Russian Culture Ministry fires CEO of major theater following ‘unprecedented’ internal conflict
The Russian Culture Ministry has fired Alexey Turkalov, the CEO of Yaroslavl’s Volkov Theater. Turkalov’s appointment in December 2018 escalated a much-publicized controversy in the Yaroslavl region surrounding plans to unify the Volkov with St. Petersburg’s Alexandrinsky Theater. The Culture Ministry also issued a rebuke to Artistic Director Yevgeny Marchelli, Turkalov’s primary rival at the theater.
Culture Minister Vladimir Medinsky said the decision to reprimand the leaders of Russia’s oldest professional theater arose due to an “unprecedented” situation in which “the theater was practically split into two unequal parts.” Marchelli’s advocacy for the unification plan had sparked vocal opposition among local residents, and Turkalov’s demands that the theater change its repertoire to bring in more profits sparked multiple requests from its cast and crew for the Culture Ministry to interfere. Ultimately, Medinsky said Turkalov had led the theater improperly but reprimanded Marchelli as well.