The Bolshoi now has 124 Covid cases

The Bolshoi now has 124 Covid cases


norman lebrecht

October 27, 2020

A statement by Bolshoi boss Vladimir Urin at today’s cultural council meeting with president Putin:

V. Urin: Good afternoon, dear Vladimir Vladimirovich! Good afternoon, dear members of the Council!

Vladimir Vladimirovich, many of our colleagues today in the West do not work at all. Suppose the Metropolitan Opera is going to open its season only in the fall of 2021. A number of theaters are closed. And the fact that today we have been given the opportunity to work is wonderful despite all the difficulties.

My morning began with a report that 124 people are ill in the theater today, that is, more than three percent of those working at the Bolshoi Theater. This is a large number of people, and people of different professions: artists, technical workshops, and so on. Despite this, for all the time since the beginning of the season, and we opened on September 5, we canceled only one performance due to the artist’s illness. All other performances took place, and took place when the auditorium was 50 percent full.

During this time we played the premiere. Not only did we play the premiere, we played the premiere, in which we invited our Western colleagues to participate. Despite all the difficulties, today they came abroad and with all their business and rehearsed during August. And we opened the season with a new premiere.

Moreover, recently the great Placido Domingo, together with his friends and colleagues, gave a brilliant concert here. I know that then many of the participants in this concert were with Valery Abisalovich Gergiev and gave a concert there. It was an amazing experience. In this case, I’m not talking about the Bolshoi Theater, I’m talking about the fact that, in spite of everything, we continue to work.

At the same time, we must, of course, understand, and I would like to move from some kind of reporting to the problems that, as it seems to me, arise in this connection. Obviously, from my point of view, we must understand that the theater economy is often made up of approximately different amounts: on the one hand, this is very significant state support, and on the other hand, it is the money we earn.

Not only is it 50 percent full today, I do not call for increasing this percentage, it seems to me that today, in the current situation, this is not necessary. But we must understand that, naturally, we also earn much less. Moreover, we must understand that, and this is obvious, even in a theater like the Bolshoi, we have felt a certain decline in the audience: people are afraid to go to the theater.

There is no acuteness of the problem, but such a danger still exists. And then we came up with and reduced the price of tickets. And they did it not formally, but made it a program. The Bolshoi Theater has a program called “Bolshoi – Young”, when we sell tickets to those who are between 18 and 25, and sell them five to six times cheaper than we sell to everyone else. We brought young people into our auditorium. They filled the auditorium, given that even more so today those over 65 rarely come to the theater.

Realizing that today theaters are losing, very seriously losing part of their earnings, of course, it is necessary to think over measures. And in this case, I mean, of course, targeted support, understanding the situation, and so on, especially since we understand, most likely, we will live in such conditions for at least most of 2021. That such targeted support will be needed – of course. It is clear that in the Bolshoi Theater, the state part of the budget is about 60 percent and about 40 is what the theater earns. But I’m not talking about the Bolshoi Theater, a huge number of theaters that have a fairly significant part of their earnings, and these are people’s salaries, these are new productions, and so on. I partially think about these shortfalls in income in the future, I understand everything perfectly, I know that today such requests are heard from all absolutely spheres of state activity.




  • Crandall Sunderpift says:

    I can sense the anti-mask is strong in this one. Putin: I am your Father!

  • Darrell says:

    Well done. This is called herd immunity. It is the only way to end the circus that surrounds us. No vaccinations, no lockdowns, no curfews, no assortment of nonsense. Herd immunity is the only way to get on with the laws of nature. Time to move on.

    • William Safford says:

      Sure–if you support the unnecessary killing of many millions more people.

      In the U.S. we are approaching a quarter million people killed by the virus.

      With herd immunity, the estimates are over ten million more to be killed in the U.S. before herd immunity might start to kick in.

      Perhaps you support this idea. I do not.

      • Darrell says:

        Let’s bring this straight:

        1. The virus has come to stay.
        2. Millions of people will never be vaccinated.
        3. Of those who get vaccinated, millions will not be immunized (even the best vaccines work like this.)

        Knowing who dies of Coronavirus is difficult because there is no universal criterion for it, each country counts the cases in its own way.

        Many people who die from Coronavirus would in any case have died from serious previous illnesses that they already suffered.

        I suspect that many times people who simply had the virus at the time of death are counted as deaths from Coronavirus, without a cause-effect relationship.

        Anyone can find statistics to justify what they want: for, against, up, down, white, black, etc. Anything.

        In the end we will all end up getting the virus, all without exception.

        Time to move on.

        • William Safford says:

          This comes down to two basic points:

          -You are content to let millions of people die unnecessarily.

          -You get your information from right wing propaganda sites, not from reputable scientific and journalistic sources.

          Most of what you repeat from bad sources about the virus is either demonstrably wrong, or suspect.

          As for contracting the virus, speak for yourself. I want to be immunized from it. We do not yet know when a virus will become available. We do not yet know how efficacious it will be. But I want it when it’s ready.

          We have vaccines for many diseases. I hope that we will have one for this disease soon, to be distributed in the future as other vaccines are.

          We eradicated smallpox. We are close to eradicating several other diseases, possibly including guinea worm and polio.

          What is really sad, is that it’s not entirely implausible that we could have eradicated this disease, had it been acted upon soon enough and aggressively enough. It’s too late now, absent an effort akin to the smallpox eradication.

          Even if we do not eradicate this disease, we can manage it far better than we have done thus far.

          Intentionally killing millions of people who do not have to die is not the moral or ethical way to handle this disease.

          • Bill says:

            In the US we’re seeing lots of those disgusting rioters getting sick so that’s no great loss.

            Darwinism is a good thing!

          • William Safford says:

            Yeah, I agree, those right-wing rioters are a menace to society. I don’t wish them to get sick, but they take their chances when they riot like that.

    • Can’t see how his comments were about herd immunity. He was saying he understands the financial situation is being experienced by all arts.
      And…herd immunity comes from people within a population becoming increasingly immune; immunity can come from natural infection or from an effective vaccine (so it’s worth pursuing a vaccine). At the moment we don’t yet have a vaccine and I think we don’t yet understand the level and longevity (ie effectiveness) of immunity coming from natural infection.

    • MarieTherese says:

      Even if the touted vaccines are 70% effective, that still leaves 3 out of 10 people exposed. And “immunity” seems to be lasting no longer than 3 months before antibodies drop dramatically. You’ll never achieve “herd immunity” with numbers like that. Please quote science, not Trump and Putin.

    • Le Křenek du jour says:

      You are aware that antibody positivity has been found declining after a brief period?
      So much for herd immunity:

      As of this morning, the chief epidemiologist at the Hôpital Saint-Antoine is reporting that re-infections in patients they had already treated for Covid-19 in spring is becomming common. So common, in fact, that physicians no longer bother singling them out.

      Time to stop talking nonsense and face the facts.

  • papageno says:

    So much for the Russian vaccine.

  • Hillary says:

    It’s only Russia.

    What difference at this point does it make?

    • VoteBlue says:

      Why do you keep asking the same question? I’ve seen more than several dozen comments over the past few months with the same ‘What difference at this point does it make?’ The strange order of your wording makes it obvious you’re the same person, no matter how many different handles you use. Why do you repeat the same question over and over? You don’t concern yourself with the subject at hand but rather attempt to further your political agenda, which is already irritating, and then you end with ‘What difference at this point does it make?’ It’s probably meant to be rhetorical but it still makes absolutely no sense. And if you’re serious, why do you constantly write comments on this blog? Just in case you hadn’t noticed, there’s no need for a sign-off here. Because you insist on using one, I must inform you that an incoherent question isn’t a good way to conclude your off-topic comments. You just end up looking silly. Or is that your desperation showing?

  • Anthony Sayer says:

    Very happy I read the text as the headline was a complete turn-off. This all sounds eminently sensible and mirrors the situation in Europe quite well.

  • Cubs Fan says:

    124 sick people represent 3 percent of the operation? Are there really about 4100 people working at the Bolshoi? That nuts.

  • Bloom says:

    The potentially lethal Bolshoi cultural policy must be very much admired nevertheless by all the brave ”warriors” for Culture in the Western world. I mean some minor Covid fatalities can be easily overlooked as long as BIG CULTURE, BIG OPERA survives!

  • We privatize your value says:

    I hope Urin is not taking the piss.