The former imperial estate of Peterhof is hosting a large-scale two-day event on Sept. 14 and 15, turning its annual closing of the fountains festival into a spectacular visual feast. Twice a year, when the fountains are turned on in May and off in September, Peterhof draws crowds of locals and tourists alike. An estimated 30,000 came to the fountain festivals last year, according to the organizers.
This autumn, the closing of the fountains ceremony is dedicated to the Russian victory in the 1812 Napoleonic wars. More than 600 musicians, artists and performers will join multimedia artists and lighting designers to plunge spectators into the atmosphere of the heroic military campaign, the show’s creators promise.
Titled “Ode to the Fatherland,” the show will take audiences to an Imperial ball, the Battle of Borodino, the fire of Moscow and the gallery of heroes of the 1812 campaign, with the use of 3D-mapping technologies.
The show will be performed against the facade of the Grand Palace at Peterhof.
“For the first time, we have decided to devote our festival to a particular historic event, and this event carries a special significance for every Russian,” said Yelena Kalnitskaya, director of the Peterhof Museum and Estate.
“Our guests will see a reconstruction of the famous Battle of Borodino, with the show serving as a sort of time machine. It is going to be an absolutely thrilling sight that will be crowned by fireworks.”
According to Kalnitskaya, the show took almost a year to prepare. The team behind it included State Chief Herald and Chairman of the Heraldic Council of Russia Georgy Vilinbakhov, the renowned artist Oleg Orlov and lighting designer Gleb Filshtinsky, arguably Russia’s most renowned specialist in his field.
“We are proud to treat local audiences to a world-class show,” Filshtinsky said. “And we are also proud that we did not use a penny from the state budget, especially considering that this is a performance with a distinctly patriotic feel. I would love for “Ode to the Fatherland” to make Russian spectators proud of their native country, and I also hope that such festivities will unite us around genuine values and real victories, rather than vanity or ideological fast food.”
The shows begin at 9 p.m., and tickets cost 500 rubles.
© The St. Petersburg Times. 12 September, 2012