Russia: Production sparks scandal at Bolshoi
Russia’s Bolshoi Theater has provoked a scandal with the first production in its reopened historic home which was booed and whistled by part of the opening night audience.
The new production of Glinka’s opera Ruslan and Lyudmila, a love story based on a poem by Pushkin, is the first in the restored Bolshoi Theater which reopened with a gala last week after an agonising six-year closure.
Russian director Dmitry Chernyakov makes no attempt to please traditionalists in his version of what some see as Russia’s national opera which received its premiere on Wednesday night.
The opera opens in period dress and decor with a display of almost dazzlingly kitsch colours in a bright blue hall. It then transfers to modern times with elements including a Thai massage and a tattooed athlete.
At the curtain several members of the audience yelled “shame!” and booed and whistled, an unusual outburst in Russia which is unaccustomed to Italian-style displays of audience dissatisfaction with performances. Chernyakov said ahead of the performance that it was not his intention to create a scandal but that he was prepared for attacks from more conservative elements in the public. (via Hurriyet Daily News)