Tuesday, June 27, 2017
We reported exclusively that Anna Netrebko has skipped her last Eugene Onegin in Paris to attend the inauguration of Valery Gergiev’s private concert hall on the outskirts of St Petersburg. A Russian website, dp.ru, has a picture of Netrebko toasting her mentor at the opening. Among other celebrities in attendance were the former French president Nicolas Sarkozy, the former russian finance minister Alexei Kudrin (he’s chair of the Mariinsky board) and the conductor Mariss Jansons.
Ulyana Lopatkina, prima ballerina of the Mariinsky Theatre, has announced her retirement on the company’s website. She has not danced at all in the past season due to injury. Lopatkina, 44, one of the tallest ballerinas of modern times (175 cm), has appeared on all the world’s great stages.
That would be Valery Gergiev, the general director of the storied St. Petersburg house as well as a compulsively globe-trotting conductor who's found himself caught in controversy before . This time, in addition to opining on male dancers' diets and female dancers' size, Gergiev discussed the preference for small breasts on ballerinas and dissed the Mariinsky's Moscow rival, the Bolshoi.
The Russian ministry of culture has published the declared 2016 earnings of the top ten arts millionaires. Valery Gergiev came top with 154.45 million rubles ($2.73 million). Vladimir Spivakov was third with 76.14 million ($1.35m). Yuri Temirkanov and Yuri Bashmet were the other musicians in the ten. These declarations are not definitive. In a kleptocracy whose president hides his billions in Panama, it would be unrealistic to expect artists to maintain all of their assets in the motherland.
The death of Daniel Brewbaker has been reported by friends and family. Daniel, 66, had been suffering for two years from a brain tumour. A composers of great gifts, charm and grace, he was one of the first US composers to be performed in Russia by Valery Gergiev. Based in New York, he spent a long period in Europe working with Hans Werner Henze, Luciano Berio and Henri Dutilleux. Daniel said: ‘I like music that moves me, involves me intellectually, emotionally, and physically. So I would hope to engage listeners in my music on those levels.’