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.