Banned opera director flees Russia

Banned opera director flees Russia


norman lebrecht

April 01, 2022

We understand that the director Kirill Serebrennikov, placed under house arrest and a travel ban three years ago, has left Russia and arrived in Paris. He intends to settle in Germany, where he works for several state opera houses.

Serebrennikov, 52, was falsely accused of embezzling from a Moscow theatre after he unwisely uttered criticisms of the Putin regime.

He has continued his criticisms since the invastion of Ukraine. This anti-propaganda t-shirt reads: ‘I turned off the TV’.


  • No to war says:

    He is a wonderful talent and I wish him a fruitful long life on international stage. I’ve watched nearly all of his theatre productions and the enormity of his imagination is very special

  • L. says:

    Finally some good news!

    • Elisabeth says:

      He was free to travel to Hamburg before 11.01.2022.
      I have already submitted an article from 11.01.2022 here with short abstract of an as I think essential part of the text and link

  • MWnyc says:

    The verb on the t-shirt is in present tense; the sentence is better translated as “I’m turning off the television.”

    • Robert Hairgrove says:

      It is actually future tense (in English) to say “I’m turning off the television”, just the same as saying “I’m about to turn off the television (which is still on at this moment)”.

      Getting myself out on a limb here since I am not a native Russian speaker, but I believe one would have to say that in Russian as “Я выключу телевизор”.

      “Я выключaю телевизор” would mean “I am keeping the TV turned off”, as far as I understand. But I am certainly willing to learn!

      • Brettermeier says:

        It means “I turn off the TV”. Could be a reference to Victor Tsoj’s song “Кончится лето”:

        “Я выключаю телевизор, я пишу тебе письмо
        Про то, что больше не могу смотреть на дерьмо”

      • Natalia says:

        It means something like “I am in the process of turning off the television”, you hardly will use such a phrase in real life. Actually these are the first words of the song by Russian rock star of late 80s Viktor Tsoi. It is about the depressive life in the Soviet Union.

      • Andrey says:

        yeah. it’s even more complex than that. because it’s ambiguous. so in a sense both of you are correct.

  • Elisabeth says:

    Dieses ist nun vorübergehend aufgehoben: “Vielleicht hängt es damit zusammen, dass Kirill die angeblich veruntreuten Gelder zurückgezahlt hat und deswegen jetzt reisen darf, obwohl seine Bewährungsstrafe noch bis Sommer 2023 Gültigkeit hat”, mutmaßt der Thalia-Intendant im DW-Gespräch. Was genau die russische Justiz zu der Aufhebung des Verbots bewegt hat, ist nicht bekannt. Russische Beobachter, wie etwa die Theaterkritikerin Marina Davydova, vermuten eine Entscheidung “von ganz oben”, zumal der Fall von Kirill Serebrennikow von Anfang an ein Politikum war.
    This excerpt is from an article of DW 11.01.22 : he said he was allowed to leave Russia without any explanation given. The decision seems to have been made right at the Top. People can only guess why. He had paid back the allegedly embezzled monies. But was more likely a political decision directly from the Top.
    Sorry , who says that he could flee when he arrived in January before 11.01.2022??? Have I missed new developments? Unfortunately I could not find an English translation , but some here may be able to read it. I am just giving the bare bones.

    • Robert Hairgrove says:

      “Was genau die russische Justiz zu der Aufhebung des Verbots bewegt hat, ist nicht bekannt.”

      [i.e., What exactly persuaded the Russian court (Justiz = justice system) to drop charges, is not known.]

      Kann man hier noch von “Justiz” sprechen?

      Don’t Western courts have to publish their verdicts and grounds for sentencing?

  • Antoine MARTIN says:

    Immense metteur en scène …. certes je ne connais que le Parsifal de Vienne 2021 mais les images vidéo accompagnant le splendide prélude du I restent parmi les plus magnifiques utilisations de la vidéo à l’opéra …
    Cette mise en scène avait été réalisée via le monde numérique car il lui était interdit de quitter la Russie .
    Merci ARTE et la chaine franco-allemande a permis de revoir plusieurs fois sur son site ce très beau spectacle