If there was ever a musical bridge-builder, it was Peter Tchaikovsky. He seems like a typically Russian composer, but all his ballets are settings of Western European stories. The same is true for the opera The Maid of Orleans, in which the composer drew inspiration from Giacomo Meyerbeer, a Frenchman, and Friedrich Schiller, a German. Valery Gergiev will be presenting us Tchaikovsky's most western opera in a production by the Mariinsky Theater. The work is just being rediscovered in Germany as a handful of new productions have stimulated greater interest. It’s all the more exciting to get to know the work from a Russian perspective in the Festspielhaus Baden-Baden.