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© RIA Novosti. Vladimir Vyatkin

Woman denied compensation from the Bolshoi opera

by at 10/04/2012 18:03

A woman unhappy with Bolshoi’s controversial staging of the “Ruslan and Lyudmila” opera was denied 1 million ruble compensation bid by Moscow’s Tverskoi court on Monday.


A million for ‘moral agony’

Svetlana Voronina demanded a million rubles compensation and to remove “Ruslan and Lyudmila,” directed by Dmitry Chernyakov, from the Bolshoi Theater program.

Muscovite Voronina demanded compensation and a ticket to the classical version of the opera “for the moral agony experienced when watching the performance.”


Controversial production

Mikhail Glinka’s “Ruslan and Lyudmila,” directed by Chernyakov, premiered on Nov. 2, 2011, and was the first premiere on the newly-opened historical stage of the Bolshoi Theater. The opera was greeted with controversy, and after the premiere the audience was divided, some shouting “bravo” and others shouting “shame.”

Opera diva Elena Obraztsova, who was going to sing the part of Naina, refused, telling RIA Novosti that “her artistic soul did not accept the new reading.”

Voronina considered the performance “a refined psychological experiment on the audience, a mockery of Glinka and his opera, all Russian culture, a blackening of the image of a Russian person: the scenery on stage, the costumes, the movement and screams of the singers – everything was creating direct associations with a drunk and lewd orgy.”

When purchasing the ticket to the performance, Voronina was hoping to see the classical version of the opera, but it was full of “vulgar sex scenes.”

As well as information about the director and performers, the theater put a warning on the show’s poster that opera was not suitable for those under 14 years of age.

Voronina can appeal the judge’s decision in the Moscow city court. It is unclear whether she plans to.


Protests against Rosenthal’s Children

It is the second production that caused a scandal in Russia's main theater. In March 2005, the Bolshoi premiered “Rosenthal's Children,” directed by Eimuntas Nekrošius, music by Leonid Desyatnikov, libretto – Vladimir Sorokin. The theater was picketed as people protested against the opera. The State Duma culture committee checked information that there was pornography in Sorokin’s work after a complaint by pro-Putin youth movement Idushiye Vmeste.

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