Scenery kills performer at Russia’s Bolshoi Theatre

Yevgeny Kulesh dies after accident at renowned Moscow venue

Russia’s renowned Bolshoi Theatre was hit by tragedy on Saturday when a performer was crushed to death during a scenery change.

Yevgeny Kulesh, 38, died during a performance of Sadko, an opera by Russian composer Nikolay Rimsky-Korsakov.

The audience was ushered out of the theatre after the accident on Saturday, which is under investigation.

“The opera was immediately stopped and the audience was asked to leave,” it told the Interfax news agency.

Interfax cited a source as saying Kulesh was crushed by a ramp.

“We express our deep condolences to family and friends,” the theatre said. A performance on Sunday was cancelled.

Moscow investigators said Kulesh died of his injuries before an ambulance arrived.

It is not the first fatal accident at the theatre. In 2013, a violinist died after falling into the orchestra pit.

The Bolshoi Theatre dates back to 1776, when empress Catherine II granted a Russian official a licence to put on balls and stage performances.

Its first permanent home opened in 1780 but burned down in 1805.

A new structure, opened in 1825, was also destroyed by fire, but its replacement, erected in 1853, exists to this day.

Restored in the late 2000s, its best-known occupants are the dancers of the Bolshoi Ballet.

Updated: October 10th 2021, 4:13 PM