Sep 302013

Vladimir UrinThe new head of the , Vladi­mir Urin, has out­lined some of his inten­tions for the theatre’s future, after two months into the job.

He talked about cre­at­ing a group of house sing­ers, about Filin, Rat­mansky, Tsis­karidze, and about the Bolshoi’s tar­nished image with “Rossiyskaya Gaz­eta”. Urin has a vis­ion for the future of the theatre.

I will be in the audi­ence almost every night and see all the per­form­ances sev­eral times so that I can see all the casts, all the artists. Only then can I see where we should go next, and what the chal­lenges are that we face.

On qual­ity

When a theatre becomes a fact­ory for churn­ing out per­form­ance after per­form­ance, there is a ser­i­ous prob­lem. Qual­ity is everything. I know theatres which gather together a bril­liant team of sing­ers for the premiére, get good reviews, but then you go and see the 5th or 6th per­form­ance and wish that you hadn’t.

I would really like to reduce the influx of guest sing­ers — whether Rus­sian or else­where — because end­less casts, who arrive a only week before per­form­ances, can des­troy the artistic qual­ity of a pro­duc­tion that maybe a dir­ector took 2 months to cre­ate. This approach is for the con­cert plat­form not a theatre.

On opera and bal­let soloists

We must build up a body of soloists, and that is a long pro­cess, and the opera must have its own per­son­al­ity. When we talk about the bal­let of the Bolshoi Theatre, its “indi­vidu­al­ity” is noted: the style of Zakhar­ova is very dif­fer­ent from that of Ship­ulina or Alex­an­drova. We can list our top dan­cers, and we should be able to do the same in the opera.

On choos­ing to head the bal­let at the Stan­islavsky Theatre?

I saw that he had organ­iz­a­tional skills, because being a per­former is a dif­fer­ent pro­fes­sion. A dir­ector of a com­pany needs to know how to work with people, and it can be tough and demanding.

The artistic dir­ector must have cre­at­ive skills, and an under­stand­ing of how to build a company’s future. It’s not just about choos­ing a cho­reo­grapher, but under­stand­ing why. Does he fit with the artistic pos­i­tion of the theatre? It is very import­ant that a dir­ector has a mean­ing­ful under­stand­ing of where the com­pany is head­ing. Why do you need these dan­cers? Am I look­ing for per­son­al­it­ies or more uni­form dancers?

Of course, we had con­flicts with Sergei, but we sat down and dis­cussed them. In the third year of work­ing together, we under­stood each other very well. He cre­ated many inter­est­ing things in the Stan­islavsky and Nemirovich-Danchenko Theatre, and then here at the Bolshoi. Now we are dis­cuss­ing how we will con­tinue to work together. At the moment his health is improv­ing, but the doc­tors need to give him per­mis­sion to work. I just wish to to see Sergei fully recovered and back at work in this theatre.

On the Bolshoi’s tar­nished image

That image can be changed, it is chan­ging, if you fil­ter out all the bias that exists around the Bolshoi Theatre at this time. If journ­al­ists see that there exists a cre­at­ive atmo­sphere which res­ults in excit­ing per­form­ances, the con­flicts will disappear.


Alexei chose to step down as artistic dir­ector of the , but I would be sorry not to see future col­lab­or­a­tions. Alexei was here to rehearse some new soloists in their roles, and I told him that I’d like to con­tinu­ing work­ing with him as a great choreographer.

And Tsis­karidze?

We are now dis­cuss­ing the pos­sib­il­ity for to give per­form­ances at the theatre. I would like to see him fin­ish his career at the Bolshoi Theatre in civ­il­ized way and say good-bye to the stage and the the audi­ence. Sim­ilar things hap­pen in other theatres, and I like the idea. I hope that it will be pos­sible. There is still not a final decision; we need to speak about some organ­iz­a­tional issues.

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