Judge allows Berlin opera to employ bunnies in the Ring

Judge allows Berlin opera to employ bunnies in the Ring


norman lebrecht

October 28, 2022

A Berlin court yesterday overturned complaints of cruelty from an animal rights group and authorised the Staatsoper to reinstate its caged rabbits in Richard Wagner’s ‘Ring des Nibelungen’.

The director Dmitri Tcherniakov had called for more than 30 guinea pigs and rabbits to appear in his malodorous production.

Most were removed after the opening night, but they can bounce back now – you’ll be pleased to hear.

The question of whether Wagner’s music might be distressing to smaller mammals was not directly addressed in the judgement.


  • Mr Marlow says:

    With all that is going on in the world one wonder at the mentality of people complaining in court about this sort of thing.

    • Jonathan Sutherland says:

      Mr Marlow. Surely you are aware of the vitally important “Bunny Lives Matter” movement?

    • MJA says:

      @Mr Marlow: what I would query is the mentality of people who don’t believe potential animal cruelty is worth complaining about, but perhaps it does help to explain why so much is going on in the World that’s not good.

  • lamed says:

    1) Upon learning of today’s court ruling that the animals must appear in Tcherniakov’s production again, we have learned that the guinea pigs and bunnies have voted instead to collectively commit suicide.

    2) In unrelated news, a human rights lawyer has brought suit on behalf of audience members forced to watch Tcherniakov’s Ring for 18 hours straight for torture and inhuman treatment.

    3) In further unrelated news, the the Court of Justice of the European Union is now hearing the case against Tcherniakov’s interpretation of Wagner for crimes against humanity.

  • Save the MET says:

    Cue in the ecoterrorists with their paint bombs.

  • gareth says:

    They’ll be doing Lohengrin with rats next.

    Oh, wait a minute…

  • sherman berman says:

    Wagner is entirely too large for your smaller animals.