Met Gala and Gay Rights

The Metropolitan Opera opened its new season last night (9/23) with a splendid gala performance. The famous opera house in New York featured Tchaikovsky's opera Eugene Onegin, and the price for the best seats was far over a thousand dollars. The cast included world stars like conductor Valery Gergiev and soprano Anna Netrebko. However, there was a catch to the Russian combination Tchaikovski - Gergiev - Netrebko, about which the Met could not have known when it started its planning an estimated three or four years ago: While the preparations were going on, Russian President Vladimir Putin made headlines worldwide with homophobic laws in Russia, and both Gergiev and Netrebko were supporters of Putin's during the 2012 Presidential election campaign. Sure enough, repercussions ensued as the gala drew closer. Two months ago, American composer Andrew Rudin starated an Internet petition in which the Met was asked to use the opening gala to proclaim its solidarity with persecuted LGBT people. The Met ignored the appeal for the longest time, but the other side did not relent. Georg Hirsch has the story.

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