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Russian conductor Gergiev removed from the bill by Italy’s La Scala

FILE PHOTO: Russian conductor Valery Gergiev attends a press conference in Vienna
FILE PHOTO: Russian conductor Valery Gergiev attends a news conference in Vienna, Austria, May 30, 2018. REUTERS / Lisi Niesner / File Photo

February 28, 2022

MILAN (Reuters) – Russian Valery Gergiev will not conduct the orchestra at Milan’s La Scala this week after he failed to condemn the invasion of Ukraine, the city’s mayor said on Monday.

Gergiev – general director of the St.Petersburg Mariinsky Theater and considered close to Russian President Vladimir Putin – performed “The Queen of Spades”, an opera based on Alexander Pushkin’s novel at La Scala on the 23rd. February.

The show will run until March 15, and the next one will be on Saturday.

“I don’t think he’ll be there, I think at this point we can rule that out,” Giuseppe Sala, chairman of the board of directors of La Scala theater and mayor of Milan, told reporters today. Monday.

“Maestro did not respond to us,” he added.

Sala mayor and La Scala artistic director Dominique Meyer urged Gergiev last week to either condemn the invasion of Ukraine or no longer be allowed to perform on the show.

Gergiev is also expected to conduct three concerts at New York’s Carnegie Hall leading the Vienna Symphony Orchestra from February 25 to 27.

But the Russian conductor was replaced by Yannick Nézet-Séguin, which, according to the theater’s website, gave no reason for that decision.

The Mariinsky Theater did not respond to Reuters’ request for comment.

Gergiev was born in Moscow, 68 years old, has performed in the most famous theaters in the world. In 2013, Putin awarded him the first Hero of Russia title.

(Reporting by Sara Rossi,; Editing by Keith Weir and Ed Osmond)

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Dais Johnston

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