The most famous opera house in Italy, the Teatro alla Scalabegins his season with Russian opera Boris Godunovprovoking Ukrainian protests over a cultural event marking a propaganda victory for the Kremlin against the backdrop of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
the first Giorgia Meloni attended the traditional early season gala together with President Sergio Mattarella and the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen.
Ukrainian critics of this staged play object to the celebration of Russian culture as President Vladimir Putin wages a war rooted in the denial of Ukrainian culture itself.
A letter of protest from the Ukrainian consul in Milan and a petition from the Ukrainian diaspora failed to convince the theater to give up the presentation Boris Godunov. La Scala officials said chief conductor Riccardo Chailly picked the opera to open the 2022-2023 season three years ago, at the suggestion of Russian bass Ildar Abdrazakov.
Almost entirely Russian cast
Abdrazakov sings the title role leading an almost all-Russian cast in his sixth performance in the theatre’s first season.
La Scala officials said it was too late to replace a long-scheduled production. They pointed out that the opera by Russian composer Modest Petrovich Mussorgsky, based on a play by Alexander Pushkinit shows the huge price a Russian tsar paid to claim absolute power.
“When it’s done Boris Godunov we don’t do propaganda for Putin… This is a great masterpiece in the history of art”, said the artistic director of La Scala, Dominique Meyer, in a recent press conference. “We have to see the difference between the political situation and Russia.”
None of this convinced the organizers of the protests.
“I don’t know why Italians tend to think that Russian culture has nothing to do with the Russian government or people. It’s all intertwined with the medieval mentality created by Putin,” said Valeriya Kalchenko, a native of the Ukrainian city. from Kharkov and a resident of Milan who staged a protest.
Charles Hurd is an entertainment journalist for News Rebeat. He brings a fresh and engaging voice to the world of pop culture, covering the latest developments in film, television, music, and more.