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The Crystal Palace ballet comes to Russia with star-studded cast

The combined ballet / opera “The Crystal Palace” is a large – scale, significant event, the only show of its kind in Russia.




On September 10, 2018, at 19:00, the Great Hall of the State Kremlin Palace will host the Russian premiere of “The Crystal Palace”, a ballet with operatic element incorporated into it. The initiator and main organizer of the project is the European Foundation for Support of Culture (EFSC) headed by Konstantin Ishkhanov. The premiere of the ballet in Moscow was organized jointly with the Association for Support of Cultural Initiatives (APKI) and the State Kremlin Palace.

The world premiere of the ballet “Crystal Palace” was successfully held in Malta on July 21st, 2017. This event was timed to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the Russian Federation and Malta. This year the ballet was staged in Armenia. Now the organizers are preparing to conquer Russia with this unusual performance.

After the premiere in Malta, Vladimir Malygin, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Russian Federation to the Republic of Malta, stressed: “I am particularly pleased to note that the ballet received many enthusiastic responses, including from high-ranking guests who attended the event. It really helped to strengthen the image of Russia as a country with a rich musical and spiritual heritage.”

Stage Scene from “The Crystal Palace”

The audience will see a bright costumed performance with luxurious Baroque decorations with the participation of the stars of the Bolshoi Theatre of Russia and the Mikhailovsky Theater. The action of the ballet takes place in the year 1740, during the reign of the Russian Empress Anna Ioannovna, played by the famous Italian actress Ornella Muti, known for her roles in the iconic films of world cinema: “The Taming of the Shrew (Il bisbetico domato)”, “Life is beautiful (La vita e bella)”, “Madly in Love (Innamorato pazzo)” and many others.

The plot of the Crystal Palace is based on a historical episode that took place at the court of the Russian autocrat. Anna Ioannovna was famous for her love of magnificent celebrations and unusual amusements.

One day she decided to bring about the marriage of a couple of court jesters, but they were to spend the winter night after the nuptials in a specially erected palace right on the River Neva, where the walls, the bed and even the flowers, are made of ice. This is the Crystal Palace.

The roles of the two lovers will be performed by the world ballet star, Honored Artist of Russia Ivan Vasiliev, and leading soloist of the Bolshoi Theatre of Russia Maria Vinogradova.

The star cast also includes the Prima Ballerina of the Bolshoi Theatre of Russia, People’s Artist of Russia Maria Allash, and soloist of the Opera Company of the Bolshoi Theatre of Russia Anna Nechaeva.

The ballet will also feature artists from Russia’s leading musical theatres, the Bolshoi Theatre Children’s Choir and the School of Classical Dance under the direction of Gennady and Larisa Ledyakh.

The ballet is set to the music of the famous American-Maltese composer of Russian origin, Alexei Shor, whose work has received worldwide recognition.

Alexey Shor, born in the Soviet Union and now Maltese-American, the composer for this program.

The development of the dance and musical components of the ballet was led by leading Russian directors and choreographers: Ekaterina Mironova and Alexander Somov, which speak of the play as the “Crystal Palace” of human relations…”

The era of Anna Ivanovna reveals interesting facts to the viewer. Few people know that in 1738 the Empress became the founder of the first Russian “Tantsevalniy – Her Imperial Majesty’s school” (now the Academy of Russian ballet named for Agrippina Y. Vaganova). Historical costumes, embroidered by hand according to the canons of the XVIII century, will amaze the audience with their exclusivity, wealth and splendor.

The two-act performance will be accompanied by a symphony orchestra, the members of which include musicians from some of the premier orchestras of Moscow. Pavel Klinichev, a multiple winner of the Golden Mask award, conducts the program.

The combined ballet / opera “The Crystal Palace” is a large – scale, significant event, the only show of its kind in Russia, with a unique character which is emphasized by great intercultural theatrical and musical connections.

Do not miss the opportunity to dive into the history, and immerse yourself in the atmosphere of the times of the great Empress Anna Ioannovna on September 10!

More information and tickets can be found at this link for the State Kremlin Palace Theater.

The main roles are played by:

Ornella Muti                                      –           Empress Anna Ioannovna

Ivan Vasiliev                                      –           Lover, Jester

Maria Vinogradova                           –           The Jester’s beloved, a Cracker

Maria Allash                                       –           Fairy Frozen flower garden

Anna Nechaeva                                 –           Opera Diva


Composer                                           –           Alexey Shor

Directors and ballet masters           –           Ekaterina Mironova and

Alexander Somov

Conductor                                          –           Pavel Klinichev

Costume Designer                             –           Elena Netsvetaeva-Dolgaleva

Production Designer                         –           Sergey Timonin

Lighting Designer                              –           Anton Stikhin

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Constantinople: Ukrainian Church leader is now uncanonical

October 12 letter proclaims Metropolitan Onuphry as uncanonical and tries to strong-arm him into acquiescing through bribery and force.

Seraphim Hanisch



The pressure in Ukraine kept ratcheting up over the last few days, with a big revelation today that Patriarch Bartholomew now considers Metropolitan Onuphy “uncanonical.” This news was published on 6 December by a hierarch of the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church (running under the Moscow Patriarchate).

This assessment marks a complete 180-degree turn by the leader of the Orthodox Patriarchate of Constantinople, and it further embitters the split that has developed to quite a major row between this church’s leadership and the Moscow Patriarchate.

OrthoChristian reported this today (we have added emphasis):

A letter of Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople to His Beatitude Metropolitan Onuphry of Kiev and All Ukraine was published yesterday by a hierarch of the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church, in which the Patriarch informed the Metropolitan that his title and position is, in fact, uncanonical.

This assertion represents a negation of the position held by Pat. Bartholomew himself until April of this year, when the latest stage in the Ukrainian crisis began…

The same letter was independently published by the Greek news agency Romfea today as well.

It is dated October 12, meaning it was written just one day after Constantinople made its historic decision to rehabilitate the Ukrainian schismatics and rescind the 1686 document whereby the Kiev Metropolitanate was transferred to the Russian Orthodox Church, thereby, in Constantinople’s view, taking full control of Ukraine.

In the letter, Pat. Bartholomew informs Met. Onuphry that after the council, currently scheduled for December 15, he will no longer be able to carry his current title of “Metropolitan of Kiev and All Ukraine.”

The Patriarch immediately opens his letter with Constantinople’s newly-developed historical claim about the jurisdictional alignment of Kiev: “You know from history and from indisputable archival documents that the holy Metropolitanate of Kiev has always belonged to the jurisdiction of the Mother Church of Constantinople…”

Constantinople has done an about-face on its position regarding Ukraine in recent months, given that it had previously always recognized the Metropolitan of Kiev and All Ukraine of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church-Moscow Patriarchate as the sole canonical primate in Ukraine.

…The bulk of the Patriarch’s letter is a rehash of Constantinople’s historical and canonical arguments, which have already been laid out and discussed elsewhere. (See also here and here). Pat. Bartholomew also writes that Constantinople stepped into the Ukrainian ecclesiastical sphere as the Russian Church had not managed to overcome the schisms that have persisted for 30 years.

It should be noted that the schisms began and have persisted precisely as anti-Russian movements and thus the relevant groups refused to accept union with the Russian Church.

Continuing, Pat. Bartholomew informs Met. Onuphry that his position and title are uncanonical:

Addressing you as ‘Your Eminence the Metropolitan of Kiev’ as a form of economia [indulgence/condescension—OC] and mercy, we inform you that after the elections for the primate of the Ukrainian Church by a body that will consist of clergy and laity, you will not be able ecclesiologically and canonically to bear the title of Metropolitan of Kiev, which, in any case, you now bear in violation of the described conditions of the official documents of 1686.

He also entreats Met. Onuphry to “promptly and in a spirit of harmony and unity” participate, with the other hierarchs of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, in the founding council of the new Ukrainian church that Constantinople is planning to create, and in the election of its primate.

The Constantinople head also writes that he “allows” Met. Onuphry to be a candidate for the position of primate.

He further implores Met. Onuphry and the UOC hierarchy to communicate with Philaret Denisenko, the former Metropolitan of Kiev, and Makary Maletich, the heads of the schismatic “Kiev Patriarchate” and the schismatic “Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church” respectively—both of which have been subsumed into Constantinople—but whose canonical condemnations remain in force for the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church.

The hierarchs of the Serbian and Polish Churches have also officially rejected the rehabilitation of the Ukrainian schismatics.

Pat. Bartholomew concludes expressing his confidence that Met. Onuphry will decide to heal the schism through the creation of a new church in Ukraine.

The Ukrainian Orthodox Church under Metropolitan Onuphry’s leadership is recognized as the sole canonical Orthodox jurisdiction in Ukraine by just about every other canonical Orthodox Jurisdiction besides Constantinople. Even NATO member Albania, whose expressed reaction was “both sides are wrong for recent actions” still does not accept the canonicity of the “restored hierarchs.”

In fact, about the only people in this dispute that seem to be in support of the “restored” hierarchs, Filaret and Makary, are President Poroshenko, Patriarch Bartholomew, Filaret and Makary… and NATO.

While this letter was released to the public eye yesterday, the nearly two months that Metropolitan Onuphry has had to comply with it have not been helped in any way by the actions of both the Ecumenical Patriarchate and the Ukrainian government.

Priests of the Canonical Church in Ukraine awaiting interrogation by the State authorities

For example, in parallel reports released on December 6th, the government is reportedly accusing canonical priests in Ukraine of treason because they are carrying and distributing a brochure entitled (in English): The Ukrainian Orthodox Church: Relations with the State. The Attitude Towards the Conflict in Donbass and to the Church Schism. Questions and Answers.

In a manner that would do any American liberal proud, these priests are being accused of inciting religious hatred, though really all they are doing is offering an explanation for the situation in Ukraine as it exists.

A further piece also released yesterday notes that the Ukrainian government rehabilitated an old Soviet-style technique of performing “inspections of church artifacts” at the Pochaev Lavra. This move appears to be both intended to intimidate the monastics who are living there now, who are members of the canonical Church, as well as preparation for an expected forcible takeover by the new “united Church” that is under creation. The brotherhood characterized the inspections in this way:

The brotherhood of the Pochaev Lavra previously characterized the state’s actions as communist methods of putting pressure on the monastery and aimed at destroying monasticism.

Commenting on the situation with the Pochaev Lavra, His Eminence Archbishop Clement of Nizhyn and Prilusk, the head of the Ukrainian Church’s Information-Education Department, noted:

This is a formal raiding, because no reserve ever built the Pochaev Lavra, and no Ministry of Culture ever invested a single penny to restoring the Lavra, and the state has done nothing to preserve the Lavra in its modern form. The state destroyed the Lavra, turned it into a psychiatric hospital, a hospital for infectious diseases, and so on—the state has done nothing more. And now it just declares that it all belongs to the state. No one asked the Church, the people that built it. When did the Lavra and the land become state property? They belonged to the Church from time immemorial.

With the massive pressure both geopolitically and ecclesiastically building in Ukraine almost by the day, it is anyone’s guess what will happen next.

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Ukrainian leadership is a party of war, and it will continue as long as they’re in power – Putin

“We care about Ukraine because Ukraine is our neighbor,” Putin said.





Via RT…

Russia’s President Vladimir Putin has branded the Ukrainian leadership a “party of war” which would continue fueling conflicts while they stay in power, giving the recent Kerch Strait incident as an example.

“When I look at this latest incident in the Black Sea, all what’s happening in Donbass – everything indicates that the current Ukrainian leadership is not interested in resolving this situation at all, especially in a peaceful way,” Putin told reporters during a media conference in the aftermath of the G20 summit in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

This is a party of war and as long as they stay in power, all such tragedies, all this war will go on.

The Kiev authorities are craving war primarily for two reasons – to rip profits from it, and to blame all their own domestic failures on it and actions of some sort of “aggressors.”

“As they say, for one it’s war, for other – it’s mother. That’s reason number one why the Ukrainian government is not interested in a peaceful resolution of the conflict,” Putin stated.

Second, you can always use war to justify your failures in economy, social policy. You can always blame things on an aggressor.

This approach to statecraft by the Ukrainian authorities deeply concerns Russia’s President. “We care about Ukraine because Ukraine is our neighbor,” Putin said.

Tensions between Russia and Ukraine have been soaring after the incident in the Kerch Strait. Last weekend three Ukrainian Navy ships tried to break through the strait without seeking the proper permission from Russia. Following a tense stand-off and altercation with Russia’s border guard, the vessels were seized and their crews detained over their violation of the country’s border.

While Kiev branded the incident an act of “aggression” on Moscow’s part, Russia believes the whole Kerch affair to be a deliberate “provocation” which allowed Kiev to declare a so-called “partial” martial law ahead of Ukraine’s presidential election.

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When Putin Met Bin Sally

Another G20 handshake for the history books.



Via Zerohedge

In the annals of handshake photo-ops, we just may have a new winner (much to the delight of oil bulls who are looking at oil treading $50 and contemplating jumping out of the window).

Nothing but sheer joy, delight and friendship…

…but something is missing…

Meanwhile, earlier…

Zoomed in…

And again.

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