Heart-rending letter from head of the Bolshoi

Heart-rending letter from head of the Bolshoi


norman lebrecht

April 21, 2020

Letter from Vladimir Urin to the staff of the Bolshoi Opera:

Dear colleagues, dear friends. I am addressing all creative teams, all our workshops, all our employees.

You know me for many years, and in all these years that we have been together, I have never written you a letter. Now I am writing.

I’m writing because I can’t go backstage before the performance, turn on the broadcast and see how the rehearsals go, call everyone to a meeting and even gather you in our favorite room. My only opportunity to reach all of you today is a letter.

I decided to write because today we are all going through difficult times. Our country, our ancestors went through turbulent and tragic years, and on the eve of the celebration of the 75th anniversary of the Great Victory it is somehow difficult to complain about our fate, but you and I have never encountered anything like this.

Our performances were cancelled, rehearsals were stopped, our buildings closed. And the most difficult thing, both psychologically and purely technically, is that neither you nor I know when this situation will end. Hopefully soon.

Of course, I, like you all, follow events and try to carefully analyze the information available to me. I am sure that in the most successful scenario, even if we can soon return to our working rhythm, it will take time for the audience to again actively go to our performances.

We will consult with leaders of the collectives, with the trade union organization, we will decide when it is better for us to go on vacation and when we can return to a full life.

As for our salaries, I want you to understand that we will try to keep salaries to the maximum, but we are a state institution, our possibilities depend on state subsidies, especially taking into account the lack of the theater’s own income now.

In the end, what can I tell you? As soon as I have enough information, as soon as I can firmly determine our future plans, I will inform you immediately. In the meantime, we all need to be patient.

Now we are all deprived of our home and involuntarily divided, but let’s try not to lose heart, not lose shape, protect our health, communicate with each other through modern means of communication.

We will overcome this time together. The main thing – be healthy, take care of yourself!

Vladimir Urin

(translated from the Russian)