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Departures Continue at Bolshoi

Published: December 6, 2013 (Issue # 1789)



  • Vasily Sinaisky’s departure means the Bolshoi must find a new star conductor in an arena with few candidates.
    Photo: Youtube.com

The Bolshoi Theater will finally have an element of closure in a longstanding scandal with the conviction of dancer Pavel Dmitrichenko and two co-conspirators in the acid attack on artistic director Sergei Filin in January (see front page for details).

However, the departure of Vassilly Sinaisky, the head conductor of the Bolshoi Theater, adds another chapter to a long list of leading personnel that the theater has lost in the past year. Sinaisky's resignation was announced Monday by Bolshoi director Vladimir Urin.

"On Dec. 2, Sinaisky submitted a letter of resignation through the human resources department. After conversations with him, I decided to fulfill his request. As of Dec. 3, 2013, Vasily Serafimovich Sinaisky will no longer work at the Bolshoi Theater," Urin said, RIA Novosti reported.

Many critics expressed surprise that Sinaisky's resignation came in the middle of the Bolshoi's season, only two weeks before the premiere of the Bolshoi's new production of Verdi's opera "Don Carlos."

"I think Sinaisky's departure is a serious problem for the Bolshoi Theater," said RIA Novosti culture editor Dmitry Khitarov, "The season is at its peak, an important premiere is expected in two weeks … It is even more a pity that this had to happen now, when after a difficult, frantic year, the situation at the theater seemed to be stabilizing."

Vassily Sinaisky has been musical director of the Bolshoi Theater since 2010, prior to which he was a conductor-in-residence at the theater for the 2009-10 season. He has previously conducted the Latvian National Symphony Orchestra from 1976-89, the Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra from 1991-96, and the Malmo Symphony Orchestra from 2007-10. Sinaisky has also done stints as a guest conductor at numerous Russian and international orchestras and is well known abroad.

Sinaisky's resignation continues a series of prominent departures that began with the resignation of star dancer Nikolai Tsiskaridze in July following a conflict with Anatoly Iksanov, then director of the Bolshoi. Iksanov himself was fired only days later and replaced by Vladimir Urin, who removed prominent Bolshoi staff members such as planning director Mikhail Fikhtengolts, who left the theater in late August.

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ALL ABOUT TOWN

Thursday, Nov. 27


The Customs and Transportation Committee for AmCham meets this morning at 9 a.m. in their office on Ulitsa Yakubovicha.


Tickets are still available for local KHL team SKA St. Petersburg’s showdown with Siberian club Metallurg Novokuznetsk tonight at 7:30 p.m. in the Ice Palace outside the Prospekt Bolshevikov metro station. Tickets can be purchased on the team’s website, at the arena box office or in their merchandise store on Nevsky Prospekt.


Celebrate one of Russian literature’s most tragic figures during Blok Days, a two-day celebration of the 134th anniversary of the poet’s birthday. The tragic tenor’s work, which led to writer Maxim Gorky to hail him as Russia’s greatest living poet before his death in 1921, will be recited and meetings and discussions about his contributions to the Silver Age of literature in St. Petersburg will be discussed in the confines of his former residence.



Friday, Nov. 28


Join table game aficionados at the British Book Center’s Board Game Evening. Held every Friday at 5 p.m., aficionados and amateurs alike can come take part in a variety of different games that test one’s intellect and cunning.



Saturday, Nov. 29


Cats, dogs, birds, rodents and reptiles are just some of the things that will walk and crawl at Lenexpo convention center this weekend as part of Zooshow, a two-day exhibition featuring not only man’s best friends but a four-legged fashion show, as well as a food fair that will help pet owners find out more about which kibbles are best for their hungry pets.



Sunday, Nov. 30


Remember the 75th anniversary of the beginning of the Russo-Finnish war in 1939 during today’s reenactment titled “Winter War: How it Was.” More than 200 people will take part in recreating the opening salvoes of the battle for the north in Kamenka, a small village situated between Vyborg and St. Petersburg, using authentic equipment and vintage vehicles from the era. The faux battle begins at 2 p.m.



Monday, Dec. 1


Serbia filmmaker Emir Kusturica is the featured guest this evening at the Lensovet Palace of Culture the Petrograd Side. Fans of the director will get the chance to watch his movie “Black Cat, White Cat,” as well as ask questions about his award-winning filmography. Tickets for the event, which starts at 7 p.m., start at 2,000 rubles ($42.50).



Tuesday, Dec. 2


Today is the final day of “Takoy Festival,” a three-week program of plays based on the works of Dostoevsky, Remarque and other famed European writers, whose work is transcribed for theatrical performances. Tonight’s festival finale is “Fathers and Sons,” a two-act drama staged by the Novosibirsk Academic Drama Theater based on Turgenev’s classic about familial relations.



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