Yesterday’s announcement of a new opera on the state-ordered murder of Alexander Litvinenko came from Grange Park Opera, one of a cluster of countryhouse startups that enliven the long evenings of the British summer.
It is self-evident that no state-funded opera would put on such an opera. Neither Covent Garden, nor ENO, nor any institution that is dependent on public funds would include such a delicate subject in its schedules without clearing it with the Government. And the reply they would get would be, don’t touch it.
The same goes for state operas and festivals in Europe. Salzburg would run for the hills before making a political provocation. Berlin? Forget it.
It takes a spunky English summer festival to do what the dinosaurs would never dare. We’re guessing that Wasfi Kani and her Grange Park crew will have their tea-bags tested for polonium, or whatever other poisons are being used these days by Putin’s licensed killers.
We applaud their initiative, and their courage.
Go, Grange Park.
Putin loves opera. He will hate this.