CULTURE

Controversy at opera over Ukraine statement

Controversy at opera over Ukraine statement

Controversy erupted at the Greek National Opera ahead of Saturday’s performance of “Otello,” as organizers dedicated the show to war-torn Ukraine, holding a moment of silence for the victims of the conflict.

A statement by Giannis Mitrakis, a Greek-Ukrainian dancer with the National Opera Ballet, calling “for an immediate end to this war” while wearing a Ukrainian flag draped over his shoulders, prompted an outburst from a group of left-wing unionists who said the initiative was “one-sided.”

The majority of the audience appeared to disapprove of the reactions that interrupted the show directed by world-renowned Robert Wilson.

The incident ended after an intervention by Latvian-Ukrainian tenor and star Aleksandrs Antonenko, who asked the protesters to leave the stage. “I am Ukrainian. This war started 8 years ago. Let’s not mix art with war,” he said.