After Anna Netrebko’s distancing: opera houses are waiting | – Culture

Status: 04/01/2022 09:36 a.m

After several performance cancellations, soprano Anna Netrebko distanced herself more clearly than before from Russian President Vladimir Putin and announced her return. She could also appear in Hamburg on September 7th. The concert halls, however, react cautiously.

Several weeks after the start of the war, the Russian singer distanced herself more clearly from the actions of the Russian regime for the first time. “I expressly condemn the war against Ukraine and my thoughts are with the victims of this war and their families,” Netrebko said through her German lawyer. “My position is clear. I am not a member of any political party, nor am I affiliated with any leader of Russia. I recognize and regret that some of my past actions or statements could have been misinterpreted,” the statement continued.

Netrebko under pressure after concert cancellations and agency separation

Because Anna Netrebko distanced herself from war in general until the statement on Wednesday, but did not speak of Vladimir Putin or a Russian attack, several appearances by the singer have been canceled in recent weeks – including the concert planned for March 2nd in the Elbphilharmonie. The Berlin agency Center Stage Artist, a subsidiary of Universal, which marketed the soprano worldwide, parted ways with her a few days ago. The record company Deutsche Grammophon announced that it would not release any further productions by Netrebko.

Further information

The Berlin agency Center Stage Artist, which represents Netrebko worldwide, has ended the collaboration. more

Will the Netrebko concert take place in Elphi in September?

In her announcement, Netrebko announced that she wanted to continue her opera and concert performances at the end of May, initially in Europe, after a break in performances. Her next concert is scheduled for May 25 in Paris. But how are the concert halls and opera houses reacting?

Anna Netrebko und Yusif Eyvazov © Tim Osipov / River Concerts Foto: Tim Osipov

Together with her husband, the Azerbaijani tenor Yusif Eyvazov, Anna Netrebko is scheduled to perform in Hamburg on September 7th.

The Hamburg Elbphilharmonie has not yet commented on the concert in the Hamburg Elbphilharmonie, originally scheduled for March 2nd and postponed to September 7th. In an interview at the end of February, Elbphilharmonie General Manager Christoph Lieben-Seutter emphasized that the responsibility for staging the concert does not lie with the Elbhilharmonie, but with the concert promoter River Concerts.

Distancing is met with fierce criticism in Russia

In her Russian homeland, the distancing has met with severe criticism. The Novosibirsk Opera and Ballet Theater canceled a gala with her planned for June 2: “Today is not the time to sacrifice principles in favor of more comfortable living conditions,” the statement said. The pro-Putin newspaper Pravda described her as a “weak woman”. Peter Jungblut summarized the reactions from Russia for BR.

Berlin State Opera and the New York Met react with caution

The Berlin State Opera Unter den Linden would first like to wait for direct talks with the singer. “At the moment she has decided not to do “Turandot” with us in this phase, we agreed on that with her,” said director Matthias Schulz on Thursday, according to the State Opera. “I can’t comment on future projects yet, basically we said that Russian artists will of course continue to perform with us,” said Schulz. “It would be important for me to speak directly to Anna Netrebko first, I would like to wait and see.”

The distancing is not enough for the New York Metropolitan Opera either, they announced that they do not want to start working again for the time being. “If Anna shows that she has distanced herself seriously, completely and in the long term from Putin, then I would be ready for an interview,” said the director of the Metropolitan Opera, Peter Gelb, the German Press Agency in New York.

Axel Brüggemann is on the podium © picture alliance/Geisler-Fotopress/Christoph Hardt/Geisler-Fotopres

AUDIO: Axel Brüggemann on culture and politics (6 min)

Anna Netrebko and Vladimir Putin before the Ukraine war

In her statement, Netrebko writes that she has only met President Putin a handful of times in her life, mostly at art awards presentations or at the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games. You have otherwise never received financial support from the Russian government.

Netrebko celebrated her 50th birthday in Moscow’s Kremlin Palace last year with a four-hour gala concert. Congratulations from Vladimir Putin were also read during the event, in which he paid tribute to Netrebko’s singing skills and emphasized that “Russia is proud of her as a representative of our domestic singing school”.

In addition, in 2012 Netrebko supported a petition by 500 Russian artists, scientists and athletes to re-elect Putin as president. In 2014, she posed for a photo with a separatist flag while handing over a donation for an opera house in Donetsk with Oleg Tsaryov, one of the separatist leaders in the contested eastern Ukrainian territories. At the time, however, Netrebko rejected a political assessment of the Ukraine crisis. “This is politics and I have nothing to do with politics,” she said in 2014. She just wanted to do something to support art.

Further information

Wladimir Putin und Valery Gergiev © picture alliance / Russian Look | Kremlin Pool

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Axel Brüggemann is on the podium © picture alliance/Geisler-Fotopress/Christoph Hardt/Geisler-Fotopres

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NDR Culture | Classic on the go | 03/30/2022 | 5:20 p.m

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