4 March 2015
Source: HRO.org (info)
Artistic director of the Chekhov Moscow Arts Theatre Oleg Tabakov called for an end to the harassment of the opera director Timofei Kulyabin and the Novosibirsk Theatre of Opera and Ballet over the production of Wagner’s “Tannhauser”.
According to Oleg Tabakov, “the very fact that a criminal case has been initiated over an artistic production, no matter how controversial or ambiguous in meaning it may be” is real cause for alarm, Rosbalt reported, citing the BBC.
“You can’t punish artists as though they were school children. You cannot threaten plays, books, paintings, music with prosecution. From there it is one step before you start burning books on bonfires” Oleg Tabakov said in a piece published on the Facebook page of the Chekhov Moscow Arts Theatre.
Oleg Tabakov has called on the Church and society “to conduct dialogue and discussion, to convince and argue” but not to “brandish the Criminal Code”. “Let’s remember that in the beginning was the word, not the fist.”
On 24th February the Novosibirsk Prosecutor’s Office began an investigation in terms of the Administrative Code (Article 5.26, Part 2 – (Intentional public insulting of religious or liturgical literature, objects of religious veneration, badges or emblems, symbols of belief and artefacts whether damaged or ruined) against the director of the Novosibirsk Theatre of Opera and Ballet, Boris Mezdrich, and the director of the performance of Wagner’s”Tannhauser”, Timofei Kulyabin. The investigation was carried out on the basis of a statement by Metropolitan Tikhon of Novosibirsk and Berdsky who allegedly found in the production “violations of the rights of believers and use of church symbols for other than their proper purposes.”
Translated by Frances Robson
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