St Petersburg opera director lashes out at Putin’s war

St Petersburg opera director lashes out at Putin’s war


norman lebrecht

May 07, 2022

A message from Mstislav Pentkovsky, director of The Diary of Anne Frank  and Brundibár  at the Mariinsky Theatre.

In May, our minds have always turned to themes of war. As stage-director of the anti-war operas The Diary of Anne Frank and Brundibár at the Mariinsky Theatre, I’ve always believed in their humanitarian message. However, this year all my thoughts are only about peace.

The Diary of Anne Frank and Brundibár are about the horrors of the Holocaust and the value of human life, they recall the tragic lessons of the past century. Today we are witnessing a new catastrophe, the consequences of which are not likely to ever be overcome. I am convinced that the abuse of the memory of the resistance to Nazism during World War II is a crime against history. I believe that the glorification of the war is deeply offensive to the memory of the real victims of Nazism and all those who courageously fought against it in the 20th century. This is an insult against modern civilization. This is an insult against Russian culture. This is an insult against the celebration of Victory Day.



  • dostojewsky says:

    That’s very brave and courageous.
    That WAR is so unbelievable insane.
    I hope russian people follow you and start standing up against the next DICTATORSHIP.

    • Lausitzer says:

      Although it is about the least current concern: Such statements are also of high value for all the German Russophiles who are now deeply shocked and feel betrayed. Just take the real victims he points out: It was so unbelievable to see how the police chased a survivor of the Leningrad siege.

      It is good to know that “they” can not annul everything, that it still needs to be defined who exactly “they” are (it’s of course not only a single person), that at least so much is clear: “They” are not the entirety of Russia.

  • Elizabeth Owen says:

    At last! Mind you he’s probably already on his way to a gulag.

    • Bone says:

      That would be a best-case scenario.

    • JS says:

      I doubt it. The situation in Russia is much more nuanced than people imagine.

      • John Borstlap says:

        It depends: there is a hughe difference between the provinces and the big cities. Polls in the provinces show that practically everybody believes state propaganda because they have no other source of information.

  • Brettermeier says:

    “Putin’s war”

    It’s not just Putin’s war.

  • William Osborne says:

    Courageous words.

  • Rob says:

    He can get a sharp kitchen knife, creep up behind Putin and slit his throat

  • John Cavanagh says:

    This is a very brave and educated man.
    Please preserve his security, and keep us informed as to his welfare. Putin the poisoner is at large.
    John Cavanagh