Polish orchestra plays Mozart’s Requiem in protest

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WARSAW, POLAND (AP) - A Polish opera house has performed Mozart’s Requiem _ a funeral piece _ in front of the Culture Ministry in Warsaw to protest cuts to its budget.

The Chamber Opera’s orchestra, choir and soloists performed Tuesday to the hearty applause of hundreds of people. A large banner saying, “Minister, Only You Can Save the Chamber Opera,” hung above the artists.

They handed a ministry official a letter signed by some 20,000 people asking Culture Minister Bogdan Zdrojewski to secure funds for the opera. Otherwise, they say, it will have to close in the summer.

There was no immediate reply from the ministry, which is instituting cuts as a broader government cost-reduction effort.

The 50-year-old Warsaw-based opera is known for its annual festivals of all of Mozart’s opera compositions.

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