CHINA / National

Curtain to be raised on Year of Russia
By Chen Jie (China Daily)
Updated: 2006-03-18 07:01

The curtain on the Year of Russia in China will be officially raised next week.

The prestigious Bolshoi Theatre heads to the Great Hall of the People for a special show on Tuesday. Visiting Russian President Vladimir Putin and President Hu Jintao will jointly inaugurate the opening ceremony.

Bolshoi's artists and opera singers will stage another performance for an ordinary Chinese audience at the same venue on Wednesday. The programmes will include Tchaikovsky's operas "Eugene Onegin" and "Iolanta," and pas de deux from Khachaturian's ballet "Spartacus."

"Bolshoi will bring its best artists and popular repertories from ballet, opera and symphony," said Ding Wei, assistant culture minister at a press conference on Friday.

The Year of Russia in China and the Year of China, to be held in Russia next year, are part of efforts to strengthen the two countries' strategic partnership, said Yuri Metelev, councillor of cultural and educational affairs of the Russian Embassy.

The Year of Russia will see 207 events covering a wide spectrum of areas including culture, economy and education, Russian First Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said in an interview with Xinhua News Agency on Thursday.

On the cultural front, Russian artists will bring to China a variety of shows ranging from ballet, drama and symphony, to folk songs and dances in the next 10 months.

Meanwhile, a spectacular exhibition entitled "Russian Art in 300 Years," the first of nine major art exhibitions in the Year of Russia, will run at the National Art Museum from March 22 to May 15. It will showcase 110 paintings from the 18th to 20th century now held at Moscow's Tretyakov Art Gallery, the country's national museum of fine arts.