The gala in the Palace Square in Saint-Petersburg was part of the celebration in honour of the 311st anniversary since the city's founding — also known as City Day — which began on Sunday, May 25. The dancers from the Leonid Yacobson Ballet Theatre performed three times during the concert.
The Ballet World Stars' Gala Concert was held at 9 p.m. on May 25.
The Leonid Yacobson Ballet Company presented its choreographic interpretations of several famous songs and arias: the waltz duet of Count Danilo and Hanna from Franz Lehár's operetta The Merry Widow, Eliza's song from My Fair Lady musical by Frederick Loewe, and Silva's aria from Imre Kálmán's Silva.
This grand open-air event in front of the Winter Palace also featured stage appearances by Elīna Garanča, an unmatched operatic lyric mezzo-soprano, and the great tenor Massimo Giordano, soloist at La Scala, The Royal Opera House, The Metropolitan Opera House, and many other theatres. Famous opera singers from Russia contributed to the performance as well. Among these performers were Hibla Gerzmava (soprano), Ildar Abdrazakov (bass), Veronica Dzhioyeva (soprano), and Vasily Ladyuk (baritone), as well as Mariinsky soloists Oksana Shilova (soprano) and Dmitry Popov (tenor).
A special chord within the audience's hearts was struck by Sergey Dogadin, a young violin virtuoso and winner of several prestigious music competitions. The music for the gala was provided by the Mikhailovsky Theatre orchestra, conducted by Mikhail Tatarnikov.
Apart from opera stars, the gala's guests also got a chance to witness performances by Saint-Petersburg artists' joint choir, the Boris Eifman Ballet Theatre, and members of the Dance on Wheels wheelchair dance sport club, who took part in the Sochi Paralympics opening ceremony.
And lastly, the city received an unusual surprise for its birthday — a visit from the EntredosBalletEspañol Spanish ballet. The dancers from Madrid astonished the public with unique choreographic works, which they had staged in creative collaboration with opera stars and the Russian symphony orchestra, especially for the 2014 City Day festivities.