Someone might call it a "coup de theatre". But Russian violinist Tatjana Grindenko, director of the Ancient Music Academy of Moscow, actually fired 182 shots with her toy gun, damaging various fittings of the brand new "Giovanni da Udine" Theatre, including a large painting which the theatre recently purchased from Milan's "Accademia di Brera", and some seats in the press room.
The peculiar and bizarre episode took place last week during the rehearsals of Baldassare Galuppi's opera Il Re Pastore (The Sheperd King), which had its world premiere in Udine on May 5.
According to various reports in the Italian press, Ms. Grindenko candidly admitted to the police authorities that she fired the shots because she needed to relax herself in view of the important premiere. Now she faces a charge for illegal possession of a fire weapon (the Italian law does not consider her weapon a toy gun) and for damage to public property.
The "Comune di Udine", who operates the theatre, declared in press release on Thursday, May 7, that Ms. Grindenko already deposited 10 million lire (5,500 US dollars) as a partial compensation for her damages.
The "Giovanni da Udine" Theatre opened its doors last October after a twenty-year-long construction. The modern structure consists of a 1,200 seats auditorium and various rehearsing rooms. From May 21 to May 24 it will end its first season hosting Bob Wilson and Susan Sontag's Lady from the Sea. --By Stefano Curti