Bomb Threat And Anti-Semitic Slur Delay Jewish-Themed Russian Opera Premiere

February 20, 2010

Author: Staff Writer

Source: European Jewish Press

Wire Service: AFP

The premiere of a Jewish-themed opera in Saint Petersburg was delayed Thursday after an unknown person threatened to blow up the theatre, police said.   

The historic Mikhailovsky theatre had been due to present a staging of "The Jewess" by French composer Jacques Fromental Halevy when it received the threat, a police spokesman said.   

"An unknown person called the Mikhailovsky theatre to say there would be an explosion before 'The Jewess' began," spokesman Vyacheslav Stepchenko told AFP.   

"Bomb specialists and bomb-sniffing dogs went to the scene," he added.   

There was no information about whether or not a bomb had been found, but the Mikhailovsky theatre said the premiere would be rescheduled to Friday.   

The local news agency Azhur, without giving any sources, reported that the caller had identified himself as a member of a Russian nationalist party and referred to the opera using an anti-Semitic slur.