MOSCOW, August 28. /TASS/. As many as 3.5 million people have visited the Russian Seasons festival, aimed at showing Russian culture to foreigners, since the beginning of the year. Russian Deputy Culture Minister Alla Manilova said about it at Tuesday’s press conference devoted to the announcement of the main events of the festival’s autumn program.

“We’ve approached a number of 3.5 million people today. We expect more than 5 million spectators at the Russian Seasons in total. We hope to reach a level of 6 million. We hope that the interest will be as high as in the first half of the year,” she said.

Manilova noted that the Italian audience is in for more than 100 festival events.

“Among the brightest events I’d like to mention the festival ‘Elba – European Musical Island’ directed by Yuri Bashmet, which opens today, the Bolshoi Theater tour in September, the exhibition of paintings by Marc Chagall by the Tretyakov Gallery, the massive project ‘The Age of Museums,’ which gathered unique exhibits from St. Petersburg’s leading memorial estates, Ilya Averbukh’s ice show ‘Romeo and Juliet,’ and, of course, the grand closing of the Russian Seasons featuring Denis Matsuev and the Tchaikovsky Symphony Orchestra directed by Vladimir Fedoseyev, that will take place in December,” she added.

The autumn program

Bolshoi Theater’s Director General Vladimir Urin said that the theater brought two performances to Italy. “Our tour will take place in the famous theater La Scala and will run from September 7 to 13. We will bring two performances, ‘La Bayadere’ and ‘The Taming of the Shrew.’ The group is working in the rehearsal halls already,” he noted.

“I’m very happy that my ice show ‘Romeo and Juliet’ will be performed in Italy. I hope that our performance in Verona will disclose the capabilities of ice as a stage, in which Russia is an absolute innovator,” Averbukh said.

The Russian Seasons festival will end with a concert of Russian pianist Denis Matsuev and the Tchaikovsky Symphony Orchestra directed by Vladimir Fedoseyev. The event will take place on December 19 in Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia. “Italy is the second home for our Russian soul, as many things bring us close to each other. It is a great joy to us to end the wonderful year of culture and play everything that the Italian audience likes,” Fedoseyev noted.

The Russian deputy culture minister also noted that in November Italy will become the official host country of the seventh St. Petersburg International Culture Forum and will present a wide culture and business program there.

The festival

The Russian Seasons festival, named after the legendary tours of Sergei Diaghilev’s ballet company, was first held in 2017 in Japan, gathering more than 3.5 million visitors in 42 cities of the country.

This year’s festival is taking place in Italy. It involves numerous famous Russian teams, including the Bolshoi Theater, the Mariinsky Theater, the Hermitage, the Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra, the Tchaikovsky Symphony Orchestra, the Nikulin Moscow Circus and others. The project involves at least 74 cities, with more than 300 scheduled events, including around 60 symphony concerts, more than 30 theatrical performances, 55 ballet shows and an extensive exhibition program.

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