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Oppressive Russia is at heart of the Met’s gala

We hear from those present that opening night at the Met was dominated by the Russian agenda. Peter Gelb, the company’s general manager, inserted in the gala programme his Bloomberg article explaining why he was not dedicating the night to victims of Putin’s oppressive state. The article served only to direct attention to that oppression.

A gay demonstration outside was promptly reported in the parish newspaper.

Valery Gergiev’s media machine went silent. Anna Netrebko simpered at the cameras. No-one left the Met unaware that Russia has a human rights problem.

met homophobia

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  1. C.Czaja Sager says:

    far more important life mattering issues thanj this silly distraction

    NSA/GHHQ massive spying and sharing all info with ‘birds of a feather’..
    the plight of Ed Snowdon ! granted freedom in Putin’s Russia …how ironic/
    the destruction of life in the Mid East….go protest the offending parties’ embassies….and your Fed. oligarch ‘govt’.
    and the massive unpunished bankster -caused crimes that have caused economic ruin c by a clique in the US and abroad that has and continues to ruin lives all over the world.
    There are the targets for continual scrutiny and imperative protest!

    • They don’t care. They have “bread and circuses”. And in the circus, some foreign entity has to be the bad guy, while the “we” are the good guys. It’s scary, but it actually is that childishly simple.

      • Theodore McGuiver says:

        That’s why the biggest Us v. Them film after the collapse of the Soviet Union was Independance Day. No big enemies left on earth so they invented space invaders. Puerile.

        • Now for the time being there is the “bearded brown man” filling the void, but it’s only temporary. They are working on bringing back the evil Russkies. It’s the most profitable enemy. Maybe the “tiny yellow men” will also play a role, but since they make our plastic toys, we can’t really f*ck with them.

    • I’m taking a wild guess, that the commenter who thinks oppression of LGBTers has no importance — “a silly distraction” he calls ‘this’ — is an anti-gay bigot.

    • You are not going to hijack the subject. Let’s stick to the subject at hand. No one expects the Met to solve world problems that they have nothing to do with.

  2. Jonathan Dore says:

    Has it occurred to either of you that these people, and many others, might care about, and protest against, those problems as well? Or do you imagine they’re only interested in one problem at a time?

    On the other hand, if you actually support the new homophobic law in Russia, why not say so openly and honestly, rather than hiding behind some other issue?

    Then we’d know where *you* stand.

  3. So…. my deep sense of injustice at the besmirching of Tchaikowsky’s legacy… all started with a
    few words at a computer became a lightning rod that led to this. Sure, there are more important
    issues than what goes on at the Met. But, I think the legacy of a great artist is worth at LEAST as
    much attention as the allegedly more important issues like Snowden, etc. We GOT their attention,
    got Gelb to do exactly what he said he WOULDN’T do, and for once, ART and OPERA were
    anything but elitist and irrelevant. I’m proud.

  4. Marguerite Foxon says:

    Clearly Mr Gelb showed his support for the cause by inserting his article in the program. As observed above, this drew everyone’s attention to the issue. Brava, Mr Gelb!

  5. Neil van der Linden says:

    Reading this with interest, I am thinking which are the rules in such occasions. Protest vs the rights to perform for the performers and the right to hear and see the performance for probably most part of the audience. A few month ago indignation prevailed when protesters interfered in a concert of the Jeruzalem Quartet, which the protesters saw as representatives of an occupying regime. In these columns the protesters were described as barbarians or beasts, ifI remember well. Now the protest is apparently seen as a matter of good taste an eloquence. Where to draw the line? (NB let us not go into politics, that is in the end a matter of personal opionion; I am talking about the principle of disturbing a concert as such)

  6. Peter Gelb had to walk a fine line, and he did so skillfully. But anyone who spied the rainbow suspenders Gelb wore on opening night knows where his sympathies are. I hope Gergiev and Netrebko saw them.

  7. The protest here was careful NOT to encroach on the actual performance or interrupt it. The slogans yelled in the house took place in between the playing of our National Anthem and the actual start of the Opera. Nothing interfered with its presentation. At most, the start of the show was delayed a few minutes, probably less time than it took for the elaborate scene changes. And no patrons were interfered with as they entered the house, unless you consider being handed a flier or offered a rainbow ribbon as interference.

  8. Francais Sagat says:

    I would like to go to a Russian Gay jail. I could get into the moaning from the straight guys. At least you get off. Raven is not putting out!

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