The Teatro La Scala and Russia: the inauspicious precedents

by Gabriele Bonafede

Teatro La Scala thought it appropriate to confirm a Russian seasonal opening premiere exactly in the year in which Russia launched a war of genocide and was officially recognized as a sponsor of terrorism by a vote of the European Parliament.

Beyond the gloomy “party” in the presence of the highest offices of the Italian Republic, the management of the Teatro La Scala has forgotten the many, too many Ukrainian victims. First of all, he forgot the destruction of the Mariupol Theater (in the cover photo) with dozens of refugee children inside.

Ccancel culture in mode-Russia

But he also forgot the Moscow regime’s erasure of culture at home and in the Ukraine. In addition to the assassination of a famous Ukrainian conductor, Russia has committed horrific crimes against humanity in 2022.

It would take a long time to list them all, given that these are massacres bordering on genocide, for which innumerable evidence has been collected and there will certainly be an international court of justice to judge those responsible.

The cancel culture in Russian-mode does not only provide for the cancellation of other people’s culture, including the Italian one. But it also provides for the cancellation of entire cities as has happened in Mariupol and elsewhere.

While at the Teatro La Scala the highest offices of the Italian state and very wealthy VIPs applauded the music created by Russian culture, Russia itself, with the approval of many Russian “artists”, continued to send missiles to erase the lives and infrastructures of an entire population, not just its culture.

The Teatro La Scala and its inauspicious precedents: 1914 and 1915

The very sad page of the Teatro La Scala it is not isolated (here the list). The Theater itself inappropriately chose to begin the 1932-33 season with The twilight of the godsby Wagner. A composer dear to Hitler and the Nazis who just in 1933 took power in Germany and would lead the world to the greatest global tragedy of the 20th century. On the other hand, we are talking about an Italy in the midst of the Fascist period, where culture was prone to the dictatorship of the moment.

No less ominous were the two season premieres dedicated to Russian composers, preceding this one in 2022.

Not everyone knows that in 1915, precisely on December 26th, La Scala staged Prince Igor, the only opera by Alexander Porfirevich Borodinduring the First World War.

Maybe it was a political choice. A way to celebrate the new and unprecedented alliance with Russia? Since Italy had switched alliances that year, entering the war on Russia’s side against Austria-Hungary (but not against Germany), it is possible. Especially since the inauguration of the previous season, 1914-1915, was instead dedicated to… Wagner, with The Rhine Gold. In the framework of a shaky Triple Alliance between Italy, Germany and Austria-Hungary at the time, after the war had already started for a few months? Possible.

The fact is that, like 1915, 1916 was particularly inauspicious, not only for Italy and the world, but above all for Russia. It was in 1916 that the material conditions matured for the collapse of the regime of the Russian tsar, which finally took place definitively in March 1917. In short, it was an ominous occasion to involuntarily celebrate the end of a Russian regime and the incubation of a horrible civil war which it shocked Russia and the world starting in 1917 and in the following years.

December 1979

The second time that La Scala had the unfortunate idea of ​​proposing a premiere with the same Russian composer Boris Gudonov proposed this year, it was December 7, 1979. After a couple of weeks, exactly on December 24, the Moscow regime dragged the Soviet Union into the invasion of Afghanistan. That too was a horrible invasion war that contributed significantly to the collapse of the Soviet dictatorship within a decade or so.

Is the saying that there’s no two without three? It could be, also because there are all the signs or at least the coincidences. The unfortunate imperialist decisions of the Russian regime, an economic crisis aggravated by a war decided by the few in power in Russia, the obvious drumbeats of war, the Russian mobilizations, Italy’s political hesitation on the international scene. And now also the ominous “season premiere” with a Russian composer at the La Scala theatre.

In addition to being inopportune and not very edifying, the decision of the Teatro La Scala to start this season with a Russian composer could turn out to be, in spite of itself, prophetic. And herald the end of the heinous criminal regime in Moscow, which is officially recognized as a state sponsor of international terrorism

If on the one hand the decision of the Theater is clearly shameful, on the other hand it could herald the collapse of the criminal Russian regime. An “epochal announcement” as it was on the two previous occasions. In any case, there are many of us who hope so.

The Teatro La Scala and Russia: the inauspicious precedents