This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
Stocks Under $10 with 50-100% upside potential - 14 days FREE!

Petition Pits Opera World Against Putin Over Gay Rights

"Going to the Met may seem an elitist activity that most people wouldn't care about," Rudin says. But the actual audience is generally "far more diverse than you find at a hockey game," with "every known kind of individual" including every type of ethnicity, every type of economic class, every type of occupation.

But Rudin believes it isn't a love of opera but the identification with gay rights that has created the greatest support for his position.

"People will tell me, 'oh, I have people in my family who are gay' or 'I have a student'," Rudin says. "It's something that matters personally. I have found out that many of my former students think highly of me because in their world I was one of the first out gay professors that they knew.

"That's why the [gay rights] movement has triumphed as it has," Rudin adds, "because it is hard to bring Draconian measures against people that you know. You have to have a really dictatorial government to bring about what Putin is doing here. It's kind of amazing."

While the pressure on Netrebko, Gergiev and the Met is significant, the greatest pressure on Putin himself will likely come not from the arts world but from the Olympics athletes. Russia is scheduled to host the Winter Olympic games in 2014. Should athletes or visitors be concerned about the possibility of arrest in Russia, they may decide not to risk it. A movement for the U.S. to boycott those games is already under way.

But for a composer like Rudin, the great mystery is how Putin could enact policies that "denigrate one of their own great cultural heroes."

"Tchaikovsky's own personal difficulties are undoubtedly reflected in the music that he wrote," Rudin said. "We're indebted to him that he converted that difficulty to something that people can universally relate to."

Observing the global trend toward equal rights in South America, the U.S., Britain and France, Rudin said the repressive policies of Putin's Russia seem "Stalin-esque" by comparison.

"One would like to think that things have altered and changed with the demise of the Soviet system," he added. "But it looks like Putin wants to bring that back."

-- Written by Carlton Wilkinson in New York.

3 of 3

Select the service that is right for you!

COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!
DOW 17,039.49 +60.36 0.36%
S&P 500 1,992.37 +5.86 0.30%
NASDAQ 4,532.1040 +5.6220 0.12%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from Bankrate.com

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs