2015 in review: Eight key events in Russian culture

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This year brought mixed fortunes for Russian culture, with successes in the realms of literature, art and ballet offset by the growing interference of the Orthodox Church in the cultural sphere. RBTH looks back at 8 important events in Russia’s cultural life in 2015 that had an international impact. (Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Oleg Krasnov – December […]

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Moscow Opera Season Preview: A Great Year

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(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Raymond Stults – October 5, 2015) The 2015-16 season of opera in Moscow enjoyed a rousing start last month when Novaya Opera Theater brought to its stage a new version of Richard Strauss’ “Salome” that came as close to getting everything right – singing, conducting, orchestral playing and staging – as any local production of […]

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Russian church denies filing complaint against controversial opera

Map of Russia and Russian Flag adapted from images at state.gov

(Interfax – April 1, 2015) The Novosibirsk diocese of the Russian Orthodox Church has denied having filed a claim against Tannhaeuser opera production at the Novosibirsk State Theatre of Opera and Ballet, privately-owned Russian news agency Interfax reported on 1 April. In a statement to Interfax-Religion it said: “The Novosibirsk diocese of the Russian Orthodox Church points out that the […]

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Wagner Opera Scandal Reflects Deep Divide in Russian Society

Map of Russia and Russian Flag adapted from images at state.gov

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Ivan Nechepurenko – March 26, 2015) An avant-garde production of a Wagner opera in a Siberian city that has seen conservative Russian Orthodox activists declare war on the liberal intelligentsia is a sign of things to come, some in Russia fear. The production of “Tannhauser” at the Novosibirsk Opera and Ballet Theater is accused of […]

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Religious Offense Charges Against Russian Opera Director Dropped

File Photo of Russian Orthodox Church at Kremlin, adapted from defense.gov Image

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Peter Spinella – March 11, 2015) A Russian opera director who found himself mired in legal controversy after he provoked the ire of a local church leader was cleared of a charge of offending the sentiments of religious believers, the theater announced Tuesday via Twitter. Director Timofei Kulyabin had faced administrative charges for offending religious […]

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Bolshoi Packed for Tribute to Legendary Singer Yelena Obraztsova

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(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Layli Foroudi – January 15, 2015) Hundreds of Russians paid their last respects to renowned and much-loved opera singer Yelena Obraztsova in the Bolshoi Theater on Wednesday. Roses, carnations and sunflowers in all sizes and quantities were tearfully and lovingly carried up the theater’s dark aisle to be placed at the base of her casket, […]

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Ivan Kozlovsky: The man who refused to sing for Stalin

Bolshoi Theater file photo

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Yan Shenkman, RBTH – January 4, 2014) The legendary opera singer admired by Stalin, yet always resented being told what he could sing and what he could not. Ivan Kozlovsky (1900-1993) was a legendary opera tenor and a soloist at the Bolshoi Theater. He sang more than 50 operatic roles, and was particularly […]

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