Court drops case against Novosibirsk opera theater director

March 12, 2015. A magistrates’ court in the Central District of Novosibirsk acquitted the opera director, Timofey Kulyabin, and the director of the Novosibirsk Opera Theater, Boris Mezdrich, in an administrative case over the stage production of Richard Wagner’s opera “Tannhauser” at the theater as reports Interfax.

It was reported earlier that local prosecutors had opened the case against the pair on charges of “intentional public defilement, damage or destruction of religious or liturgical literature, items of religious worship, signs or emblems, symbols and attributes of faith.”

The contemporary adaptation of the opera, written by the 19th century German composer, is set in modern times.

The inspection was carried out at the request of Metropolitan Tikhon of Novosibirsk and Berdsk, who complained, in particular, about the misuse of church symbols in the opera.

Kulyabin’s adaptation of “Tannhauser” premiered in December 2014. In it, the minnesinger Tannhauser was portrayed as a film director who made The Venus Grotto film. The leading part was performed by Stieg Andersen, a soloist at the Royal Theater in Copenhagen. The musical performance was directed by the Latvian conductor Ainars Rubikis.

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