2015-03-13 18:44:00

Tannhauser opera staged in Novosibirsk desecrates Christian symbols - Mufti of Moscow

Moscow, March 13, Interfax - Mufti of Moscow, the Central Region and Chuvashia, member of the Russian Public Chamber Albir Krganov criticizes staging of Richard Wagner's Tannhauser in the Novosibirsk Opera Theatre.

"Islam position in connection with this performance and the same provocations are simple - it is inacceptable," the mufti says in his statement cited by his press service.

He points out that everything connected with Prophet Isa (Jesus) and his mother Mariam (The Holy Virgin) are holy for Muslims. Names Isa and Mariam are wide spread among Muslims.

"Today, during very special for Christians time of the Great Lent, liberal public tries to destabilize the situation, desecrating Christian symbols under the pretence of the performance based on Wagner's opera Tannnhauser. Muslims are against discreditation of religious symbols and values of the believers, and there's no difference against which confession this action is directed," the statement reads.

Krganov stressed that Muslims are equally touched by inacceptable actions against Prophet Mohammed, Jesus, Moses and other prophets.

The Novosibirsk prosecutor's office earlier brought administrative charges of public desecration and damage of religious and church literature, holy relics, symbols and attributes against Kulyabin, who staged Wagner's Tannhauser in a present-day setting. An administrative case has also been started against Novosibirsk Opera House Director Boris Mezdrich.

Both cases were initiated by Metropolitan Tikhon of Novosibirsk and Berdsk, who claimed that church symbols had been profaned.

Kulyabin's adaptation of Tannhauser premiered in December 2014. In it, the minnesinger Tannhauser was portrayed as a film director who made The Venus Grotto film. The leading part was performed by Stieg Andersen, a soloist at the Royal Theater in Copenhagen. The musical performance was directed by the Latvian conductor Ainars Rubikis.