A group of malcontents has called on the Russian Culture Minister to sack Valery Gergiev as artistic director of the Mariinsky Theatre. They say he has been there 25 years without re-election and holds too much power over its various subsidiaries, including the singers’ academy. The quality of performances, they argue, is in general decline.
The petition has so far attracted fifty-odd signatures. Its author, unknown to us, is Lida Ajhi.
Gergiev is an intimate friend of President Putin and the signatories risk personal sanctions by putting their names on the line. There must be good reasons – beyond the usual jealousies – for Mr Ajhi and others to take that risk.
You can access the petition here.