Jul 092013

Vladimir Urin 322x500 New director of the Bolshoi Theatre: I do not plan a revolutionAnatoly Iksanov has retired as dir­ector of the Bolshoi Theatre. His con­tract fin­ishes in 2014 but he has retired early, or been sacked, accord­ing to dif­fer­ent Rus­sian news agen­cies. His suc­cessor Vladi­mir Urin, who since 1995 has headed the Musical Theater of Stan­islavsky and Nemirovich-Danchenko, said at yesterday’s press con­fer­ence that he ini­tially refused the pos­i­tion, but accep­ted when Iksanov him­self approved his appointment.

Sup­port­ing the ‘sacked’ the­ory is the report from Gaz­eta which quotes a source close to the theatre as saying,

On Monday morn­ing Iksan­ova was called to the min­istry where he learned that he was no longer the director.

Urin said,

I under­stand what a big respons­ib­il­ity this is. One per­son alone can do noth­ing, but together we can grow.


I do not plan any revolutions.

In 2010 when a 5-year con­tract expired, Urin was in the front line to take over, along with opera singer Yuri Laptev. Iksanov, how­ever, res­isted, and his con­tract was extended.

Iksanov has presided over the theatre since Septem­ber 2000, over­see­ing the appoint­ment of as dir­ector of the bal­let com­pany, and the sub­sequent scan­dals over the last months, deal­ing also with the pub­lic fury of prin­cipal dan­cer , and the depar­ture of the young­est stars and . He also over­saw the res­tor­a­tion of the Bolshoi theatre; more scan­dals there too, with Tsis­karidze declar­ing that the theatre had been ruined in the pro­cess, say­ing it looked like a “Turk­ish hotel”.

The final straw seems to have been the acid-attack on Sergei Filin, rob­bing him of his sight, and the later arrest of first artist Pavel Dmitrichenko.

Mak­vala Kas­rashvili, dir­ector of the Bolshoi Opera, said the num­ber of scan­dals had proved too much:

Numer­ous events have happened recently, and ’s refusal to dance One­gin played its role as well.

4 July saw Svet­lana Zakhar­ova walk out of the theatre after hav­ing been offered second cast for Cranko’s One­gin.

Iksanova’s resig­na­tion is only one of sev­eral unex­pec­ted per­son­nel decisions by the Min­istry of Cul­ture over the last few days. The dir­ector of the Puskin Museum and the head of the Museum Boris Saltykov have been replaced this month.

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