Director walks out on Gennady Rozhdestvensky

Director walks out on Gennady Rozhdestvensky


norman lebrecht

February 09, 2017

The chief director of the Pokrovsky chamber music theatre in Moscow, Mikhail Kislyarov, has resigned after differences with its veteran chief conductor.

Apparently, they could not see eye to eye on Mozart’s Clemenza di Tito.

A Russian source adds: ‘The truth is Mr. Rozhdestvensky ordered to fire Mr. Kislyarov from his position of Principal Director of the theatre where Mr. Rozhdestvensky is Music Director.

Previously, a couple of years ago, Mr. Rozhdestvensky ordered to fire (with no apparent reason) from his position the Principal Conductor of the same theatre, Mr. Agronsky.

As in both cases there were no legal reasons for firing these quite distinguished artists, it was done by eliminating the positions of the Principal Conductor and Principal Director accordingly.

There has been indeed an artistic disagreement between Mr. Kislyarov and the conductor Ignat Solzhenitsyn, who, and not Mr. Rozhdestvensky, is the Music Director of La Clemenza di Tito production which was supposed to be premiered in a month and  now is left without the director.

Pokrovsky Chamber Opera was founded 45 years ago by Boris Pokrovsky, Mr. Kislyarov’s teacher, the most famous Russian stage director of the 20th century. And the theatre has always been considered a ‘director’s opera theatre’ where staging is no less important than musical matters.’


  • Jonathan Dunsby says:

    Well, GR has walked out on enough events in his time.

  • Daniel F. says:

    GR, one of the greatest (but yet somewhat unheralded) of living conductors, is always embroiled in one thing or another. Seems like a combination of vanity and tremendous integrity (sometimes seen as an unwillingness ever to compromise).

    • Herr Doktor says:

      His concerts with the Boston Symphony Orchestra were never routine and often unforgettable. He may be high maintenance and extremely easy to upset, but that doesn’t mean he didn’t deliver the goods where they counted.

      It’s been a loss to Boston that he no longer comes here anymore.

      • Daniel F. says:

        Agree entirely: his concerts in Boston during the dreary tenure of Seiji O. were like a gourmet meal after the consistency of cafeteria food. There was a Sibelius 2nd that was every bit as good as, if not better than, the ones conducted by Koussevitsky!

        Have no idea what ‘NOVAGERIO’ (above) is talking about. Perhaps he can go further than his cryptic summary judgment.

    • Novagerio says:

      It’s propbly because lobbyism can’t just bullshit around with veterans who know a lot more about the job…

  • Bruce says:

    If it’s an opera production, I always side with the conductor. Agree or disagree with their conducting style, they are usually the ones trying to approach the work with integrity. If anyone’s trying to put on a story that has nothing to do with the music or the words, it’s invariably the director.

  • George says:

    “Apparently, they could not see eye to eye on Mozart’s Clemenza di Tito.”

    Ah yes, Mozart’s last opera seria, complete with a convoluted Metastasian plot line, always one to spark confusion.

    Maybe the dispute over whether Sesto was the castrato and Annio was the breeches role, or it was the other way around.

    Or maybe, the director thought that a bass clarinet for “non piu di fiori” was good enough.

    Or maybe the dispute was over who authored the recitatives.