Teatro alla Scala Defends Choice of ‘Boris Godunov’

By Francisco Salazar

The Teatro alla Scala is defending its choice to present “Boris Godunov” as its opening night opera.

Following protests and a letter sent by the Ukrainian consul, General Director Dominque Meyer said during a press conference that the opera was planned three years ago and “contains no propaganda for the Russian government.”

During the press conference, Meyer said that the Teatro alla Scala was the first to cancel engagements by Russian conductor Valery Gergiev, who was conducting “The Queen of Spades” at La Scala when Russia invaded Ukraine in February. The Teatro alla Scala quickly acted and asked Gergiev to make a statement against Putin and his war. However, La Scala fired him after he failed to express a desire for a peaceful solution to the violence.

Meyer also noted that the theater performed a benefit concert for the Ukrainian people and raised 400,000 euros. He added that has taken in children from a Kyiv dance school and their families. The General Director revealed that he has not met with the Ukrainian consul in Milan but has been in correspondence with him through non-public letters.

“Boris Godunov” opens on Dec. 7 with Ildar Abdrazakov heading the cast.