The stars of Moscow’s famous Bolshoi Theater: ‘We are the messengers of peace’

Music has suffered unexpected parallels as Russian forces have carried out violence through our southern neighbors. The concert was canceled and he lost his job. Iconic soprano, Anna Netrebko, suspended her musical career, and conductor Valery Gergiyev was asked to leave Munich Philharmonic due to the recent geopolitical situation.

Another internationally acclaimed conductor, Tugan Sokhiev, was forced to resign as music director and lead conductor at the Bolshoi Theater in Moscow. Forced to make an impossible choice, he also had to step down as music director at the Orchester National du Capitol de Toulouse.

“I was faced with an impossible choice,” Sokhiev said. Overnight, the self-denial service of the artists to the audience was forgotten because the words ‘Russia’ and ‘Russian’ have become toxic all over the world.

“We should separate art and politics,” Bolshoi urged the stars. “Musicians are messengers of peace,” Sokhiev added. “Instead of using them and their music to unite nations and peoples, in Europe, they are trying to divide and exclude (Russian) artists.”

Mikhail Barishnikov, a world-renowned Soviet ballet dancer, does not want Russian actors to be punished for the ongoing war in Ukraine: Family members in their own country. “

“I believe that art and sport should be kept separate from politics,” said Kesenia Zhigansina, one of Bolshoi’s star ballerinas, echoing Barishnikov.

Music, like any performing art, knows no boundaries. Similarly, the community of people gathered to enjoy the work of art cannot be divided between ‘us’ and ‘them’. At any point in their career, an artist is called upon to serve his or her audience, regardless of ideological or political differences with their own government.

The language of art is the language of universal values ​​and that which arises from that interaction, and the joy of love, empathy, humanism, peace, tolerance and love in every encounter – truly universal values ​​that transcend politics and conflict.

Art should be given a damn against the harmful hatred that is spreading around the world because the daily work of an actor is aimed at giving people a place for harmony and peace; Mutual understanding and respect. This is the essence of the creative art world.

“I have never supported a conflict,” Sokhiev said. “I oppose them in all forms and manifestations. The truth is anyone can doubt my commitment to peace and think that as a musician I want something other than world peace, both shocking and offensive. As humanity has undergone dramatic geopolitical developments over the past 20 years, my musician friends and I have always been united in our support for the victims of this conflict. That’s what musicians do. We express emotion in our music, and our music is a source of comfort to those in need… it can say more than words. ”

Many Russian artists are now feeling bitter and wondering how the European Union, as an open society that was sensitive to justice and freedom of speech and an ambassador of peace and tolerance, turned against them.

Russian ballet dancer Kesnia Zhigansina recently wrote, “I find it offensive that politics has touched art. The nationalism of European theaters is a terrible misconception. “

Barishnikov, considered one of the greatest ballet dancers of all time and who himself defected from the Soviet Union in 1974, reminds us that freedom is much higher than bias: “It is the personal decision of every artist. Choose to speak or not. On my behalf, I will quote His Holiness, Pope Francis. ‘War madness! Please stop! Look at this cruelty! ‘ It’s clear to me who these words are directed at. “

In these difficult times, every artist would easily subscribe to Barishnikov’s words, and according to the Russian proverb: ‘Art will save the world’, because art is the source of hope. We have to do everything we can to keep hope alive.

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