The Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow.

In Tuesday’s (11/20) Musical America (subscription required), Maya Pritzker reports, “The Bolshoi Theater together with the entire Russian artistic community was thrown into turmoil last week, when several outlets, including Izvestia and Russian Forbes, reported that Valery Gergiev was to become artistic director of both the Bolshoi and the Mariinsky theaters, eventually unifying the companies. On November 17th Vladimir Urin, Bolshoi’s general director for the last 10 years, whose contract was renewed just a few months ago for another five years, submitted his letter of resignation … The official announcement was expected in St. Petersburg, during the annual Cultural Forum, which took place Nov. 16-Nov. 18 under the new name, ‘Forum of United Cultures.’ Vladimir Putin and Russian cultural bureaucrats were in attendance. The Forum is over, but the expected announcement has not materialized … In a brief meeting with the press on Nov. 17, Gergiev was evasive in responding to questions about the reported appointment. He said that he was not looking for more work … Finally someone asked directly, ‘Are you the head of the Bolshoi?’ The answer was: ‘I am the head of the Mariinsky.’ The Russian Minister of Culture Olga Lubimova was standing next to him.”