Stravinsky’s Petrushka is so familiar in the concert hall that it’s easy to forget that it was originally conceived as a breathtaking theatrical spectacle: a tale of love and death at a Russian Shrovetide Fair. Giants Are Small turns the New York Philharmonic into the fairground, conductor Alan Gilbert turns magician and – with puppets, performers and live filmmaking – Petrushka and his fellow-marionettes come startlingly alive. Two of the 20th-century’s most glittering ballet scores, Bartók’s Suite from The Miraculous Mandarin and Debussy’s Jeux serve as a fairy-tale prequel to Petrushka; a stunning climax to the New York Philharmonic’s Barbican residency. ‘Is this the future of the American orchestra?’ asked the New York Times. ‘Let’s hope so.’ Petrushka is being performed in a special Young People’s concert earlier in the day.


The Times London

“The puppetry is beguiling and touching, and entirely true to Stravinsky’s vision”

The Guardian