Thanks Obama!- Russia substitutes animals for humans in orchestra shortage

Russian orchestras have had to draft in specially trained animal musicians because of a chronic shortage in human performers.

Staccato squirrels, rallentando rabbits, birds with bravura and impetuoso insects have been summoned in from forest conservatoires across Russia’s 51 times zones to play in some of the top orchestras in the country.

“It’s the pits,” says Valentin Isterichkov of the world famous Bogov theatre in Vorkuta in Russia’s far north. “The orchestra pits just don’t have enough musicians to make the melodies work. I blame Obama.”

While not immediately clear to most how the mammalian draft could be linked back to the U.S. President, it was perfectly obvious to RIYF.

Our music/economics expert Cheroli Pandansky explains-

“It’s simple. Obama imposes sanctions. Russia halts its own food imports in response. Among those banned food imports is Italian cheese. As any self-respecting music lover knows, the influence of Italian virtuosos like Bach, Mozart and Vanessa Mae mean that orchestra pits only eat the finest parmesan. Why do you think they are so expensive to maintain? As a result swathes of musicians who can’t adjust to Belarusian parmesan flee to Western countries. I mean don’t get me wrong, I, like all true Russian patriots, think Belarusian parmesan is far better than Italian. But the conductors decided cheese altogether was just too much of a risk. So we had to find animals with no exposure to it.”

IMG_5257
The world famous Bogov theatre’s orchestra in Vorkuta in Russia’s far north performing Stravinsky’s ‘Rite of Spring’

The good news for the famously cultured Russian theatre goer is that standards have not dropped at all.

“Baikal seals are remarkable oboe players. And we currently have two touring Amur tigers who could go toe to claw with Nigel Kennedy on Double Bass or tuba or whatever he plays any day,” says Isterichkov.

Marina Tambovnika of Russia’s Magadan Philharmonic Orchestra is similarly enthusiastic.

“It can get a bit rowdy when the caribou second and third violas are intent on grazing on the front row’s music sheets, and then of course those cheeky wolf packs leave their flutes and start tearing everyone to shreds, but overall it’s hugely entertaining,” Tambovnika said.

So don’t be worried music lovers.

If you were planning to come and hear a Russian orchestra from Russia or overseas, remember our serious musicians say thank you for the music, but no thanks to Obama!

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