Clergyman complains about "The Blizzard" by Pushkin staged in Izhevsk

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The priest of St. Michael Cathedral in Izhevsk made a complaint against the performance based on the novel by Alexander Pushkin "The Blizzard" staged in the Russian Drama Theater in Izhevsk. The director of the performance Maxim Sokolov announced this on his page in the social network "VKontakte".

According to him, yesterday he got a phone call from the Russian Drama Theater and was told that the ROC priest who had seen "The Blizzard" play, wrote a letter to the President of the Udmurt Republic asking to respond "adequately" to the performance.

Sokolov posted a copy of the letter of the priest who appears in the document as V.V. Andrianov. The clergyman writes that he was outraged by the use of orthodox symbols in the stage play: of episcopal vestments and a cross which was "outsized and ugly-looking".

"The ugly image of the priest who drinks and practices extortion has greatly hurt my religious feelings not only as a priest, but as a believer. Taking into account that everything is happening before the beginning of the Great Lent, I can not describe my feelings. I think everything that happens is the violation of Article 148 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation "On Freedom of Conscience and Religious Associations," says the letter.

Andrianov demands that the theater management, the director of the performance and the Ministry of Culture should apologize officially and the apology statements should be published in the media, on the sites of the theater and the Ministry of Culture. He also demanded to stop using the orthodox symbols in the performance. Otherwise, the priest threatens to appeal to court and the prosecutor's office. The letter was registered on February 24.

The Minister of Culture and Tourism of Udmurtia Vladimir Solovyov said that the performance won`t be taken off the repertoire of the theater. "The performance is popular. If we take off performances on one or two letters, there will be nothing left on the repertoire. We do not have a performance, and none of the theaters, there is no a theater in the world with a repertoire that everyone likes," he said.

At the same time, according to Solovyov, an expert council will be formed in Udmurtia to evaluate performances to be staged. "There will be no people belonging to religion, industry or agriculture in the expert council, that`s for sure. It will consist of experts only," said the Minister.

He also said that he`s preparing a response to the priest`s letter together with the management of the theater, but he didn`t comment on the response itself.

"The Blizzard" first night staged by Vasiliy Sigarev was on March 5, 2014. The next performance takes place on March 21.

Recently the media have been covering a similar situation with the opera "Tannhauser" by Richard Wagner staged in The Novosibirsk State Academic Opera and Ballet Theater. An administrative case against the director of the performance and the director of the theater was opened for the desecration of religious symbols at the request of the Metropolitan of Novosibirsk and Berdsk. The case was filed to the justice of the peace.

Text and pictures by INTERFAX.RU