(Miriam Elder's article appeared in the Guardian, 5/31.)
Riot police on the stage of the Mariinsky, missiles rolling across the Bolshoi – opposition to Vladimir Putin's rule has suffused Russian culture to such a degree that it has reached the stages of the country's most vaunted theatres.
Last weekend, the latest production to allude to the opposition protests that have brought tens of thousands onto the streets of Moscow opened at the Mariinsky Theatre in St Petersburg, Putin's hometown.
(Joshua Kosman's article appeared in the San Francisco Chronicle on June 12, 2010)
What could be more exhilarating than a full-scale operatic triumph, joining musical splendor with sleek dramatic insight and an imaginative visual component? Well, how about one that points the way, at least in part, toward more of the same?