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New opera causes uproar at the Bolshoi

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New opera causes uproar at the Bolshoi


Russia’s celebrated Bolshoi Theatre is staging an opera that has caused an outcry in the country.

“Rosenthal’s Children” deals with the cloning of composers. It features depictions of genetic copies of Wagner, Mozart and others who mix with prostitutes and tramps. It is all a far cry from the usual classical repertoire and traditionalists are demanding an immediate ban. Demonstrators have gathered daily outside the theatre in Moscow. Their anger is especially directed at the libretto’s author Vladimir Sorokin, whose past works have been laden with scenes of defecation and sex. “It is absolutely unacceptable for a self-respecting country” said one activist, who branded Sorokin a pornographer. The writer himself firmly rejects such accusations. The theatre director is standing by the production – the Bolshoi’s first new opera for three decades. “The development of opera is one of the missions of the Bolshoi Theatre,” said Anatoly Iksanov. “Rosenthal’s Children” may not be everyone’s cup of tea and there were a few dissenting voices during last night’s premiere. But the theatre was sold out – indicating some may simply be curious to find out what all the fuss is about.
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