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Valery Gergiev Replaces Vladimir Urin as Director of Bolshoi Theater

Bolshoi Theater General Director Vladimir Urin. Alexander Avilov / Moskva News Agency

November 30 was Vladimir Urin's last day as general director of the Bolshoi Theater. His departure was rumored to be imminent since November 17, when it was reported in several Russian media that he had resigned.

Urin spent the evening watching the premieres of two short operas, "The Mandarin's Son" by César Cui, and "The Nightingale" by Igor Stravinsky. They were performed on the stage of the Pokrovsky Theater, which became part of the Bolshoi in 2018.

Urin congratulated the troupe and thanked them for their work.

Urin joined the Bolshoi Theater in 2013. He was highly respected as an administrator and artistic director who successfully managed the various crises over the years, including the postponement of the premiere of ‘Nureyev” in 2017 and its final removal from the repertory in April of this year.

He seemed to be able to negotiate the changing political scene as well, signing a letter in support of Russia’s annexation of Crimea in 2014 but adding his name to a letter of cultural figures “calling for peace” after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in 2022.

He recently spoke fairly openly about political censorship at the theater, which opened its 248th season this autumn, and the difficulties of acquiring rights to music and collaborating with foreign dancers and theaters.

On December 1, as expected, Valery Gergiev, the artistic and general director of St. Petersburg Mariinsky Theater, was officially named general director of the Bolshoi.

Gergiev, a renowned conductor who has been the artistic and general director of the Mariinsky Theater since 1988, will apparently combine two directorships — Mariinsky and Bolshoi.

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