Hamburg / Moscow.

A surprising turnaround in the case of Kirill Serebrennikow: the Russian star director was allowed to leave Russia and arrived at Hamburg’s Thalia Theater for rehearsals.

The Thalia Theater announced Monday. Behind him, more than four years of strict travel bans and numerous staging via zoom and video across Europe. Since Monday, he has been conducting rehearsals for his production of Chekhov’s tale “The Black Monk” at the Thalia Theater.

Serebrennikov was arrested and placed under house arrest in the summer of 2017. The prison camp required by the prosecution for alleged embezzlement has been converted to a three-year suspended sentence with a ban on leaving Russia during the trial in l summer 2020. Now, very suddenly, he was given permission to work in Hamburg, it has been said.

According to the theater, Serebrennikov said upon arriving at Hamburg airport on Saturday: “I am very, very happy and happy that Hamburg is the first European city in which I can work again after four and a half years! Because it’s also the last city I was in before. it feels good ! This is a good sign and certainly not a coincidence! “

Thalia Director Joachim Lux said: “I am very happy to welcome Kirill Serebrennikow to Hamburg. It is an encouragement for the idea of ​​freedom and an encouragement for art too. ”He hardly knows any other artist who burns and lives with such philanthropy, inner independence and uncompromising for the freedom of the ‘art.

The premiere of “The Black Monk”, based on a story by Russian writer Anton Tchekhov (1860-1904), is scheduled for January 22 to mark the opening of Lessingtage. Rehearsals of the international production with Russian, German, American, Armenian and Latvian artists began on November 8 in Moscow and have continued in Hamburg since January 4. After the premiere, Serebrennikov will return to Moscow for an international film. There are plans to zoom in on him both for the presentation of his film “Leto” (January 25) and for a panel discussion on January 30.

The 52-year-old has played in Stuttgart and Berlin, among others. There was great solidarity in Germany when the star director was tried in Moscow. Serebrennikov had always claimed his innocence and complained about the lack of evidence. Because he often relentlessly shows reality, the opera and theater creator repeatedly makes enemies in Russian society. The verdict has been criticized as a blow to the liberal art scene in Russia.

A good year ago, Serebrennikov was able to take the stage for the first time after his house arrest in the famous Bolshoi Theater in Moscow to the final applause. Soon after, he lost his job as theater director of the internationally renowned Gogol Center in the Russian capital. The Russian newspaper “Kommersant” wrote in November that the director had paid his fine of 129 million rubles (the equivalent of 1.5 million euros).

In the spring, Serebrennikow staged Richard Wagner’s musical drama “Parsifal” at the Vienna State Opera – due to travel restrictions via Zoom. After the world premiere at the Cannes Film Festival, his film “Petrov’s Flu” (“Petrow’s Flu”) was released in theaters in Moscow in early September. The nearly two-and-a-half-hour film is a deliberately grotesque and timeless kaleidoscope of Russian society.

Also in September, his play “Decamerone”, staged for the Deutsches Theater in Berlin, was shown at the Gogol Center in Moscow. Like the movie “Petrov’s Flu”, the play that revolves around the plague has unexpectedly become more topical due to the pandemic. (dpa)