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Vienna State Opera Theater

Vienna State Opera Supports Their Russian Artists

Vienna State Opera Theater

 

The following statement was posted to the Vienna State Opera’s social media in response to demands from its audiences to not allow Russian artists to perform in light of the Russian invasion:

“As an international opera and ballet house, we are happy and proud to unite artists from the most diverse nations on our stage - including Ukraine and Russia - who live their passion, love and devotion to music, song and dance in peaceful coexistence every evening across political, linguistic, national, cultural or religious differences and share their enthusiasm with the audience. Many of them have been at home in Vienna for many years and are an important part of Europe. With their work they set a strong sign for peace, international understanding and bridge building between cultures.

“Russia’s brutal war of aggression on Ukraine leaves us stunned day after day and we condemn it in the strongest terms. Our full solidarity goes to Ukraine and our thoughts are with all people who are currently experiencing immeasurable suffering, including families and friends of our ensemble members, staff or our guests.

“However, in the last few days we have received more and more demands not to allow the Russian members of the ensemble, the Vienna State Ballet as well as Russian guests to perform.

“We strictly reject these demands for separation as well as a worldview that classifies people as ‘good’ or ‘bad’ only on the basis of their origin. Current developments must not lead to the exclusion of individuals from cultural creation solely on the basis of their nationality.

“Some comments are directed explicitly and in a hurtful way against artists of our institution. We reserve the right to delete these comments.”

 

 

As the conflict in Ukraine continues, concert promoters globally are facing difficult decisions over whether the cancellation of Russian artists and composers would be sending the correct message regarding the conflict.

Artists such as Russian pianist Ludmila Berlinskaya and cellist Anastasia Kobekina have lost concert engagements due to concert providers not wishing to promote Russian artists at this time.

“We must not ban all Russian culture, it is discrimination that does not lead us to peace but even more to war,” Berlinskaya said. “Artists who are not close to the state are not guilty of the situation even if they are Russian.”

Similarly, Kobekina told The Violin Channel: “Music and culture should help us to unite. And I, as a Russian artist, especially in these times, [want to make clear] that I am for peace and that I, like many others from my country, are against this war.”


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