Mariinsky Theatre Director Speaks Out Against the War

By Francisco Salazar

Mariinsky Theatre director Mstislav Pentkovsky has spoken out against the War in Ukraine as the conflict continues to escalate.

In a statement via Facebook, “In May, our minds have always turned to themes of war. As stage director of the anti-war operas ‘The Diary of Anne Frank’ and ‘Brundibár’ at the Mariinsky Theatre, I’ve always believed in their humanitarian message. However, this year all my thoughts are only about peace.”

He continued, “‘The Diary of Anne Frank’ and ‘Brundibár’ are about the horrors of the Holocaust and the value of human life, they recall the tragic lessons of the past century. Today we are witnessing a new catastrophe, the consequences of which are not likely to ever be overcome. I am convinced that the abuse of the memory of the resistance to Nazism during World War II is a crime against history. I believe that the glorification of the war is deeply offensive to the memory of the real victims of Nazism and all those who courageously fought against it in the 20th century. This is an insult to modern civilization. This is an insult to Russian culture. This is an insult to the celebration of Victory Day. Against tragedy. Against war.”

Pentkovsky has directed productions of the opera “Brundibar” in Russian in Volgograd, Moscow, St. Petersburg, Vladikavkaz, Tallinn, and Sakhalin. In 2016, Pentkovsky’s production of “Brundibar” at the National State Opera and Ballet Theater of the Republic of North Ossetia-Alania won the Onegin National Opera Prize in the “Event of the Year” nomination.