Anna Netrebko, the Russian soprano, will not appear at the Metropolitan Opera this season or next after failing to comply with the company’s demand that it distance itself from Russian President Vladimir Putin as he wages war on Ukraine.
The end of Ms. Netrebko’s engagements, announced by the Opera Museum on Thursday, came after the opera company noted Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, He said she won’t be hired anymore Artists who support Mr. Putin. While in recent days Ms. Netrebko has issued statements criticizing the war, she has been silent towards the Russian president, who has supported his re-election in the past.
“This is a major artistic loss for the museum and the opera,” Peter Gelb, the company’s general manager, said in a statement. “Anna is one of the greatest singers in the history of the Met, but with Putin killing innocent victims in Ukraine, there was no way forward.”
Ms. Netrebko did not immediately respond to a request for comment through her representatives.
While Thursday’s announcement only included two seasons, Gelb said in an interview Thursday that it seemed unlikely Ms. Netrebko would return to sing with the company.
“It’s hard to imagine a scenario in which you come back to a dead,” he said.
Mrs. Netrebko’s break with the Met, where she has performed on nearly 200 shows over the past 20 years and has become the mainstream prima donna, was a stunning transformation of one of the world’s biggest opera stars. She has expressed her support for Mr. Putin on occasion over the years, and in 2014 she has He was photographed holding a flag used by Russian-backed separatists in Ukraine.
Her departure came from America’s largest performing arts institution Amidst a broader reaction against some Russian artists for their ties to Mr. Putin – a question that has raised difficult questions about how far art organizations should go in requiring public statements from artists.
Earlier this week, Valery Gergiev, the Russian maestro who has long been associated with Mr. Putin, removed From his position as principal conductor of the Munich Philharmonic Orchestra after refusing to denounce the invasion of Ukraine.
Mr. Gergiev has publicly supported Mr. Putin, including by giving concerts at home and abroad. In 2008 he led a concert in South Ossetia Separatist region in Georgia, and in 2016 led another region in Palmyra in Syria, then Regained by Syrian and Russian forces. His international performances have almost dried up since Russia invaded Ukraine.
As criticism mounted of Ms. Netrebko’s ties to Mr. Putin, she abruptly canceled appearances at Teatro alla Scala in Milan and the Zurich Opera and Elbphilharmonie in Hamburg, Germany. Her public statements alternated between condemning the war and saying that it was wrong to ask Russian artists to denounce their government.
On Tuesday, Ms. Netrebko posted a photo on Instagram About herself with Mr. Gergiev, smiling after prom. Then she wrote in a separate post: “As I said, I am against this foolish war of aggression and I call on Russia to end this war now, to save us all. We need peace now.” Both posts were subsequently deleted.
Russo-Ukrainian War: Basic things to know
It is located in a Ukrainian city. Russian forces took control of Kherson, the first city conquered during the war. Bypassing Kherson is significant because it allows the Russians to gain control of more of the southern coast of Ukraine and push west towards the city of Odessa.
The Met announced on Sunday that it will not communicate with performers or other institutions that have expressed support for Mr. Putin. In the interview Thursday, Gelb defended the Met’s position, saying the company will still welcome many Russian artists and perform Russian music. He noted that the Met was currently rehearsing a production of Tchaikovsky’s “Eugene Onegin” featuring Russian artists.
“We don’t do an artistic witch hunt,” he said. “We do not interview or question any artists about their positions.”
The decision means the Met will likely end its collaboration with Moscow’s Bolshoi Theater, including a new production of Wagner’s “Lohengrin” scheduled for release next season. Gelb said Thursday that the opera house decided to build its own sets and make its own costumes for this production, tasks that the Bolshoi was expected to do.
“I hope the relationship between the hikers and the Bolshoi will be resumed at some point,” Gelb said. But I don’t see any current or immediate solution. As long as Putin is the decision maker, it will not happen.”
Ms. Netrebko will be replaced in upcoming performances by Puccini “Turandot” by Lyudmila Monasterska, Ukrainian soprano. The Met did not immediately announce a replacement for Verdi’s “Don Carlo” revival next season.
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