11-15 Betterton Street, Covent Garden, London WC2H 9BP
Tel:(020) 7470 8705 Fax: (020) 7470 8706
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Friends of the Kirov was founded in 1993 in Britain by Valery Gergiev to provide crucial support for the Kirov (Mariinsky) Companies and the maintenance of the Mariinsky Theatre. The Friends have presented the Kirov Opera in successful fund-raising performances in London, including two Royal Galas, Prince Igor in the Royal Albert Hall in 1995 and Boris Godunov at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane in 1997, both in the presence of HRH The Prince of Wales. Outside London Friends of the Kirov have created opportunities for audiences in Glasgow, Belfast, Omagh and Birmingham to see performances by the Kirov Opera.
Since its inception the Friends has purchased instruments for the Kirov Orchestra, surtitling and other technical equipment, assistance with the transportation of opera sets and the restoration of the imperial crown and double-headed eagle in the Mariinsky’s auditorium. In 1998 the Friends was proud to sponsor the Mariinsky’s new production of La forza del destino, presented in its original St Petersburg version of 1862, conducted by Valery Gergiev. The Friends contributed $265,000 towards the cost of the production. The Friends also created the Chaliapin Fund, specifically to support young singers, orchestral musicians and dancers at the Mariinsky. Members have also sponsored individual young opera singers from the Academy of the Mariinsky Theatre, which was founded in 1998 by Valery Gergiev.
The Friends of the Kirov in association with Kryukov Productions Ltd presented the Kirov Opera and Ballet in a presitgious London season at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden - see events page for a report.
In London the Friends are involved with the annual Zurich Festival, a five-year project focusing on a different theme each year. Valery Gergiev, artistic director, will conduct concerts each May, culminating in 2003 with reciprocal performances in London and St Petersburg to celebrate the 300th Anniversary of the founding of St Petersburg.
Our activities rely strongly on the support of members who receive regular information and opportunities to gain a unique insight into this historic company through access to working rehearsals, backstage tours of the theatre, pre-concert talks and receptions with Valery Gergiev and Kirov artists. Corporate members will have opportunities for hospitality at Kirov performances at Covent Garden next summer and at the Mariinsky Theatre. Each year a special event will be held exclusively for Corporate members and their guests.
Last updated on 30 October 2000.