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Gergiev to head Bolshoi & Mariinsky

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Urin is 75 or 76 now, and I think he was noticed by the Putin regime when he signed a letter in opposition to the war in 2022.  So he had to go.  

Gergiev has long been a favorite of Putin for making Russia look good around the world.  He is something of a political cat: he manages to land on his feet no matter what.  

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Multiple news sources are reporting that Vladimir Urin resigned his post as of 30 November.


On his Telegram channel music critic Sergei Bulanov published a video of Urin's farewell address to the employees of the Pokrovsky Chamber Stage (absorbed into the Bolshoi Theater in 2018) following the premiere of a Cui/Stravinsky operatic double bill. He specifically says that it's his last day on the job.


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Now the Bolshoi is as toxic as the Mariinsky, so we won't get a ringside seat to watch everything going to hell anytime soon.

Figuratively, a plague on both their houses.

But I find these references to Urin's so-called anti-war credentials misleading. I would venture an opinion, that at the time he was scrambling to salvage the Bolshoi's co-productions with Western opera houses, which didn't work in the end. Remember that in 2014 he signed the "letter of the 511" supporting Putin's occupation of Crimea and the eastern Donbas, as did the heads of every major cultural institution in Russia, no doubt as a condition of keeping their jobs and covering all their subordinates. (People like Svetlana Zakharova and Ivan Vasiliev went out of their way to sign it as individuals.) He also publicly professed fealty to Putin on behalf of the entire theater in the wake of Evgeny Prigozhin's whatever-that-was.

Edited by volcanohunter
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