Just in: Russia frees house-arrest director

Just in: Russia frees house-arrest director


norman lebrecht

January 10, 2022

The outstanding director Kirill Serebrennikov flew in unexpectedly for rehearsals at the Thalia Theater in Hamburg this morning.

He said: ‘I am very, very happy and happy that Hamburg is the first European city where I can return to work after four and a half years! Because it’s also the last city I’ve been to before. This feels very good! This is a good sign, and definitely not a coincidence!’

Serebrennikov was arrested in Moscow in August 2017 on phony charges that he had embezzled a million dollars from his theatre. Although the case against him was never proven, he has been held under house arrest ever since.

His release may be a signal from the Putin regime at the start of tension-defusing talks with the US in Geneva.

Serebrennikov continued to be engaged, while under house arrest, by state opera companies in Stuttgart, Berlin and Vienna. Requests for his release by former chancellor Merkel were rejected by the Putin regime.


  • L. says:

    Wonderful news!
    We stand with the open-minded Russian artists!

  • e says:

    Very good news.

  • Matthias says:

    Great news!
    Now if only we could lock away his productions somewhere…

  • Me says:

    Good news. I saw his Parsifal . Difficult in the sense of unpleasant to see first act, Impressive last act with Garanca looking like Lara in dr Dzivago and of course the young Parsifal versus the mature one in all acts. Lot of humanity in the last act.
    Of course, the superlative cast added to it all.

  • I’m doubtful that Kirill Serebrennikov’s status was a sticking point in any US-Russian discussions

  • JS says:

    Serebrennikov was freed from house arrest in april 2019. Now he was allowed to leave Russia. Not the same thing.

  • Veronika says:

    Serebrennikov is absolutely unique. I’ve tried to watch all his plays in Moscow and I loved them all. Limitless bold imagination.
    I hope his productions come to many counties worldwide.

  • MWnyc says:

    The question now is whether Russia will let him back in.