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MOSCOW, April 20. /TASS/. Russian Culture Minister Vladimir Medinsky has declared that he does not approve of a decision made by the newly appointed Director of the Novosibirsk Opera and Ballet theater Vladimir Kekhman, who withdrew the scandalous Tannhauser opera staged to music by Richard Wagner from the theater repertoire.
"It was a resolution made by the theater director who failed to come to terms with the stage director and settle a problem of salaries to the cast. As a minister I do not support his decision," Medinsky told journalists, adding that it was "an in-between resolution, rather than a final one." "Beyond doubt, the performance needs corrections in terms of revising the presentation of a few scenes which were found insulting and which caused confrontation in society. Nonetheless, huge state funds had been spent on the performance which should pay back, the minister said.
"The decision (to remove the opera from the repertoire) was not a final one. If the theater director makes a decision to run the opera in an edited version, the edited version will most likely undergo heavy editing or will be presented in a concert variant. Anyway, I reiterate that the decision rests with the head of the Novosibirsk Theater," Medinsky said.
The Tannhauser was staged at the Novosibirsk Theater last December. The libretto of the opera was changed to present the characters in the modern environment with Jesus Christ presented as a character in an erotic film staged by knight Tannhauser. The opera caused public uproar and caused confrontation between representatives of the religious and secular groups in society. The presentation of the Tannhauser's modern version resulted in the resignation of the theater's director Boris Mezdrich. Newly appointed theater director Vladimir Kekhman removed the opera from the repertoire altogether, declaring that it's return to the Novosibirsk theater stage was impossible.