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Spain’s Teatro Real, one of Europe’s major opera houses, announced on Friday that it is cancelling a set of upcoming performances by Russia’s Bolshoi Ballet over the war the country is waging on Ukraine.
The management of the Madrid-based opera house said in a statement that the ballet’s mid-May performances of Ludwig Minkus’ La Bayadere won’t go ahead ‘due to the war unleashed by Russia in Ukraine, which is causing a serious global crisis and a painful humanitarian emergency’.
The Bolshoi Ballet, part of the legendary Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow, is funded by the Russian state.
In a statement, Teatro Real said that it regrets not hosting the upcoming performances of ‘the prestigious company’ and that ‘it will reimburse, throughout the month of March, the amount for the seats that have been purchased for this show’.
It also stated that the Bolshoi Ballet Director, Vladimir Urin, was among a group of Russian artists who has ‘publicly declared himself in favour of Ukraine and against the war’.
On 27 February, during the final performance at Teatro Real of Twilight of the Gods – the last opera in Richard Wagner’s The Ring of the Nibelung series – artists on stage wrapped the corpse of the protagonist, Siegried, in the Ukrainian flag.
The action, as part of an opera that ‘places man in front of his own path to self-destruction’ was meant to be ‘a symbolic act of homage to the victims of the war’, the Teatro Real said at the time.