St Petersburg – a unique destination
A Happy New Year from all of us at Musica Europa!
St Petersburg, on the same latitude as Anchorage in Alaska and built on impossibly inhospitable marshy lands is an extraordinary city by any standards. Peter the Great’s vision for a capital city with a “Window on the West” has provided an incredible legacy with its imperial grandeur, opulent palaces, elegant canals and bridges and cultural richness.
25 members of ME’s Opera Club flew from Heathrow to St Petersburg on Valentine’s Day 2017 to see Borodin’s Prince Igor and Verdi’s Un Ballo in Maschera at the Mariinsky Theatre and to watch and listen to a sublime performance of Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet given by the Mariinsky (Kirov) Ballet Company.
Ada, our outstanding guide, took us to see some of the city’s greatest cultural treasures and architectural wonders not least Leonard da Vinci’s “Madonna and Child in the Hermitage Museum. We crossed the River Neva to visit the St Peter and Paul Fortress. Dating from 1703, it has a long history – as a city garrison, a prison for political prisoners a significant role in the Russian Revolution and is where the Russian Tsars are buried. We went to the Fabergé Museum and saw the famous “Imperial Coronation Egg” renowned for its intricate design and craftmanship. We finally travelled out to Pushkin to see Catherine the Great’s Summer Palace with its opulent Rococo architecture and iconic Amber Room, adorned with amber panels, gold leaf, and mirrors.
How fortunate we were, as who knows when such a trip will be possible again.
Read more from Ben in February 2024