Kirill Serebrennikov, a leading stage and film director in Russia, is currently directing a production of Mozart’s Così fan tutte from 1,400 miles away. Under house arrest on embezzlement charges since August 2017, Serebrennikov has been sending videos to the cast and crew in Zurich to direct the production.
Serebrennikov isn’t allowed to use the Internet and can only converse with his lawyer, but does have access to a computer. Recorded rehearsals are sent to his lawyer who puts them onto a flash drive and passes them to Serebrennikov. The director then records his thoughts and his lawyer picks them up and passes them back to his assistant, Evgeny Kulagin.
“We chose this unusual path to support an artist in trouble,” states Zurich Opera Artistic Director Andreas Homoki. “It’s an extraordinary situation for us all,” says conductor Cornelius Meister. “But we all know that we have the opportunity to be part of something that people will talk about for years to come.”
On November 4, the show premiered at the Opernhaus Zurich.