Russian director Kirill Serebrennikov's latest opera premiered at the Hamburg State Opera on Sunday, after being directed from a distance, as Serebrennikov remains under house arrest in Moscow.

In his new production, which is a modern take on Verdi's 'Nabucco,' Serebrennikov explores the 2015 refugee crisis that sparked populism and Islamaphobic sentiments across Europe.

"I believe it's really amazing that the German colleagues support him, by bringing his work on stage and giving him an international background in this way," said a spectator before the performance.

"It is really interesting that he can do this under these circumstances, and that he can work like this. And I think it is going to be an amazing performance," added another visitor of the Hamburg State Opera.

To make the show possible, the team allegedly sent video clips with each of their rehearsals on USB data sticks directly to Serebrennikov's apartment in the Russian capital.

Serebrennikov, who is banned from using a phone or the internet, responded by filming his instructions and sending them back the same way.

Serebrennikov has been under house arrest since he was charged in August 2017 with helping to embezzle state funds.

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