Talented young singers from all over Russia and winners of international competitions are invited to study at the Mariinsky Academy of Young Singers.
The Academy was created at the initiative of Valery Gergiev, artistic director of the Mariinsky Theatre. Over a short period of time, it has already won recognition both in Russia and abroad. The Academy's active participation in the productions, concerts and festivals of the Mariinsky Theatre allows its young artists to fully manifest their talent. The Academy teachers, conductors, stage directors and accompanists teach the students acting skills, stage movement, foreign languages and everything else necessary to mould a world-class opera soloist.
Vocal classes and consultations are given by the Academy teachers Nikolai Okhotnikov, Grair Khanedanian, Konstantin Pluzhnikov and Galina Gorchakova. Regular master-classes by such renowned singers and masters of world opera as Renata Scotto, Elena Obraztsova, Fedora Barbieri, Matti Palm and Gianandrea Noseda are held in St Petersburg (Mariinsky Theatre), London (Covent Garden) and New York (Metropolitan Opera). The director of the Academy is Konstantin Pluzhnikov, a famous Russian tenor and vocal tutor.
The artistic director, Larisa Gergieva, has won recognition as one of the world's finest vocal accompanists and is director and jury member of many prestigious international competitions.
Young singers from Korea, Estonia, Kazakhstan, Georgia, Armenia and many Russian theatres also train at the Mariinsky Academy of Young Singers.
Besides its active contributions to the main repertory of the Mariinsky Theatre - La sonnambula, Lohengrin, Le nozze di Figaro, Semyon Kotko, Carmen, Eugene Onegin, Ruslan and Lyudmila, The Snow Maiden - the Academy has also mounted its own productions of Giovanni Battista Pergolesi's La serva padrona, Sergei Prokofiev's Maddalena (première in Mikkeli, Finland, 1999), Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov's Mozart and Salieri and Alexander Chaikovsky's Motia and Savely (première at the Pushkin Festival in London, Great Britain, 1999).
The names of such national and international laureates as Tatyana Pavlovskaya, Daniil Shtoda, Nadezhda Serdyuk, Yevgeny Nikitin, Mzia Nioradze and Tatyana Borodina are already well known to lovers of classical and opera music.
During this season the Academy students have appeared with great success in the premières of the company - Don Giovanni, War and Peace and Das Rheingold; several concerts have been held, both independently and with the museum of the Mariinsky Theatre. The Young Singers' Academy has opened a series of concerts-exhibitions From the Chronicle of the Mariinsky Theatre featuring the outstanding singers of the past. During the "Stars of the White Nights" Festival the third concert-exhibition devoted to the work of Fyodor Stravinsky will be arranged in which several works from his repertory will sound. As for the Mariinsky stage, the students of the Academy will appear in several large-scale programmes.