Yevgeny Kulesh, 37, is said to have been hit by a ramp in Moscow’s famous Bolshoi Theater on Saturday night because viewers thought it was part of the Sadko opera
This is the moment when horrified performers desperately wave their hands to alert the staff after an actor was crushed to death in Moscow’s famous Bolshoi Theater.
Yevgeny Kulesh, 37, was reportedly hit by a ramp Saturday night as footage shared online appears to show performers desperately trying to get staff to lift the prop.
People then tried to revive the actor but could not do so.
The orchestra also stopped playing “immediately” when the stage curtain was closed in less than a minute.
The audience heard people shouting, “Get a doctor! Call an ambulance, someone has been hit by the scenery!”
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Another was heard shouting, “Call the ambulance, there’s blood.”
The audience was then asked to leave. It has been reported that they originally thought they saw a stunt or trick that was part of the show.
The disturbing video shared by Telegram Channel 112 shows actors on stage begging staff to lift the dropped prop.
The theater confirmed that he died on Saturday during a change of stage at the Sadko opera.
In a statement released on Saturday evening, the Bolshoi said: “The performance was stopped immediately and the audience was asked to leave the hall.”
It said he was seriously injured and died before an ambulance arrived at the theater.
Initial reports had indicated that the late actor went down the wrong path in the descent of the set, while others suggested he was taken by surprise when the decor crushed him.
Since then, cast members have come out to defend the late actor.
Nikolai Tsiskardze, once the theater’s solo dancer, told the Komsomolkaya Pravda newspaper: “Backstage is hell.
“Dancers damage their legs when sets and stairs fall over,” he said. “We mustn’t blame Yevgeny or find a scapegoat.”
“I have been shouting about the problems of the Bolshoi for 25 years. There is no order, no medicine, no ethics. We are all serfs! It’s all very sad.”
The Moscow Committee of Inquiry has also confirmed that it has opened an investigation into the incidents.
The nightmare occurred during a set change in Sadko, an opera by Russian composer Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov.
Mr. Kulesh has appeared in the theater for nearly two decades.
A tragedy also struck the theater in 2013 when a lead violinist, Viktor Sedov, fell into the orchestra pit and died. He was a veteran in the orchestra and had played for that orchestra for over four decades.
There was also a scandal in 2011 when the ballet soloist Pavel Dmitrichenko was sentenced to six prison terms after ordering an acid attack on the artistic director of the theater Sergei Filin outside his Moscow home, which resulted in visual damage.