Yuri Alexandrov graduated on the Leningrad State Conservatoire as a pianist in 1974 (class of Professor Umanskaya) and from the faculty of musical stage direction in 1977 (class of senior lecturer M. Slutskaya). His degree production was Donizetti's Don Pasquale at the Byelorussian State Academic Bolshoi Theatre. From 1978 to the present day Mr. Alexandrov has worked as a stage director at the Mariinsky Theatre. His work is natural and varied, and for him there is no strict, canonical understanding of opera. He boldly adapts, analyses and experiments with classical opera texts. Moreover, his art is marked by a unique aesthetic, original thoughts, paradox and the unexpected. Following the thought process in his productions is both intriguing and complex, filled as it is with allegory and metaphysical ideas. The metaphor is one of the Maestro's main devices, exposing and embodying the internal, deeply spiritual, philosophical and poetic world of the director.
Productions he has staged at the Mariinsky Theatre have always proved to be significant events in St Petersburg's cultural life, among them Donizetti's Il campanello di notte (The Night Bell) and Don Pasquale, Gluck's The Queen of May, Banevich's The Story of Kai and Gerda, Mozart's Don Giovanni, Stravinsky's Mavra, Mozart's The Marriage of Figaro, Tchaikovsky's Mazepa, Prokofiev's Semyon Kotko (awarded Russia's highest theatre prize, the Golden Mask, in 1999 in the categories "Best opera production", "Best opera director", "Best opera designer" and "Best opera conductor") and Verdi's Aida, Don Carlos and Othello. One of Russia's greatest musical theatre directors, Yuri Alexandrov has won a reputation as an innovator in opera. In 1987 he founded the Chamber Music Theatre. Initially conceived as a creative "laboratory", with time it developed into the professional St. Petersburg Chamber Opera Company, famed not only throughout Russia but abroad too. Yuri Alexandrov has staged over two hundred productions at opera houses throughout Russia and abroad, among them Donizetti's L'elisir d'amore (The Love Potion) (Riga), Musorgsky's Khovanshchina (Moscow, Bolshoi Theatre), Mozart's Don Giovanni (Vilnius), Borodin's Prince Igor, Tchaikovsky's Eugene Onegin (Turkey), Tchaikovsky's Cherevichki and Eugene Onegin, Mozart's Don Giovanni (Italy) and Tchaikovsky's The Queen of Spades (USA). One recent premiere directed by Mr. Alexandrov that set the opera world ablaze was Puccini's Turandot, which he staged in June 2003 at the Arena di Verona (Italy). It was an unprecedented event: for the first time ever the theatre had invited a Russian director to stage one of the classic Italian operas. Yuri Alexandrov and conductor Valery Gergiev work together in August 2005 at the Arena di Verona, and staged the opera Boris Godunov on the largest open scene.