Wow, Obraztsova and Somova are only just second soloists?? The Mariinsky has interesting casting policies, giving coryphees principal roles etc.
In recent years the casting policy has been to bench principals and ranking members in favor of coryphees, at home and on tours, particularly tours to major world cities. Is it wise to give an unproven coryphee unique star status? Is it wise to hang a coryphee's portrait in the opera house canteen? Is it wise to give a coryphee or corps member opening night on tour in "Swan Lake," while consigning excellent, experienced Principals like Lopatkina or Pavlenko to second, third or fourth cast? If the coryphee or corps member is most
exceptional, yes, if not, no it isn't. IMO, one such coryphee who qualified as most
exceptional as O/O and Nikiya was Altynai Asylmuratova
in Paris during the 1982 tour.
Right now the soloist ranks are top heavy with many
talents who should have gone forward but didn't, such as Maya Dumchenko, Elvira Tarasova and Svetlana Ivanova. As for Yevgenya Obratzova, at least she is a 2005 Moscow IBC Gold Medalist, and critically acclaimed internationally. Alina Somova is neither; and her promotion is inexplicable and alarming. IMO this reflects what is the perverse parallel universe that is the Maryinsky today.