Posted March 01, 2015

Posted March 1, 2015

This item comes from long-time member Ski Grabowski.

Many devoted Wagnerians believe that some directors should be jailed for offenses against “What Richard Wanted” but in this case, it might come to pass. 

Prosecutors in the Russian city of Novosibirsk are investigating director Timofei Kulyabin’s staging of the opera “Tannhauser,” which transposes the action in the classic story of the struggle between sacred and profane love into the modern day, with the main character portrayed as a filmmaker.

The Kulyabin staging features a scene where the Roman goddess Venus promises eternal love to Jesus Christ if he would stay with her in a grotto. But he doesn’t take the offer and destroys the grotto with the help of the Virgin Mary, according to a summary on the theater’s website.

The local religious leaders believe the production to be blasphemous and could incite religious hatred. If convicted Kulyabin would face an $800 fine and 120 hours of community service.

image is of the Berlin Staatsoper Tannhauser