What Gergiev told the Met protestors

What Gergiev told the Met protestors


norman lebrecht

February 05, 2015

The conductor was approached after his Met performance last night by members of the anti-Putin vigil.

They said (by their own account): ‘Shame on you for supporting war and killings!’

Gergiev replied: ‘Who’s paying you?’

gergiev protestorsgergiev protest2


  • Anon says:

    Good question.

    • Gonout Backson says:

      Excellent, indeed. A perfect summary of Gergiev’s mentality.

      • MWnyc says:

        Gergiev’s? No, it’s a perfect summary of a Russian mentality.

        Not every Russian’s, of course. But there are millions of Russians whose immediate, reflexive reaction to those protesters would be to assume someone – some enemy of Russia’s – was paying them to do it.

    • smace says:

      I attended the protest and it was largely sons and daughters of Ukrainians murdered or persecuted by the Russians over the past 80 years

      • Anon says:

        Do you count Stalin as Russian? In fact he was Georgian. Will these people now picket Lisa Batiashvili’s concerts as well, after all she is a proud Georgian…
        Oh the madness…

  • Dave T says:

    Right back atcha, Val.

  • harold braun says:

    Yes,I asked that myself too!

  • Milka says:

    The thought comes to mind that people who can be bought with medals ,citations
    power assume all others are cut from the same cloth . Lacking integrity themselves
    they fail to see it in others . What answer would one expect from the likes of Gergiev .
    Another thought comes to mind ..garbage is still garbage no matter how you wrap it up .

  • Milka says:

    Thanks- the last sentence comes to mind when coming across the names Gergiev ,& Netrebko

  • Dr. Ronald C. Carlson says:

    My feelings and thoughts are wholeheartedly with Milka. In addition, I thought that personal attacks on other commenters, such as that by “ANON,” were forbidden by the rules of this blog.

    • Anon says:

      Milka is nothing but spitting russophobic poison in this blog, not a single constructive or informative post. Usually that’s called a troll. He can take a little bashing here and there, no worries.

      • Gonout Backson says:

        Please, remind of your last argument, or a serious answer to an argument in this matter.

        This goes to Mrs Landi and Mr “anon” (or “Anon”) both.

      • norman lebrecht says:

        OK, let’s draw the line. Enough personal attacks on Milka, and vice-versa.

  • Edgar Brenninkmeyer says:

    I expected a bit more class from Czar Vladimir’s Reichsmusikdirektor.

    • Daniel Farber says:

      You DID? Why? Of course the real issue is: Who’s paying HIM?

      • Anon says:

        In the case of the MET I suppose New York’s concert going audience? His sources of income are no secret. The protester’s is unknown, so his question is a legitimate one.

        • Gonout Backson says:

          “Legitimate” ? Fabulous. I was wrong : this says a lot about, widely, the kind of supporters Putin gets and the way they think.

  • Don Ciccio says:

    One reason why I have not renewed the Carnegie Hall subscription for the next season is the fact that Gergiev is conducting the Vienna Philharmonic.

    I don’t live in New York, but I do subscribe to Carnegie Hall, mostly to hear the Vienna Philharmonic, and whatever two or three other concerts I deem most on my taste (whether artist, repertoire or a combination of both.) This season I decided to wait to see which artists are coming to my home town before purchasing anything. But I definitely will not subscribe, Gergiev being reason #1.

    So Mr. Gergiev will not be paid by my money.

    And leaving politics aside, am I the only one who is sick of seeing Anna Netrebko on every promotional material from the Met? (well, not literally “every” material, but enough to make me sick.)

    • smace says:

      We too are boycotting all events at Lincoln Center. It’s outrageous that the Great Emancipator is affiliated with performances by barbarians.

    • MWnyc says:

      No point getting sick over Netrebko’s ubiquity in the Met’s promotional materials.

      Folks like us who follow classical music closely enough to read Slipped Disc – and to be sick of seeing Netrebko’s photo – do not constitute enough people to fill the Metropolitan Opera House six nights a week.

      To reach enough people – the punters, as the British say – to fill the house, the Met has to use images of people familiar to the public at large. Anna Netrebko has the most potent combination of fame and glamor* of any singer on the Met’s roster right now, so hers is the face the Met’s marketers will use.

      * Sorry, Domingo just isn’t glamorous anymore. Renee Fleming can’t out-glamor Netrebko, and Fleming seems to be winding down her opera career anyway. And there are countless wonderful things about the great Joyce DiDonato, but glamor as such hasn’t really been her thing;a singer who calls her (delightful) blog “Yankee Diva” probably isn’t trying to make glamor part of her persona.

  • albert landa says:

    Would those people “protesting” at the Met. against Gergiev because he “supports war and killings” be the ones who support the US “war and killings” in the Middle East, not to mention previous “war and killings” in San Salvador, Viet-Nam, Nicaragua, Korea etc etc. etc. etc.?

    There are aspects of Gergiev which I ,personally , find suspect but he is still undoubtedly a fine musician and I think these “protesters” are just a bunch of naive , political nincompoops and I find Gergiev’s ripost appropriate.The CIA spings to mind.Also are these “protesters” aware of the immense popularity Putin enjoys in his own country?More,I suspect, than Obama.

    • MWnyc says:

      Well, if Henry Kissinger or Donald Rumsfeld or Dick Cheney were conducting at the Met – or if any conductor at the Met had made a point of being photographed with one of those gentlemen repeatedly – there would probably be protests as well.

      As for the CIA, I honestly doubt they could be bothered with small fry like these protesters, especially when they’re protesting within the U.S.

  • Milka says:

    The subject is Gergiev and his toadying to barbaric russian invasion of the Ukraine.
    Dragging in every supposed fault of others is typical of failed defense .As for popularity
    if one recalls correctly Hitler was also quite popular .

  • albert landa says:

    RUSSIA has NOT “invaded” the Ukraine! Stop repeating the simplistic
    lies and distortions of Western media which is supporting EU and Nato attempts to bring forces up to Russia’s borders,which Russia will not,understandably. countenance.Especially as it contravenes earlier “agreements”.The US is heavily involved in destabilising Russia.The fascist regime in Kiev is playing with fire, is suspected of shooting down the Malaysian airliner.The Russian speaking , and ethnic Russians in East Ukraine reject the gangster regime in Kiev and Russia is supporting their struggle just as the US, Nato and the EU is supporting the idiots in Kiev who are leading Ukraine to ultimate disaster

    • Milka says:

      To believe the russian barbarian has not invaded the Ukraine indeed stretches the imagination . However one views what is going on in the Ukraine it is a Ukrainian internal
      matter ,but mother russia has made it her interest under guise of protecting ethnic
      russians in eastern Ukraine . I suppose if one eats enough borscht it acts as a
      hallucinogen and one believes what ever one wants to believe the truth be damned .

      • Julia KB says:

        Now, Milka, you know that borsch is a tasty and wonderful Ukrainian dish, and yet another thing Russia has been pretending originated in/is associated with it. So just leave the borsch out of it. There are plenty of possible culprit substances that come to mind on the subject of what Mr. Landa might be ingesting on regular basis. But I think we can confidently rule out borsch on that count. 🙂

        • Milka says:

          Sorry about that Julia you’re right it is
          Ukrainian &..there is nothing like it with boiled potato and sour cream
          they have also laid false claim to vodka – Polish potato vodka beats any vodka to come
          from of mother russia …. Ekatrina from Stetin saved them from the dark ages and
          brought them into western civilization to which they still are adjusting .

    • smace says:


      Russia just jailed a mother of seven who disclosed the movement of a russian battalion to Ukraine. They admitted it was a military secret.

      • Anon says:

        Not really. After much protest she was released. Now what do you think happens to a US citizen who happens to call let’s say the Cuban government and telling them about strange US marine ship movements towards Cuba?

    • William Safford says:

      Are you employed by the Russian Information and Press Department?

  • lee says:

    Netrebko? doesn’t that mean ‘something useless’ or ‘unnecessary’ in Russian?