Ekaterina Semenchuk, Ekaterina Gubanova & Yulia Matochkina Headline Mariinsky Theatre’s New Production of ‘The Maid of Orleans’

By David Salazar

The Mariinsky Theatre in Saint-Petersburg has announced that it will be presenting a production of Tchaikovsky’s “The Maid of Orleans” for five performances starting on May 28 and running through June 18, 2021.

The production will be directed by Alexei Stepanyuk and will be conducted by Valery Gergiev. The opera’s title role will be shared by major operatic superstars including Ekaterina Semenchuk, Ekaterina Gubanova, and Yulia Matochkina. Other artists set to star in the opera including Elena Stikhina and Irina Churilova (Agnès Sorel), Roman Burdenko and Alexei Markov (Lionel), Sergei Skorokhodov, Sergei Semishkur and Alexander Mikhailov (Charles VII), Vladislav Sulimsky (Dunois), Stanislav Trofimov and Mikhail Petrenko (the Archbishop) and Yevgeny Nikitin (Thibaut d’Arc).

“We are not staging an historic opera ‘about knights’, but rather a romantic opera – even a metaphysical one,” Stepanyuk said of the production in a press release. “Fire is the entire production’s leitmotif, a symbol of all-consuming flame in which everything perishes – our whole world, with its madness of wars and hatred, the madness of pseudo-moralistic values. And, with her saintly smile, the Maid of Orleans towers above these flames.”

The opera had its premiere at the Mariinsky Theatre in 1881. The work then had to wait until 1945 for its second production with the company (it was known at that time as the Kirov Theatre).