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The Festival includes 56 performances nominated for the Golden Mask Award.
The performances will take place in Moscow, Saint Petersburg and other cities of Russia.
Among them – 18 dramas, 11 operas, five operettas and musicals, three puppet performances, five experimental shows, nine ballets and five performances of contemporary dance.
The Festival opens with the ballet “Amore Buffo”, presented by the Yekaterinburg theatre.
Creating the “Amore Buffo”, the theatre’s art director Viacheslav Samodurov (former principal dancer at Mariinsky theatre and Covent Garden) was inspired by Gaetano Donizetti’s opera “L’elisir d’amore” (The Elixir of Love).
The Award was established in 1994 by the Theatre Union of Russian Federation, and today is by far the most important and prestigious event of the theatre art in Russia.
The festival is held annually. Thus every spring the festival presents the best productions of the past year: dramas, operas, ballets, modern dances, operettas, musicals, puppet performances.
As of 2002 the festival is sponsored by Sberbank.
The President of the Golden Mask is National Artist of Russia Georgi Taratorkin.
And though the main activity of the Golden Mask management is organisation of the festival, it also initiated several other important theatrical events, such as the New Drama festival, international program Russian Case, addressed to the international guests of the Golden Mask, tours of the Mariinsky, Alexandrinsk and the Maly Drama Theatre, and many others.
On top of that the Golden Mask has launched an additional non-competition program Maska Plus that will be held for the fifth time this year.
It includes the best performances from the Baltic states, Europe and the US.
The Golden Mask festival and other projects of the organisation attract tens of thousands of spectators – not only the experts, but also a wide public of all ages.
It also enjoys extensive media coverage both domestically and internationally.
Among the objectives of the Golden Mask is preserving and developing the traditions of the Russian theatre, finding and awarding the best works of theatre art in different genres, defining the leading trends of the theatrical process and strengthening of the common cultural space of the country.
The XIX festival Golden Mask opens today in Moscow and will last until the 15 April.