Opera review: Pushkin, Ukraine and the magic squirrel

Review - The Tale of Tsar Saltan at Kyiv Opera

BY Gerald Malone   /  18 January 2020

My lunch companion pulled two Israeli IWI Jericho 541 handguns from his briefcase and plonked them on the bench. “What do you think? Needed in Donbas, you know”.

Bloody Nora! I was headed to see a children’s matinee performance of Rimsky Korsakov’s The Tale of Tsar Saltan, based on Pushkin’s 1831 verse fairy tale, and a casual, pre-performance Georgian cuisine lunch was about to turn into a war zone.

Normal for Ukraine’s capital, Kyiv; where bullet holes from the 2014 EuroMaidan Revolution still pockmark walls and lamp posts, and photo-shrines of the 130 (probably a low estimate) fallen demonstrators adorn park railings are mostly topped with crossed Blue/Green and Red/Black flags, of Ukraine and the unofficial paramilitary force, Ukrainian Volunteer Corps.


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