I International Musical Festival
“St. Petersburg – Rome. Time of the Capitals”
June 19-29, 2011
2011 is the year of Italy in Russia and of Russia in Italy. The 1st festival is one of the multiple events devoted to this.
The idea of this festival has originated from an ancient concept, according to which Moscow has been “the third Rome”. At the end of the XV century it was predicted, that there would never be the fourth Rome. But Peter the Great is considered to have founded “The fourth Rome” on the Neva-river and – as you have already understood – it is referred to as St. Petersburg. The two capitals have got much in common, e.g. our coat of arms is a mirror reflection of the Roman one; Kazan cathedral was built based on the model of St. Peter’s Basilica, located in Rome. The idea of the Roman spirit felt in the Northern capital of Russia has suggested the choice of the musicians to be invited, the repertoire and the venues of the concerts.
The festival concerts and performances will be held in the best places of the city – Large and Small Philharmonic Halls, in the Hermitage Coats of Arms Hall and in Mikhailovsky Castle. One of the concerts will take place in Peterhof, in front of the Roman Fountains.
No doubt, the festival program will embrace a lot of Italian music, being so popular all over the world. It will start on June 19 with the concert of the Youth Symphony Orchestra of the Pergolesi — Spontini Foundation; on June 23 at the stage of the Small Philharmonic Hall there will be a piano recital, played by one of the brightest Italian virtuosic pianists Pietro de Maria.
The pearl of the festival will be the concert performance of the musical drama “La Vestale (”The Vestal Virgin” (1807) by G. Spontini on June 29, at 8 p.m. in the courtyard of St. Petersburg Academic Cappella. The plot of this rarely staged opera depicts the ancient Roman traditions, focused on strong passions and on the conflict of “love versus obligation”. Great Maria Callas was one of the most recognized singers, who have ever acted the role of the vestal virgin. This opera will be the final event of the festival.