Russian opera star ditches Met performances to avoid Putin rebuke
Russian opera star Anna Netrebko has withdrawn from her planned performances with the Metropolitan Opera after refusing to repudiate her support for Russian President Vladimir Putin, the Met announced on Thursday.
“It is a great artistic loss for the Met and for opera,” Met General Manager Peter Gelb said in a statement. “Anna is one of the greatest singers in Met history, but with Putin killing innocent victims in Ukraine, there was no way forward.”
Netrebko was scheduled to perform Puccini’s “Turandot” in April and May in addition to Verdi’s “Don Carlo” for the next season.
Ukrainian soprano Liudmyla Monastyrska will perform in “Turandot,” taking Netrebko’s place. The Met said they would announce her replacement in “Don Carlo” later this year.
Gelb previously said in a video statement that the Met could not work with institutions or artists that either “support Putin or are supported by him.”
“While we believe strongly in the warm friendship and cultural exchange that has long existed between the artists and artistic institutions of Russia and the United States, we can no longer engage with artists or institutions that support Putin or are supported by him — not until the invasion and killing has been stopped, order has been restored, and restitutions have been made,” he said.
“We stand in solidarity with Ukraine, its brave leaders, citizens, and artists. We dedicate the rest of our season to their courage,” Gelb added.
The development comes eight days after Russia invaded Ukraine, displacing over a million people from the country. The conflict has been widely condemned by the international community, including world leaders, celebrities, athletes and others.