The repercussions of Valery Gergiev’s no-show at the Vienna Opera’s Lohengrin are still rolling around world media a week later.
Radio Liberty has found a Russian music critic, Alexei Parin, who defends Gergiev’s lateness as a personal habit ‘for 20 years’ and tells orchestras and opera houses to get used to it.
Aside from the discourtesy to colleagues, audiences and the institutitions where he turns up late, there is a disquieting parallel to Gergiev’s conduct in that of his president, Vladimir Putin.
At meetings with world leaders, Putin is always late. It’s a way of manifesting power and making other people uncomfortable.
That’s what Gergiev does, as poodle to master.
Dominique Meyer was right to give the Vienna audience full account of Gergiev’s bad behaviour. He should not be allowed to get away with it andy more – and I doubt he’ll be invited to La Scala when Meyer is in charge.