Gergiev and the three bears

Gergiev and the three bears


norman lebrecht

January 26, 2015

This is the latest graphic provocation from the anti-Putin group that is picketing Valery Gergiev’s tour of the US.

gergiev three bears

There were further protests in Michigan this weekend.

Anti-Gergiev and Netrebko demonstrations are expected tonight at the Met.

UPDATE: We’ve just heard the demo has been postponed due to anticipated blizzards.


  • Elizabeth Owen says:

    I have never lived in Russia or even been there but can only imagine that it is difficult. Possibly Gergiev has to walk a tight rope in order to get funding for his beloved Mariinsky and given that people are determined to misunderstand him it must be a difficult time for him.

    • Liudmila joY- vasuta says:

      gergiev is a friend of Putin for many years ! He is
      Supporting annexation of Crimea and a war in Ukraine ! It has has NOTHING TO DO with financial situation if Marinskiy theater ! Btw, Gergiev himself is doing great financially ! He and Putin can support the theater!
      GEORGIEV AMD NETREBKO SUPPORT TERRORISTS IN UKRAINE WHO KILL UKRAINIANS EVERY DAY! Netrebko donated $18000 to the LEADER of non existent Nivorossia , Tsarev ! Their hands in blood! SHAME IN GERGIEV, netrebko and enyone who hires them !

    • Victoria Stepanova says:

      Don’t worry,Elizabeth, Gergiev has a very cold blood and he absolutely doesn’t care about a protesters The only thing he care,is money and power.

      • Stephen says:

        Most great conductors have been accused at some time of being only interested in money and power – by the untalented and envious. Leave Gergiev to get on with his job, which is making music.

        • Gonout Backson says:

          As soon as he sticks to making music. You make music, we talk music. You make political declarations, we talk politics.

      • Tim says:

        You missed a bit.

        Gergiev is an expert at licking Putin’s Arse.

        That’s the way he gets all the money as a thankyou

        • Stephen says:

          You have a coarse, vulgar, trivial mind and are in no position to pass judgement on others’ morality!

          • Tim says:

            Gergiev passes judgement on Putin’s morals by supporting a mass murderer so why shouldn’t I.

            Face the facts

    • Julia KB says:

      Elizabeth Owen, some artist in Russia actually do have a tight line to walk as they are dependent on the government for funding of their institutions. Gergiev is not one of those artists. But he is a close personal friend of Putin and appears to be fully on board with every disgusting idea that comes out of the Kremlin.

      Adopt barbaric anti-homosexual laws? Yes, great plan! Cause we’re totally protecting the kids and not at all making life a living hell for homosexuals in Russia.

      Provoke a war in Georgia? Yes, excellent plan! I’ll even play a concert in the territories captured in that war! (And hey, those territories are then going to live a life of poverty and need, but who cares– I’ll be conducting in London, so I don’t have to think about those people.)

      Occupy and annex part of another country? Sure! It’s ours anyway. And it worked out so great with Georgia.

      Start a war in that other country with mercenaries and latest in Russian weaponry? Why, that sounds like a fabulous idea. Um, add regular troops? Sure, why not! None of them are my kid. All those evil EU and US sanctions won’t stop us either. As long as I still get to conduct in those evil EU and US.

      What we say to all this is ENOUGH. It’s time for the cultural institutions of the free world to pick their own stars instead of letting Putin pick them for us. Gergiev is being panned left and right for this tour and if the clip the Met posted of Netrebko is any indication, the Met performances won’t be breaking that streak. So why are they being invited? Having an important post in Russia is not necessarily indicative of artistic talent– it might instead indicate a talent for getting in good with the right people. It appears that if Gergiev ever had artistic talent, it’s left him now and all he’s got is his connections. We don’t need to listen to his connections.

  • Mark Stratford says:

    As reported on SD, Gergiev recently cancelled performances in Israel, and the following from Israeli press shows that it wasn’t a catastrophe

    ==There was no reason to regret conductor Valery Gergiev’s canceling his performance with the IPO. His sudden absence provided a welcome last-minute opportunity for Israeli conductor Yaron Gottfried to perform as a substitute. He did so authoritatively and most impressively, emerging as a conductor of stature who deserves to be invited to IPO concerts in his own right, not as a mere substitute.

    • SDReader says:

      And he was probably the man doing the preparatory work with the IPO so that Gergiev could show up at the last minute and take the credit.

      This should happen with all “Gergiev” performances!

  • Tim says:

    Perhaps Gergiev & Netrebko will get lost (Permanently) in the Blizzards.

    We can but hope…..

    • Anon says:

      Thank you for your humanity.

      • Tim says:

        Gergiev and Netrebko don’t show any humanity to the Ukranian people whose Country has been invaded my Murderous foreigners.

        I’m surprised the fussy USA even allow odious people like these two cretins into the country in the first place

        • Stephen says:

          This “Tim” fellow would seem to be a bit of a neurotic, unable to put a problem in perspective.

        • Anon says:

          Dear Tim, please seek help, we are worried. Which foreigners? You mean the US under cover contingent in Ukraine? Or do you mean Russians and Ukrainians are foreigners to each other? Really? But then Texas and Massachusetts would be on different planets too. You have a funny sense of humor, you little chauvinistic prick.

          • Julia KB says:

            Man, anon– you seriously need medical help. US undercover contingent in Ukraine? And I bet you are so deaf you can’t tell the difference between Russian and Ukrainian languages?

            And can I tell you a secret? If Texas annexed Cape Cod and started a shooting war in Duxbury, we’d be calling them aggressors and occupiers too.

          • Gonout Backson says:

            Disarming nonsense, dear Anon or anon, whichever it is.

            You’ve been asked to provide some more information about this “US undercover contingent” no one has ever heard about (except for all the dot-ru sites, reproducing word for word the same BS).

            And you should be reminded that Ukraine and Russia are two independent countries, with well defined borders (borders Russia has officially and solemnly recognized several years ago), and therefore your analogy with Texas and Massachussets is… how should we qualify it… let’s go with : childish.

  • BearsLostInSnow says:

    The latest poster seems to have lost to the snow.

    Funny enough that one never sees mentioned here the thousands and thousands of people who buy tickets to Mariinsky Ballet, Mariinsky Orchestra, Mariinsky Opera, Gergiev non-Mariinsky concerts and Netrebko performances. Let’s see…Putin has been in power for fifteen years and has been infamous for the last year or so; remember the euphoria of the Winter Olympics just last year? Until one year ago, London, home of this website, happily took money from every Russian who came to town; London actually continues to do so. In the last year tens of thousands upon tens of thousands of people have continued to attend Mariinsky, Gergiev and Netrebko concerts and performances all over the world. Th halls are not empty. This is why they are invited back. The cumulative total of protesters numbers in the hundreds – worldwide.

    On a more serious note, it should be of more concern to people that the former German Chancellor happily accepted one of the largest consulting fees in history from Gazprom (the Russian state oil company). Mariinsky receiving monies from the state should not be a shock given that it is a state entity. That is not unlike to the Simon Bolivar Orchestra receiving funds from the state to perpetuate all the good that Venezuela has to offer the world. We know who benefited greatly from that but it is too obvious to mention.

    Of course it would also be difficult to delve into the finances of the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra and see which donors choose to support this altruistic organization

    Lastly, it would not be a bad idea to occasionally point out how rare it is for the president of a major nation to care at all about classical music, ballet and opera. While Mariinsky and Bolshoi thrive take a look at Italy, France and Belgium…oh, and don’t forget your ENO in London.

    • Gonout Backson says:

      “For the last year or so”? Remember the fake “terrorist attacks” of 1999? Remember Chechnya burned to the ground and turned over to the local mafia? Remember hundreds of murdered journalists, including Politkovskaya? Remember Sergei Magnitsky? Remember Litvinenko?

    • Julia KB says:

      It’s an educational campaign. It takes time. We are hopeful that in another year nobody will want to invite these artists and few will go to their performances. The reviews Gergiev has gotten so far on this tour are certainly not helping his cause. And the clip from the Met dress rehearsal is not looking good for Netrebko.

  • harold braun says:

    It really gets boring now.Nothing new about the Vienna Philharmonic?

  • Tim says:

    My ancestors came from Kiev, Admittedly many hundreds of years ago.

    Russia invaded Ukraine.

    The Ukraine asked the west for help – so get your facts straight

    • Anon says:

      Are you for real? You must be a Russian internet warrior trying to make Ukraine supporters look stupid. A real person can’t be as dumb as you sound.

      • Tim says:

        Whay don’t you read what I said properly.

        Of course I support Ukraine against the Russian murderous invaders and I also don’t hide my identity by calling myself Anon.

        You really are a cowardly gutless idiot.

      • Gonout Backson says:

        What about one real, adult argument from time to time?