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.