German opera house hires refugees for Nabucco

Hamburg State Opera has put out a call for refugees to join the chorus for Verdi’s Nabucco. Rehearsals start on January 30.

The production is to be directed at a distance by Kirill Serebrennikov, who has been held under house arrest in Russia for the past 18 months over alleged fraud charges, triggered by his criticisms of the Putin regime.

A Hamburg spokesman said they were still hopeful he would be released to take part in the production.

Paolo Carignani conducts.


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  • wow ! that s a new peak of hypocrisy. the point is that they get money for it by politicians. it nothing has do to with a new will by cultural decision-makers to fight for art or to believe in it or even to communicate the values. our stage directors and managers want to have an event , not art ..

  • It’s a step further on the trajectory towards more realism. Down the line there will be a Tosca production where on every night a bariton dies, and an Erwartung where the soprano will be hospitalized in a mental institution after every performance, and the opera house will burn down at the end of Götterdämmerung.

  • This reminds me of Leni Riefenstahl, who hired Gypsy’s from Auschwitz for one of her extravaganzas with the promise of freedom, who, at the conclusion of being used went directly in to the gas chambers.

  • I hope the refugees hired, many of whom could be Muslim, will be comfortable portraying oppressed Jews. Oh the irony!

    • No, I’m sure they will trick them into the project by lies and false promises and then transport them to the airport and deport them group by group straight after every performance.
      What’s wrong with you, people? I simply can’t understand where all this sarcasm and grotesque comparations expressed here are coming from, as well as a premise that all those people who will be hired are simply stupid?
      I find this gesture very human, noble and enlighting. Bravo, Hamburg!

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