Reports: Putin gives Gergiev a Pacific opera house

Russian media are reporting that the Primorsky Opera and Ballet Theatre, opened in October 2013, is to be merged with the Mariinsky Theatre. The decision is said to have been taken personally by President Vladimir Putin. The Mariinsky director, Valery Gergiev, intends to use the Primorsky as his company’s showcase in Asia and the Pacific.

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  • You know, folks, if there didn’t happen to be so much political shpilkes and mishegas around Putin these days (a gigantic if, I know) –

    – the idea of making the opera house in Vladivostok the Far Eastern branch of Russia’s best, most internationally renowned large opera company, bringing that company’s work closer to the world’s only growing markets for classical music would be considered innovative and worthwhile.

    So, for all the serious problems many of us have with Putin’s actions in the world these days – and for legitimate artistic criticism of Gergiev for spreading himself way too thin – maybe we shouldn’t dismiss every single artistic thing they’re involved in, regardless of its merits, to be irredeemably evil.

    • Exactly, when considering the changing demographics in terms of classical music appreciation, there does seem to be some cultural (not only political) logic to this move.

  • That kind of merger does make sense. It does seem bizarre that Putin would get involved in something like that, but if you’ve had any dealing with the Russian government (or nearly anywhere in the former Soviet Union, for that matter), it quickly becomes clear that a lot of even mundane decisions get pushed up to absurdly high levels. I’m not even sure this is a Putin creation; probably dates back to Soviet days.

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