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CultureMilan‘s Scala opens the season with Russian opera: We are against witch...

Milan‘s Scala opens the season with Russian opera: We are against witch hunting

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The manager of the music institution Dominique Mayer also defended the decision to continue working with Russian performers such as soprano Anna Netrebko

Milan’s La Scala Opera House will open next season with Russian opera Boris Godunov, ANSA reported, citing opera manager Dominique Mayer. He said he was against the “witch hunt” linked to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Modest Mussorgsky’s masterpiece will open the season on December 7, he announced.

Mayer also defended the theater’s decision to continue working with Russian performers such as soprano Anna Netrebko. “I’m not for witch hunts,” Mayer told a news conference. “I do not support the rejection of Russian works, and when I read Pushkin, I do not hide,” he said.

The choice of the opera for the opening of the season was made several years ago, added Meyer, quoted by Reuters. The main roles in the production are entrusted to the Russian bass Ildar Abdrazakov and the soprano Anna Denisova.

Immediately after the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February, the Milan Opera House refused to work with Russian conductor Valery Gergiev, who refused to condemn the war. Asked by a journalist what the difference was with the Gergiev case, Mayer said La Scala saw the Russian conductor almost as a politician. “He is something like a Russian culture minister. The other artists are in a different position – they receive awards, but that does not make them supporters of the war,” he added.

The Scala in Milan has planned over 200 performances for the 2022-2023 season.

As early as mid-March, a petition against Russia’s cultural isolation began in Italy – a petition calling for cooperation with Russia’s cultural and scientific representatives should not be refused, launched in Italy. According to the website change.org, as of Monday, nearly 20,000 people had signed the appeal, the TASS news agency reported at the time.

The authors of the petition note that after Russia launched the “operation” in Ukraine, in Italy “there are a number of dismissals of scholars and representatives of Russian culture.”

“Our concern is that discrimination against Russians, especially the most prominent members of this country, could have irreversible consequences in the long run. uncontrolled violence, “the text reads.

The authors of the document call on the Italian government to “not allow any acts of ostracism.”

“We hope that broader academic and cultural dialogue will help avoid isolating Russia,” the petition said.

Earlier, 200 Italian officials, including journalists, writers, musicians, students and teachers, as well as cultural figures, called on President Sergio Matarella and Culture Minister Dario Francescini not to discriminate against Russian culture.

Such calls were prompted by a number of events, including the cancellation of a lecture at the University of Milan on Fyodor Dostoevsky’s work by Italian Slavist, writer and translator Paolo Nori, and social media attacks on Italian-born Russian writer Nikolai Lilin, author of the novel Siberian upbringing “, on which the Italian director Gabriele Salvatores made the film of the same name (2013). In addition, La Scala removed the world-famous conductor Valery Gergiev, and Anna Netrebko canceled her participation in an opera production at the Milan Theater. Dancer Sergei Polunin also said he would not be able to present his Rasputin in Milan at the Archimboldi Theater in April due to injury. The show has been postponed to next year, the Corriere della Sera newspaper reported.

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