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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

Wednesday, Jan. 28



Feel like becoming a publishing mogul? Stop by the Freedom anti-cafe at 7 Ulitsa Kazanskaya today at 8 p.m. where Simferopol, Crimea-based founder and chief editor of the Holst online magazine will talk about creating an internet magaine, including what stories to cover, how find an audience and build a team, where to find inspiration and how to stand out from the crowd. Admission is the normal price of the anti-café — 2 rubles per minute, which includes tea and snacks.



Learn everything you always wanted to know about wine, and perhaps a bit more, at the Le Nez du Vin seminar for wine lovers. Held at the WineJet Sommelier School, 100 Bolshoy Prospekt Petrograd Side, at 7:30 p.m., the event will cover wine production, the basics of wine tasting, the concept of terroir and the various countries where wine is produced. Tickets are 750 rubles and include a wine tasting. Register by calling +7 921 744 6264.



Thursday, Jan. 29



Attend a master class on how to deal with complicated business negotiations today at the International Banking Institute, 6 Malaya Sadovaya Ulitsa. Running from 3 to 6 p.m., Vadim Sokolov, an assistant professor at the St. Petersburg State University of Economics, will introduce aspects of managing the negotiation process and increasing its effectiveness. Attendance is free with pre-registration by telephone on 909 3056 or online at www.ibispb.ru



Celebrate what would be writer Anton Chekhov's 155th birthday at the Bokvoed bookshop at 46 Nevsky Prospekt. Starting at 5 p.m., the legendary author will be feted with readings of his stories and short performances based on his plays by various St. Petersburg actors. Chekhov's books will also be offered at a 15% discount during the event.



Friday, Jan. 30



The Lermontov Central Library, 19 Liteyny Prospekt, will screen 'Almost Famous’ in English with Russian subtitles at 6:30 p.m. Cameron Crowe's Academy Award-winning comedy from 2000 stars Billy Crudup, Kate Hudson, and Patrick Fugit, and tells the story of a budding music journalist at Rolling Stone magazine in the 1970s. Admission is free.



Meet renowned Russian poet, journalist and writer Dmitry Bykov, famous for his biographies of Boris Pasternak, Bulat Okudzhava and Maxim Gorky, and winner of 2006 National Bestseller Award. Bykov will read old and new poems as well as answer questions about his works at the St. Petersburg Philharmonic, Main Hall, at 7 p.m. Tickets start at 1,000 rubles and are available at city ticket offices and the from the Philharmonic website www.philharmonia.spb.ru.



A retrospective of the films of Roman Polanski starts today at Loft-Project Etagi, 74 Ligovsky Prospekt, with a screening of ‘Repulsion’ at 7 p.m. and ‘Rosemary’s Baby’ at 9:15 p.m. The series runs through Feb. 4 and will include Polanski's eminently creepy ‘The Tenant,’ the cult comedy ‘The Fearless Vampire Killers’ and ‘Cul-de-sac’ among others. Tickets are 150-200 rubles and the complete schedule is available at www.vk.com/artpokaz/



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