The Diaghilev Festival was established in 2003 by the Perm State Tchaikovsky Opera and Ballet Theatre and since that time it has been held four times. The message of the Festival was determined by the organizers as to study and continue the traditions of Sergei Diaghilev, the great art and theatre renovator of the XX century.
Perm was the home city for Sergei Diaghilev: here he spent his childhood and youth. Namely Perm opera and ballet evoked his early interest to theatre. Thus the only in the world house museum of the legendary impresario is located in Perm. Also the building of the Perm Theatre was erected due to a considerable financial support of the Diaghilev family.
The three cities designated in the name of the festival, Perm, Petersburg and Paris, played a particular part in Diaghilev’s life and marked the stages of his international recognition.
The festival has one more distinguished feature: its multigenre character. The extraordinary activity of Sergei Diaghilev connected with opera and ballet theatre, music, fine arts, publishing, etc. is a structural pattern of the Festival.
The programme of the Festival traditionally provides the world opera and ballet premieres by the most prominent composers and choreographers, presentation of the companies of contemporary dance, exhibitions of fine arts masters, concert programmes of symphonic, chamber, organ and jazz music pieces created by national and foreign composers, the retrospective show of films, photograph exhibitions, the international symposium The Diaghilev Readings, incorporating research workers in various branches of art. All of these events make The Diaghilev Seasons an extraordinary cultural phenomenon in Russia.
The festival is held every two years. The most important events of the former four festivals were as follows: world premieres of Christus, opera by A. Rubinstein, One Day in GULAG by Alexander Tchaikovsky, Lolita, the opera by R. Shchedrin, and Chertogon, the opera by N. Sidelnikov (conductor: Valeriy Platonov, producer: George Isaakian), Russian premieres of The Bestiary by A. Shchetinsky, Cleopatre and Cinderella by J. Massenet, The Mermaid by A. Dvořak, Alcina by H. Händel, Die Sieben Todsünden by K. Weill and B. Brecht, Russian premieres of George Balanchine and Jerome Robbins ballets, The Swan Lake in Natalia Makarova’s choreographic version, exhibitions of Russian avant-garde paintings from private collections, Ernst Neizvestny’s personal exhibition, and the first and unique contest for the best producer projects in Russia.
Ballets performed by the Mariinsky Theatre (George Balanchine’s Apollo, William Forsythe’s In the Middle…) and the Bolshoi Theatre of Russia (Alexey Ratmansky’s Russian Seasons and Twyla Tharp’s In the Upper Room), contemporary dance performances of Russian and foreign companies (Spain, Estonia, the Netherlands, Japan) became important events of the festival.
The Festival organizers are: the Ministry of Culture of Russia, the Ministry of Culture and Mass Communications of the Perm region, the Municipal Authorities of the city of Perm, the Theatrical Association of Russia, the CID/UNESCO, the Perm Public Foundation “Gem of the Urals”, the Perm Art Gallery, the Perm Region Philarmonic Society, the Sergei Diaghilev House Museum. The holding of the festival is possible due to the assistance of the French Embassy, the USA Embassy, the Netherlands Royal Embassy, the Japanese Embassy, the Finnish Embassy and other state and social associations.
Guests and participants
The Diaghilev Seasons Festival gathers a wide range of Russian and foreign artists and companies, notable research workers and critics. It was a host to the world’s most renown artists and honorable guests: Maya Plisetskaya, Natalia Makarova, Ekaterina Maksimova, Vladimir Vasiliev, Rodion Schedrin, Shirvani Chalaev, Arthur Maskats, Denis Matsuev, Pavel Nersessian, Nicolas Le Riche and Clairemarie Osta (France), Nicholas Payne (Great Britain), the president of the Opera Europa Association; Milorad Miskovich (France), the honorary president of the International Dance Council of UNESCO; Dominique Delouche (France), a film director; Vitaly Vulf, an arts critic and TV presenter; conductors: Alexander Anisimov, Evgeniy Brazhnik, Robert Cole (USA), David Heusel (USA-Germany). Along with the Russian performers, the representatives of France, Germany, USA, the Netherlands, Japan, Italy, and Australia took part in the festival activities.