Death at the Bolshoi: A performer is killed by scenery

Death at the Bolshoi: A performer is killed by scenery


norman lebrecht

October 09, 2021

A Russian performer was struck tonight by falling decor and killed on the stage of the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow.

The opera – Rimsky-Korsakov’s Sadko – was immediately stopped and the audience was asked to leave.

The victim has been named as Yevgeny Kulesh, 37.

According to eyewitnesses, he did not have time to move as the scenery descended. The performance was interrupted with cries of ‘Stop! Stop! Call an ambulance. There is blood here!’.

The Bolshoi has just issued this statement:

‘When the scenery was changed, an artist of the mimansa (mime ensemble) died. The performance was immediately stopped, the audience was asked to leave the hall. At present, investigators are working on the spot to establish all the circumstances of the tragic event.’

Kulesh had been on the staff of the Bolshoi Theater since 2002.



  • Aleph says:

    Alas, if this is the same Yevgeny Kulesh as the victim of an attack prior to the acid attack of the Bolshoi director a few years back, then he is either a most unfiortunate individual, or a victim of a deliberate criminal act. Hope investigators establish the truth.

  • a colleague says:

    for heaven’s sakes. please drop the picture of the scala and put in one of the bolshoi theater!