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Arts

Russian director Kirill Serebrennikov to complete 'Hänsel and Gretel' despite arrest

Despite his arrest in Russia, the star director is still expected to complete his work for the Stuttgart Opera. A special event is to be held instead of his finished staging, planned to premiere on October 22.

Kirill Serebrennikov in front of the Stuttgart City Opera (picture-alliance/dpa/B.Weissbrod)

Kirill Serebrennikov in front of the Stuttgart City Opera

The Stuttgart Opera director, Jossi Wieler, announced on Tuesday that award-winning Russian film and theater director Kirill Serebrennikov, currently under house arrest over alleged fraud, will be welcome to complete his staging of "Hänsel und Gretel" after his release.

Serebrennikov is expected to pick up on his work from where it was interrupted by the arrest. "No one else could or would finish his production without him," added Wieler.

Russian authorities detained Serebrennikov, who is a critic of Kremlin policies, in August on charges of embezzling state funds. He is being held under house arrest until October 19, pending trial.

Read more: Russia detains theater director Kirill Serebrennikov over alleged fraud

The premiere of "Hänsel und Gretel" was scheduled for October 22. Instead of postponing the event, an event based on the material that has already been prepared by Serebrennikov will be held, called " Ein Märchen von Hoffnung und Not, erzählt von Kirill Serebrennikov" (A Fairy Tale of Hope and Distress, told by Kirill Serebrennikov). 

It will focus on a movie Serebrennikov shot in Rwanda for the Stuttgart Opera last year.

"We want to tell on this evening not only the story of the fairy tale, but also of our narrator who was interrupted in his narrative," said stage director Ann-Christine Mecke.  

On September 18, Serebrennikov's rendition of Alexander Pushkin's "The Little Tragedies" drew a full house on its premiere night at the Gogol Center in Moscow with the audience and cast expressing solidarity with the director.

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