A Moscow court has placed director Kirill Serebrennikov under house arrest until October 19 on controversial charges of embezzling a large sum of money from the government. Serebrennikov will be forbidden from corresponding or speaking to the outside world, including Internet use, phone calls, and meetings. Serebrennikov cannot leave his home without permission from state investigators, who convinced the judge that he is a flight risk, in light of his property abroad and residency permit in Latvia, though Russian police seized his passport in May. The court refused to release him on a 68-million-ruble ($1.2-million) bail, which Serebrennikov requested and Irina Prokhorova — sister of the famous billionaire — offered to pay. A large crowd of supporters gathered inside and outside the courtroom, protesting Serebrennikov’s arrest.
Stuttgart Opera, where Serebrennikov is due to stage Hansel and Gretel next month, has summoned the rest of his team in an attempt to save the production. Some 14,000 people have signed a petition calling for his release on what many believe to be a purely political prosecution.