On 29 March 2015, Russian Minister of Culture Vladimir Medinsky announced the appointment of Vladimir Kekhman as Director of the Novosibirsk Opera and Ballet Theatre. From 30 March, Kekhman will manage two theatres — the Novosibirsk Opera and the Mikhailovsky Theatre in St. Petersburg.
Vladimir Kekhman: “The plan is for me to direct both the Novosibirsk Opera and Ballet Theatre and the Mikhailovsky Theatre. The theatres are run by different boards, but the question of my joint directorship has been discussed and has received all of the relevant approvals. My main intention is to show that there can be effective collaboration between theatres at the federal and regional levels.
I don’t rule out the possibility that the way the Mikhailovsky Theatre is managed may undergo changes: a new General Director and deputy may be appointed, with me taking on the role of Artistic Director. Initially, however, I will have to work to a schedule of four days a week in Novosibirsk and three days in St. Petersburg.
We have put together an incredibly talented team at the Mikhailovsky Theatre, but I have no plans to make use of its resources in Novosibirsk. First of all, I’d like to get a more thorough grasp on the situation as it currently stands. I have been very impressed by the staff at the Novosibirsk Opera and Ballet Theatre whom I have met so far. I aim to continue developing this relationship, including at a general meeting of the entire team on 31 March.
The Siberian capital is home to a wide range of cultural institutions apart from the theatre — the philharmonic, the conservatory, the choreography college, and the special music school. This opens up huge possibilities. I feel that the Novosibirsk Theatre can and should become a bridge of sorts, unifying the entire ‘cultural infrastructure’ of Siberia, the Urals, and the Russian Far East. And I plan to start by reverting the theatre to its historic name: the Bolshoi Theatre of Siberia.”
Vladimir Kekhman was born in Samara in 1968. He took up his first job while still studying at the Foreign Languages Department of Samara State Pedagogical University. He has held managerial posts in a series of commercial enterprises. In 1995, he organized a José Carreras concert at the St. Petersburg Philharmonia. In May 2007, he took up his role as General Director of the Mikhailovsky Theatre. In 2009, he graduated from the Production Department of the St. Petersburg State Theatre Arts Academy.