For a few brief weeks of summer, the sun doesn't set on St Petersburg. (So that's why Gergiev looks so shagged out....)
These 'White Nights' have given their name to a two-month music festival founded by Gergiev, which according to the Mariinsky's website "is one of the capital cities on the world´s music and theatre map and has emerged to be one of the most popular and grandiose music forums in terms of content and scale." Rite.
One of the highlights is a run out for the Mariinsky Opera's Ring cycle before they bring it to Covent Garden at the end of the month.
And last Friday, there was a gala concert featuring Gergiev, the ubiquitous Lang Lang, and two amazingly talented young Mariinsky singers who visited the Barbican last winter, Kristina Kapustinskaya and Alexei Markov. They both won young singers prizes sponsored by posh pen makers Montblanc, who brought over glamorous Eva Green (back to her natural auburn) for some belle et bête photo ops with Gergiev and others.
Comprehensive slide shows below, including bizarre pre-concert dinner with ballerinas pirouetting between the tables: