TRANSCRIPT: [Putin at] Meeting of the Mariinsky Theatre Board of Trustees

Marinsky Theater file photo

( – December 9, 2015)

Vladimir Putin held a meeting of the Mariinsky Theatre Board of Trustees.

Items on the agenda included establishing a branch of the Mariinsky Theatre in Primorye Territory, using the Primorye Opera and Ballet Theatre as a base, and other projects the theatre is involved in, in particular, organisation of the Moscow Easter Festival, which will mark the 125th anniversary of the birth of renowned Russian composer Sergei Prokofiev.

President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Good afternoon, friends,

It is a great pleasure to see you all here in Russia, in Moscow, here at the Kremlin. I welcome our foreign friends and trustees, and everyone representing the Russian side too, of course. Your presence here bears witness to your interest in culture in general, and to Russian culture in particular.

It is not by chance that UNESCO chose the Mariinsky Theatre to host the opening ceremony of the International Cultural Forum, which marks this influential organisation’s 70th anniversary. The opening will take place in mid-December, in a week’s time.

Let me take this opportunity to express my gratitude to everyone taking part in this legendary theatre’s life. It is in many ways thanks to your support for the Mariinsky and its talented troupe that the theatre continues to grow and expand its cultural influence in Russia and throughout the world.

Of course, the opening of the new stage has greatly increased the theatre’s possibilities. The trustees made a big contribution to this work too. The advanced technology solutions used make it possible to stage the very latest shows and also arrange wide-scale broadcasting of concerts and performances, taking great art and its achievements to millions of people.

In talking about the theatre’s development, we must mention one of the big events in its current 233rd season, of course. I am referring to the establishment of a branch of the Mariinsky at the Primorye State Opera and Ballet Theatre. I want to thank the maestro, Mr Gergiyev, for responding to our requests, including my requests, and giving the Far East his attention. As I understand it, there are some big plans now regarding this project. They include more tours to and exchanges with the Asia-Pacific region countries, and organising an international music festival in Primorye Territory on the lines of St Petersburg’s White Nights festival.

The initiatives designed to attract young people and students to the theatre are especially important. I hope that Mr Gergiyev will give us some more detail about these plans.

It would be good to hear more about one of the Mariinsky’s other projects too. Next year, in 2016, the international music world will mark the 125th anniversary of the birth of Sergei Prokofiev. We have said in the past that this outstanding composer does not get enough attention here in Russia. The Mariinsky Theatre is in the process of preparing a big programme devoted to this great composer, which will unite around his name top-level musical events in Russia and around the world.

I ask the Ministry of Culture to give its attention too to the events planned to celebrate this anniversary at state level, and I would like to hear from the Minister today what the ministry is planning in this respect.

Thank you very much for your attention.