Within the 9th St. Petersburg International Cultural Forum, the premiere of Leo Delibes' opera Lakmé was held on the new stage of the Mariinsky Theatre. This is a large-scale performance directed by Sergei Novikov and created in collaboration with the Hvorostovsky Krasnoyarsk Opera and Ballet Theatre.
Currently in Russia, the entire Delibes' opera is only available in the repertoire of the Hvorostovsky Krasnoyarsk Opera and Ballet Theatre. At the Mariinsky Theatre, Lakme is staged as a semi-stage production.
Participants of the St. Petersburg Cultural Forum saw and heard the joint production of two theatres. The leading parts were performed by Mariinsky soloists Aigul Khismatullina (Lakme), Boris Stepanov (Gerald), Egor Chubakov (Frederic), and Magerram Guseinov (Nilakantha). The conductor’s stand of the St. Petersburg Theatre’s orchestra was taken by the world-famous conductor, People's Artist of Russia Valery Gergiev. Music director of the production is also Valery Abisalovich Gergiev, choreographer is Alexander Sergeev. Costumes, set design, props, video design, lighting scores were provided by the Krasnoyarsk Opera House. The set design and costumes were created by Maria Vysotskaya, Chief Designer of the Krasnoyarsk Opera and Ballet Theatre.
Director Sergei Novikov changed the opera setting from British India of the 19th century into a modern metropolis where different cultures intertwined.
“Our production deviates from the original place and epoch, but it also tells about the clash of Western and Eastern mindsets. Nowadays, the border between the Earth’s hemispheres crosses not the meridians but every contemporary metropolis where nationalities, peoples, ethnic groups, beliefs mingle together,” noted Sergei Novikov.