At Least They Can’t Threaten Him With The Gulag Anymore

Dmitri Shostakovich was always the composer who couldn’t get no respect, even (or especially) in his own country. Now, with celebrations of Shostakovich’s centennial underway around the world, the birthday boy is under fire once again, this time by the Russian Orthodox Church. “The State Theater of Opera and Ballet of the Republic of Komi, a region once notorious as a center of the prison camp system, or Gulag, recently bowdlerized a commemorative performance of ‘The Tale of the Priest and of His Workman Balda’… after the local diocese objected to the portrayal of the priest in the work.”