Semionova left to join the Berlin Staatsoper immediately after graduating from the Bolshoi Ballet Academy. Coincidentally, earlier this week Daniel Barenboim, the Music Director of the Berlin Staatsoper, gave a press conference at the Mikhailovsky where he announced that on 5–6 September 2013, he will perform there with the Staatskapelle orchestra. This will be his first performance at the theatre, as tonight's Giselle will be the first time Semionova performs her ‘signature role' at the Mikhailovsky.
Semionova is now visiting as a guest from the American Ballet Theatre, where she became prima ballerina just a few weeks ago, having left the Staatsoper after a ten-year collaboration. Her Albrecht in tonight's performance will be the ABT's magnificent Marcelo Gomes.
Graham Spicer is a writer, director and photographer in Milan, blogging (under the name ‘Gramilano') about dance, opera, music and photography for people “who are a bit like me and like some of the things I like”. He was a regular columnist for Opera Now magazine and wrote for the BBC until transferring to Italy.
His scribblings have appeared in various publications from Woman's Weekly to Gay Times, and he wrote the ‘Danza in Italia' column for Dancing Times magazine.