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Anti-Putin Demonstration at Carnegie Hall last night (Thursday)


WilliamM
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The Mariinsky Orchestra with conductor Valery Gergiev played an all Stavinsky program at Carnegie Hall last night (Oct 10) in NYC, but not before anti-Putin, pro-gay rights demonstators prevented the concert from starting with yells and screaming inside the hall. This was a replay of what happened at the opening of the Met three weeks ago, with Gergiev conducting and Anna Netrebko starring in "Eugene Onegin." Gergiev looked straight ahead at his orchestra with his back to the audience the entire time. To remind people, Netrebko and, especially Gergiev, are strong Putin supporters. Good concert, but ran very late because of the delay at the beginning. I agree with the anti-Putin sentiment, and would think twice about visiting Russia again myself.

 

I did see "Eugene Onegin" at the Met on Wednesday night, and will post on the opera later.

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I saw Giergiev at a signing at the Julliard a couple of years ago... and he struck me as being exactly as his photos depict him... extremely stern, grim, and forbidding. I can most definitely see how he would act as described...

 

More importantly, definitely looking forward to your "review" of Onegin...

IMG_0933_Sig_crop_46x20.jpg "Take it like a man!"
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I saw Giergiev at a signing at the Julliard a couple of years ago... and he struck me as being exactly as his photos depict him... extremely stern, grim, and forbidding. I can most definitely see how he would act as described...

 

 

I agree completely with your assessment of Gergiev. The concert was supposed to start at 7:30. Although the police did a good job of keeping the "Occupy Carnegie Hall" people away from the outside doors, the concert started late, and the program was long. If Gergiev had turned around, all hell might have broken out. He would have been comfronting his enemies directly (which I believe he would have enjoyed). It's one thing to support Putin in Russia, but quite another to respond in the U.S., or western or central Europe -- especially at the first of three concerts at Carnegie Hall.

 

Actually, it was enjoyable to see Gergiev in an uncomfortable position.

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This might be the interview as Giergiev does come across as personable... and much more so than in some of the other interviews that I watched. Perhaps because he was speaking to a younger generation he opened up a bit compared to those interviews where professional journalists controlled the questioning.

 

[video=youtube;DZGXu-TqGXM]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DZGXu-TqGXM&app=desktop

IMG_0933_Sig_crop_46x20.jpg "Take it like a man!"
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Yes, Gergiev does come across very well, especially in his passion for Russian opera. I spent eight days in St. Petersburg in 2005, walked by the Marinsky often and saw two operas there. The Marinsky has two prices for tickets, one for Russians and a much higher price for tourists. In a very real sense, Gergiev is based in a third-world country. Although St. Petersburg is a wonderful city, many people are poor and life is not easy. That does not excuse Gergiev's support for Putin's anti-gay agenda, but he does have to deal with a different situation than Levine, Muti et al. Thanks very much for posting the interview. I shall watch it at least once or twice more.

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Interestingly, one of the interviews that I watched in searching for the maestro's more personable side dealt with political themes and his stern and dour side was much in evidence. Granted he was discussing more serious issues, but I got the impression that he would have made a good KGB agent. Therefore it was refreshing to see his appearance at Colombia. His response to one of the last questions regarding Tchiakovsky's First Piano Concerto where he jokingly advised against listening to Schonberg or Bartok certainly showed a different side of him.

IMG_0933_Sig_crop_46x20.jpg "Take it like a man!"
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