Eshe sang in April at the Monte Carlo Opera, but Anna Netrebko’s concert at the Philharmonie de Paris on Wednesday, April 25, marks the great return to the stage in a western capital of the star Russian soprano, criticized since the war in Ukraine. Anna Netrebko is one of the greatest lyrical voices in the world. She had been among the first Russian artists to be singled out after the start of the invasion of Ukraine for not clearly denouncing the war.
The prestigious Metropolitan Opera of New York, of which she was the star, thus deprogrammed her for an indefinite period and she had then announced her temporary retirement from the stage. On March 30, she “expressly condemned the war against Ukraine”. A position that earned him an outright withdrawal from the poster in Russia. The singer has never officially given her support to the Russian president. But, he is accused of posing in December 2015 in St. Petersburg with the flag of the pro-Russian separatist rebels and handing a check for one million rubles – about 15,000 euros – to the pro-Russian Ukrainian leader Oleg Tsarev.
Anna Netrebko defended herself by explaining that she wanted to support the arts, and more specifically the Donetsk Opera, to which Ukraine had cut off all funding, and assured that she had “never received financial support from the Russian government” and that she had never allied herself with “any leader of Russia”. In a daily interview world on Sunday, she repeated that she was “not guilty of anything”, saying that her only mistake was not to have “informed herself more about the situation in Donbass” and that she “just wanted to help friends in trouble”.
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She still refuses to call herself “against Vladimir Putin”
“I was also asked to declare myself against Vladimir Putin. I replied that I had a Russian passport, that it was still the president, and that I could not publicly pronounce these words. So I refused,” she added. Despite its condemnation of the war launched by the head of the Kremlin, the New York opera has called into question all its contracts until May 2026, according to her. His former mentor, the conductor Valery Gergiev – close to the Kremlin – was declared persona non grata by Western concert halls.
In their country, Russian artists were ordered to display their patriotism or – failing that – to remain silent, and in Western countries, to publicly distance themselves from the military operation and the Russian regime. Anna Netrebko’s concert at the Philharmonic on Wednesday had already been postponed three times because of the coronavirus pandemic.
His last recital in Paris was in 2019, at a gala for the 350th anniversary of the Paris Opera. She will be back in December on the stage of this institution to sing in The Force of Fate by Verdi. She will also make her big return to Italy, at the Verona Arena during the summer.
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