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 Post subject: Historical Mariinsky Theatre Reconstruction: 2015-16
PostPosted: Thu Mar 20, 2014 12:06 am 
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Location: St. Petersburg, Russia
This is the first article I've seen about the previously planned, then delayed reconstruction of the historical Mariinsky Theatre. The article outlines the history of the plans, timing, and what needs to be done. Apologies I do not have time to translate the entire thing. But it states that the restoration is planned for 2015-16 and that 200 MILLION dollars have been set aside for it. It does not clarify whether the theatre will be fully closed during restoration or not.

http://www.fontanka.ru/2014/03/19/204/

One disturbing suggestion was that the architects wanted to "redo" the building side that faces the canal and turn that into the main entrance. This theatre was built in Tsarist times and should not be changed!
They also need to make the bridge between the buildings functional for dancers/singers to walk between buildings during the -20C temperatures and not force them to walk outside to go between buildings. However the bridge was not placed where intended, and it is positioned between stories (at present time it's not a functional bridge as there's no passageway through it).
They want to raise the roof 2 meters and accordingly raise the grid bars of the stage up too in order to allow "easier placement of the scenery" and to install more modern equipment.*
They state the building is sprinkled with through-wall cracks that run the entire height of the building up to Gergiev's office. Those need to be fixed.
They wanted to move the costume department to the second stage as well but then realize there was no assigned space for doing so.
I can see earthquake-type reconstruction going on, as was done in many buildings in San Francisco after the earthquake, to strengthen the foundation beams and basically keep the building upright (they state it is tilting towards the canal, although visually that is not evident at all when you stand outside it). But I think it's a ridiculous idea to go changing doors/entrances and raise/lower anything. If they're going to alter it, it won't remain "historical".

X. Fabre & Speller / Scene / Setec Batiment is the firm responsible for the work under the direction of Xavier Fabre. The contract they initially concluded in 2006 was revoked but last summer it was renewed. The World Bank and Russian Govt have granted the 200 million dollars as part of the "Economic Development of Saint Petersburg" project. According to the media, the investment construction project fund has already concluded a new contract with Fabre of 2.6 million dollars.

*the equipment in this theatre functions better, and the sound is better than in the new multi million dollar box next door. It doesn't need new equipment, it needs to preserve the genius layout that has withstood over 230 years of performances.

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 Post subject: Re: Historical Mariinsky Theatre Reconstruction: 2015-16
PostPosted: Thu Mar 20, 2014 4:33 am 
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Joined: Sun Jul 29, 2012 2:40 pm
Posts: 48
I would hate to have to enter on the canal side. I think it is exciting to enter through the normal entrance and arrive in the lobby. If you enter into the opposite side wouldn't a walkway all the way to the lobby have to be designed? Very strange. That might mean cloak rooms being relocated, etc. Sounds like more work and expense than necessary. I hope that doesn't happen!

Also building a new entrance on the canal side seems like it would require an extra long bridge to be built on that side for people entering and exiting. Another huge cost (I would think).

I am worried they are going to ruin this beautiful theatre, so everyone better hurry up and go see it before something happens!!!!


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 Post subject: Re: Historical Mariinsky Theatre Reconstruction: 2015-16
PostPosted: Thu Mar 20, 2014 4:35 am 
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I meant extra wide bridge, not long. The canal is narrow, so it would be a short bridge, but it would have to be wide for masses to enter and exit.


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 Post subject: Re: Historical Mariinsky Theatre Reconstruction: 2015-16
PostPosted: Fri Mar 21, 2014 2:32 am 
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Location: St. Petersburg, Russia
Peneallanorma, i totally agree with you. The fact that the architectural firm would suggest such an arrangement to me is a red flag regarding the lack of understanding about the theatre itself, its historical significance *and* issues of practicality. There's no logical reason to change the entrance. It would be like renovating the White House to make the back the front and the front the back: who does that? And to your note -- yes it also sounds like superfluous expense for little or poor result and not improvement but further confusion and degradation> I see nothing beneficial in those suggested alterations.

They had pieces on two news channels last night reiterating the content of that article and one program interviewing various people about the new theatre and the "bridge" between theatres that according to city regulations must be destroyed now as it is not up to regulation of any sort and was not made to regulations. So additional expense (with some to be pocketed) for the removal of a structure that was incorrectly installed, and never used...

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 Post subject: Re: Historical Mariinsky Theatre Reconstruction: 2015-16
PostPosted: Fri Mar 21, 2014 5:27 am 
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Joined: Sun Jul 22, 2012 8:40 am
Posts: 39
That is ridiculous. The theatre building is beautiful as it is and the exterior should be left as it is. It would be nonsense to put the entrance at the side. The front of the Mariinsky faces the Conservatoire on Theatre Square. What is the point of putting it its focal point around the side where it cannot be seen? Really it is a disgrace. Aren't the "authorities" ashamed enough of what they have done with the monstrous Mariinsky 2 building without interfering with the Mariinsky itself? Now I am very worried what they might do to the exquisite interior of the auditorium, at present a magical place with beautiful soft, glowing colours. I hope they do not over-gild it and over-restore it. It is fair enough to improve facilities if this can be done sympathetically but, apart from mending anything that obviously needs mending or rendering it safe for all, they should leave the beloved Mariinsky alone.


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 Post subject: Re: Historical Mariinsky Theatre Reconstruction: 2015-16
PostPosted: Sat Mar 22, 2014 8:32 pm 
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This sounds like it will be another corruption laced, construction money-pit symphony conducted by the Maestro. Can anyone imagine the traffic jam as patrons and performers try to enter and exit the main theatre, and between the two theatres? The original Mariinsky Theatre is an historical and cultural landmark. I'm ITA because if the sanctity of this Theatre is defiled and gutted, it will no longer be an historical landmark with this proposed "renovation." What they need to do is an upgrade/restoration - in other words, precisely what was accomplished for the Bolshoi Theatre. Everything was painstakingly restored as an exact replica of what it was, with 21st century upgrades that benefit and meet the needs of both their Opera and Ballet. This was not the case with the M2 re the Mariinsky Ballet. IMHO the M2 is an eyesore; but the M1 is a work of art. The architects and planners need to rethink this proposal. St. Petersburg and the performers and staff of the Mariinsky Theatre deserve nothing less than the best.


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 Post subject: Re: Historical Mariinsky Theatre Reconstruction: 2015-16
PostPosted: Sun Mar 23, 2014 3:35 pm 
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I knew already I had to hurry to go and see the building with my own eyes before they defile it. However, I thought the renovations would start this year, so this means I have some more time to save for my trip. (I'm a student)

The ideas sound stupid, why try to 'fix' what isn't broken?


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 Post subject: Re: Historical Mariinsky Theatre Reconstruction: 2015-16
PostPosted: Mon Mar 24, 2014 6:38 am 
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Posts: 48
My worry is that the opera house La Fenice in Venice, Italy was closed for repairs and totally burned down to the ground in 1996. It was eventually rebuilt exactly as it was in 2003, but it is all new. That's not the same at all when there used to be floor boards that famous singers walked along on the stage, etc. Two electricians were found guilty b/c they faced big fines for delayed work, so they thought a fire would save their company from paying fines, I guess. Anyway, when there is already an atmosphere of corruption and you are dealing with repairs to a historic building something like that can potentially happen. I hope not. It will be a huge tragedy.

But just in case, everyone, go! Go see the Mariinsky! As Tiara says above, the soft colors and the beauty of it.....it is a magical world.


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 Post subject: Re: Historical Mariinsky Theatre Reconstruction: 2015-16
PostPosted: Mon Mar 24, 2014 6:53 am 
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Joined: Sun Jul 22, 2012 8:40 am
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Lidewij wrote:
I knew already I had to hurry to go and see the building with my own eyes before they defile it. However, I thought the renovations would start this year, so this means I have some more time to save for my trip. (I'm a student)

The ideas sound stupid, why try to 'fix' what isn't broken?

Why try to fix what isn't broken? Now that is a very good question, but you see Russia is a country of exploitation and corruption, and just think of all those millions of rubles to be spent, all the possibilities for falsifying expenditure, all the possibilities for backhanders in every pocket and especially those at the top ...


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 Post subject: Re: Historical Mariinsky Theatre Reconstruction: 2015-16
PostPosted: Mon Mar 24, 2014 12:32 pm 
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Joined: Sat Nov 03, 2001 12:01 am
Posts: 1738
Location: St. Petersburg, Russia
http://novayagazeta.spb.ru/articles/8564/

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