Last night, a new production of The Queen of Spades, conducted by Valery Gergiev, opened at La Scala. Gergiev – sometimes called ‘the Tsar' because of his friendship with Vladimir Putin – was applauded as he entered the orchestra pit, but some boos were heard and someone called out that he should leave.
Today, Beppe Sala, the mayor of Milan and director of the board at La Scala, said:
We have at La Scala The Queen of Spades conducted by Valery Gergiev who has many times declared his closeness to Putin, so with the director of the theatre we are asking him to make his position clear against this invasion and if he does not do so we will be forced to renounce our collaboration with him.
Dominique Meyer, the intendant of the theatre, sent a message to Gergiev asking him to make a statement in which he hopes for a peaceful resolution. Now the theatre awaits his answer.
Graham Spicer is a writer, director and photographer in Milan, blogging (under the name ‘Gramilano') about dance, opera, music and photography for people “who are a bit like me and like some of the things I like”. He was a regular columnist for Opera Now magazine and wrote for the BBC until transferring to Italy.
His scribblings have appeared in various publications from Woman's Weekly to Gay Times, and he wrote the ‘Danza in Italia' column for Dancing Times magazine.