• Switzerland's news in English
 
app_header_v3

Lucerne orchestra axes concert with Depardieu

Malcolm Curtis · 22 Apr 2013, 21:43

Published: 22 Apr 2013 21:43 GMT+02:00

The portly French actor was due to read 'L’Histoire du Soldat' (The Soldier’s Tale), a story based on a Russian folk tale by Swiss writer CF Ramuz, and set to music by Igor Stravinski.

But the orchestra in the central Swiss city decided to scrap the May 25th concert over worries that the political waves caused by Depardieu’s tax avoidance activities would overshadow the performance.

The film actor, one of the highest paid in France, recently took up official residence in Belgium and obtained Russian nationality to lower his income tax bill.

“We regret that the concert L’Histoire du Soldat with Gérard Depardieu on May 25th . . . has been cancelled,” the orchestra says on its website.

“Tickets will be fully refunded.”

Depardieu was originally to have appeared in the second part of a two-part evening of Russian music.

The decision to cancel the concert was jointly made by the orchestra and Depardieu’s imprésario, the ATS news service reported.

Both parties feared that the controversy provoked by the actor would relegate the concert and the artists to the background, Norman Ziswiler, orchestra spokesman, was quoted as saying by ATS.

Depardieu was criticized as “rather pathetic” by French Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault last December for his departure to Belgium, which sparked an angry response from the actor, who said he was handing back his French passport.

In January, after receiving Russian citizenship through an executive order signed by President Vladimir Putin, Depardieu came under fire for attacking Putin’s critics.

Malcolm Curtis (news@thelocal.ch)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Swiss Wawrinka advances to the French Open last-eight
It was Wawrinka's fifth win in five meetings with Troicki. Photo: AFP

Defending champion Stan Wawrinka moved into the French Open quarter-finals on Sunday where he will face a Spanish left-hander who isn't named Rafael Nadal.

Vast Swiss rail tunnel finally sees light at end of long wait
Workers standing in one of the Gotthard base access tunnels. Photo: AFP

When Swiss engineer Carl Eduard Gruner came up with the idea to build the world's longest rail tunnel under the Alps in 1947, he predicted the visionary project could be finished by the start of the 21st century.

London Olympic athletes fail new doping tests
IOC president Thomas Bach announced the news. Photo: Fabrice Coffrini/ADP

The Lausanne-based International Olympic Committee reports 23 new doping failures from 2012 Games.

Swiss supermarkets look to scrap free plastic bags
Coop is among the supermarkets considering the idea. Photo: Coop

Voluntary agreement may be the solution after a commission quashes idea of outright ban.

Head-on crash leaves Swiss motorcyclist dead
The accident happened on the way to Les Mosses. File photo: Falk Lademann

A motorcyclist died in a head-on crash with a car on a mountain road in Vaud.

Bern renews funding for controversial arts centre
Bern town hall. File photo: Dennie Jarvis

The Reitschule has been granted a reprieve after authorities in the city agreed a 1.5 million franc grant to keep it going until 2019.

Neighbours’ day: Swiss cities join growing European party
Around 40 towns in Switzerland will celebrate Neighbours' Day. Photo: Tag der Nachbarn

St Gallen becomes the latest Swiss town to take part in European Neighbours’ Day.

Swiss boffins create cannabis e-cigarette
File photo: Marcel van Hoorn/AFP

"Cannavaping" for medical use is safer than a joint and better than a pill, say Lausanne scientists.

Swiss cantons team up to vie for winter Olympic games
The resort of Verbier in the canton of Valais. File photo: The Local

Valais and Vaud launch joint candidacy for the 2026 winter Olympics.

Ticino beaches praised in European report
Bathing spots on Lake Lugano were among those rather excellent. Photo: Roland Gerth/Swiss-image.ch

More than 100 Swiss beaches have been rated as excellent for water quality in a European report.

Photo: Swiss Tourism
Features
10 unspoken rules for fitting in with the Swiss
Sponsored Article
Eat, learn, live: unforgettable holidays in France
Photo: Alp Transit Gotthard
National
Gotthard base tunnel: what you need to know
Photo: Caroline Bishop
Sport
Swiss cantons team up to vie for winter Olympic games
Sponsored Article
Becoming an expat: where to start
Photo: Broad Bean Media
National
Basel: Muslim schoolboys must shake hands or face fine
Photo: Emmanual Dunand/AFP
Sport
Brother of Belgian bomber wins gold in Switzerland
Photo: Gstaad Tourism
National
Snow puts end to hottest weekend of year so far
File photo: Abhishek Jacob
Lifestyle
Swiss court vetoes wedding of couple with 50-year age gap
Photo: Filippo Monteforte/AFP
Culture
Dog day afternoon: Swiss saint meets Pope in Rome
Photo: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP
Business & Money
Pink diamond sold for record-breaking $31m in Geneva
File photo: Candida Performa
Lifestyle
Revealed: living in Switzerland could prolong your life
Photo: Cervo
Travel
In pictures: Switzerland’s most welcoming hotels
Photo: Aargau cantonal government
‘Beast of Rupperswil’ was local football coach
Photo: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP
Features
Geneva exhibition marks 200 years of Frankenstein
Photo AFP
National
Swiss basic income campaign sets Guinness world record
Photo: St Gallen police
Society
Police hunt killer of man shot dead in St Gallen street
File photo: Martin Abegglen
Society
Presumed jihadist could have Swiss nationality quashed
Photo: Zurich Zoo
Culture
Gallery: giant tortoise at Zurich Zoo is mother at 80
Photo: Caroline Bishop
Society
Swiss farmer loses appeal in row over noisy cow bells
Photo: Esparta Palmer
Health
44-year-old woman refused fertility treatment on insurance
File photo: Thomas Coex/AFP
Society
Jilted admirer shocks woman with tattoo... of her face
File photo: Flickr
Health
Swiss school eyes longer holidays for non-smoking staff
Photo: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP
National
Swiss basic income vote: what you need to know
 Photo: Heinrich Plum
National
Lidl uses German mountain to promote its Swiss products
4,576
jobs available