DARLINGTON Hippodrome has cancelled productions by the Russian State Opera group in the wake of the invasion of Ukraine.

The theatre had been due to host the Carmen and Aida productions later this week – but has now scrapped them.  

A statement from the theatre read: “In light of the escalating situation in the Ukraine, Darlington Hippodrome will no longer be presenting the Russian State Opera productions of Carmen and Aida which were scheduled for Tuesday 1 and Wednesday 2 March.

“All ticket holders will automatically receive a full refund - there is no need to contact the theatre.

“We appreciate that the production company and artistes involved in these productions are in no way responsible for the actions of the Russian government and this decision was not an easy one to make.

“However, it is imperative that we share our support and solidarity towards the people of Ukraine during this difficult time.

The Northern Echo: A scene from the Russian Stage Opera production of Carmen.A scene from the Russian Stage Opera production of Carmen.

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The group, used as a brand name for British company Amande Concerts, was due to fulfil a series of performances at theatres across the UK in the coming weeks.

But after a backlash from venues and spectators it said it condemns the violence inflicted on Ukraine by Vladimir Putin.

"This production is brought to you by an English company Amande Concerts Ltd, registered in UK, who have worked with the best of the best performing arts organisations from Eastern Europe for over twenty years,” the theatre group said.

"Russian State Opera is a brand name established by a UK company, Amande Concerts.

"This brand acts as an umbrella for the presentation of artists of many different nationalities that have graduated from artistic institutions in Russia and countries that were formerly part of the Soviet Union. We understand the potential for confusion this name causes, but there is no link between Amande Concerts to the Russian ‘state’ as a political entity.

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"The 'Russian State Opera' is a UK registered trademark that has been used in the same context as for example English National Ballet.

"The brand name only relates to the geographical location of the performing theatres.

"We can confirm that Amande Concerts Ltd, does NOT receive any public or commercial money from Russian organisations.

"Amande Concerts has been self-sufficient WITHOUT any sponsoring support from ANY state or organisation, including Great Britain."

The company said it condemned the violence in Ukraine.

It said its performers touring the country included Ukrainians.

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