The Maestro and the Master: Building the New Mariinsky

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  • Directed by Yosif Feyginberg
  • 2014Canada60 minutesEnglish & Russian (with English subtitles)
  • Prologue by Alexander Mickelthwate, WSO Musical Director

“The documentary film goes behind-the-scenes with Toronto-based Diamond Schmitt Architects as they design the first new opera house in Russia since the Tsars. The maestro is Mariinsky Theatre legend Valery Gergiev. The master builder is architect Jack Diamond (b.1932). With gorgeous St. Petersburg, Russia as the backdrop, the film charts the many twists and turns to complete the massive opera/ballet house in time for the opening.” —DSAI

Contractual obstacles and uncertainties, government bureaucracy, tricky soil conditions and a site adjacent to the Kryukov Canal, conspire to make a tough job all the more difficult. But the architect and conductor have shared interests and sensibilities, and work together to accomplish a great work of civic architecture. The film captures the excitement and suspense of any major international construction project, with many candid moments of conviction and compromise revealing the dilemma of attempting architectural work for every member to the team.

JR Wagner Architect