM skating rink is operating for the 12th year in a row. There is a fair around the rink where guests can get hot tea with mint, freshly prepared crepes, pies, donuts, and souvenirs. The ice rink is especially beautiful right before and right after the New Year, when everything is decorated with Christmas trees and garlands. Everything sparkles with different colors, creating a truly festive atmosphere. Holiday decorations in the city center have become more elaborate with each passing year, bringing holiday cheer to both locals and guests of the capital. It’s a great incentive to go for walks in spite of the cold weather. The most decorated locations are Teatralnaya Square, Tverskoy and Nikitsky Boulevards, Kamergersky Pereulok, and Stoleshnikov Pereulok. And, of course, all of the parks in the city.

Fans of the opera are in for the most exciting premiere of the winter at the Bolshoi Theatre: Tchaikovsky’s “Queen of Spades.” The opera will be put on by the same team that brought to the public “Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District” two years ago - the artistic director of the Vakhtangov Theater Rimas Tuminas and the musical director of the Bolshoi Tugan Sokhiev. Known and loved all over the world, the opera prima Anna Netrebko will return to the stage of the Bolshoi at the end of January 2018 to once again play the lead role in Puccini's “Manon Lescaut” together with her husband, the Azerbaijani tenor Yusif Eyvazov (who, incidentally, will sing Herman in the premier "Queen of Spades").

Another musical premiere in the capital will be the mystical musical “Ghost.” The musical, based on the 1990 movie starring Demi Moore, Patrick Swayze, and Whoopi Goldberg, has already conquered the world and is running for the first time in Russia. The unique special effects, which create the illusion of existing between two worlds, convey the drama of the relationship between Sam and Molly. Sam dies during a robbery, and his soul gets trapped between the worlds of the living and the dead. He is trying to warn his love that she is in danger and punish the criminals. The musical features hits by the Eurythmics musician David Stewart and other composers.

The Yermolova Theater will be showing “Duck Hunting,” based on a play by Alexander Vampilov. The author of the play clearly indicated that the main character, Zilov, is about thirty years old, but this confused character in the midst of a crisis has often been played by much older actors. For example, he was depicted by the popular actor Oleg Dal, who was 39 when the film was shot. A year before his unexpected death. This time, Zilov will be played by the young and handsome 26-year-old Ivan Yankovsky. Yankovsky comes from a family of actors. His grandfather, Oleg Yankovsky, was a very famous actor loved by all women in the USSR (he passed away a few years ago). His father, Filipp Yankovsky, worked on a lot of films as a director. However, he has lately appeared in acting roles in plays, films, and TV shows. For example, he played the famous 60s poet Yevgeny Yevtushenko in the show “Mysterious Passion.” Now, Ivan will also be appearing on stage and has a bright future ahead of him.

On January 13, Crocus City Hall will be hosting a show by the virtuoso pianist Denis Matsuev. According to the musician himself, his schedule is already full through 2022. He often wakes up in one country, plays a concert, flies to another country, performs there, and goes to bed in country number three.

Fans of the legendary band Depeche Mode are in for a real treat this year. One of the most successful bands on the planet, which has sold over 100 million records, will be playing in Moscow on February 25. The show, which will take place at the Olympic Stadium, will be a real celebration for fans who are eager to see one of the favorite bands perform live. Dave Gahan, Martin Gore, and Andy Fletcher are not only the band’s founders, but also went to school together. this past summer, the band played a whole series of concerts within the scope of their tour, including a concert in Moscow. But their performances in Eastern and Western Europe were a phenomenal hit. The summer part of the tour ran from May 5 until July 23, and over 1.3 million people came to see Depeche Mode play live. The tour was so successful that the band decided to do the tour all over again in just a few months.

On March 3, the State Kremlin palace will be hosting Michel Legrand’s concert “Umbrellas Of Cherbourg” together with the Concord Orchestra. The great French composer, who has authored over two hundred compositions for films, is a three-time Oscar winner and five-time Grammy winner. The unique concert program from Michel Legrand includes all of his most famous compositions, great compositions from French films, as well as pieces dedicated to the American film diva Barbra Streisand.

On March 14, the same venue will be holding a concert by the French legend Mireille Mathieu, who recently turned 71. She is one of the most famous French women in the world, and has a lot of fans in Moscow. She has proven this several times, as Mathieu has already performed in the Russian capital. The first time she gave a concert here was in 1967. She sang at the State Kremlin palace in 2000, 2002, 2008, 2012, and 2017. The 2010 concert was dedicated to 45th anniversary of her creative career, and the 2017 concert was in honor of her first concert in the USSR, which took place 50 years ago.

On April 8, Moscow is in for a grandiose performance by legends of rock - Ritchie Blackmore and the band Rainbow! The legendary guitar player was one of the founding members of the legendary band Deep Purple in the late 1960s. Then, in 1975, he founded one of the best rock bands on the planet - Rainbow. Blackmore will soon be 73, and he’s made a comeback! This is amazing, considering that one of the most virtuosic musician in the world did not pick up an electric guitar for a whole 20 years. None of his fans thought that they would ever see him on stage again. But a miracle happened, and Ritchie will be performing in the spring of 2018.

Until the end of April, the State Tretyakov Gallery will be hosting a unique exhibition of graphics put together jointly with the State Historical Museum. Visitors will have a chance to get acquainted with the most interesting and significant graphics collections in Russia, which up until not had rarely been exhibited and are unknown to both experts and the general public. The exhibition will includes portraits of royalty and noblemen, historical events, and city landscapes. Works created at the order of members of the Romanov family will also be present at the exhibition. The last of the Romanovs, Nicholas II and his family, were killed in 1918. In 2000, the Russian Orthodox Church elevated him (together with his wife and family) to sainthood.

The International Moscow Film Festival will be taking place at the end of April. It usually takes place in the summer, but has been moved to the spring because Moscow will be hosting the FIFA World Cup in the summer of 2018. The forum in Moscow is the second largest film festival in the world (the largest is in Venice). It took place for the first time in 1935.

In 2017, the festival held a contest called “For the Creation of the Image of Moscow in Cinema.” There were a total nine films competing for the award, and the prize fund amounted to 100 million rubles. The film “About Love,” directed by Anna Melikyan, placed first (50 million rubles).

Here is what the President of the Moscow Film Festival Nikita Mikhalkov had to say about the award: “There were some people who proposed giving the prize to ‘Walking the Streets of Moscow.’ I said that this would be like awarding a prize posthumously. It’s a great thing that there is an award dedicated to a film where Moscow is depicted as a hero, as a substance that is an amazing force of spirit and beauty. I think the situation in Moscow today is difficult. Sergey Sobyanin should have been here, he didn’t make it because of traffic jams, but he called me, turned out he is running a temperature of 38.5. Let’s wish him good health. We know how irritating it is to be stuck in traffic jams. We blame the mayor and the city government, and this kind of irritation is understandable, but is only fair in that moment of irritation. Because I’m deeply convinced that the city will be phenomenal. And I am totally convinced that we’ll have our Mayor Sergey Sobyanin to thank for this beauty and for his perseverance.”

 

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