"The Bolshoi launched promising developmental trends several years ago. We think they proved fruitful, so to change them is the last thing we intend to do," said Anatoli Iksanov, Director General. Next season will offer seven premieres-four operas and three ballets, he announced.
Spectacular among the operas will be Dmitri Shostakovich's Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk, a Timur Chkheidze production. Paradoxically, the Bolshoi has never before taken up the renowned opera. Verdi's Falstaff will repeat Giorgio Streler's excellent La Scala endeavour. Robert Wilson will offer his version of Puccini's Mme Butterfly. Last but not least will come Rosenthal's Children, whose music the theatre has ordered to Russian composer Leonid Desyatnikov. Mr. Iksanov expects it to make the season's biggest sensation-suffice it to say that the libretto comes from the pen of Vladimir Sorokin, one of the most controversial prosaists of present-day Russia, and Lithuania's top-notch Eimuntas Nekrosius will produce it. Alexander Vedernikov, Bolshoi music director, will co-produce and conduct the opera.
As for new Bolshoi ballets, the greatest success will certainly belong to John Neumeier's production of A Midsummer Night's Dream, expects Anatoli Iksanov. Alexei Ratmansky, who was appointed Bolshoi Ballet manager, January last, will produce Shostakovich's Bolt and three one-act pieces-The Three-cornered Hat, Omens and Parisian Merriment.
Next season will usher in long-awaited reconstruction of the main Bolshoi premises, which will close for five months for the purpose. Accident prevention works are finishing for the endeavour. Homeless for a time, the company will shift the stress to travelling. Guest performances in the USA will last six months, and there will be an ambitious tour of Russia, added Mr. Iksanov.