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Berlin opera theater to "give a chance" to singer Anna Netrebko who posed with a "Novorossia" flag

01.09.2023, 16:21

Russian opera singer Anna Netrebko will perform on Berlin's main stage despite a petition in protest gathering nearly 30,000 signatures. The theater management believes that she has cut ties with the Russian government.

To DW's request, the State Opera Unter den Linden said that they condemned Russia's war on Ukraine and that as for Netrebko, the management had been treating the singer differently since the beginning of the war.

In March 2022, it was decided upon mutual consent that Anna Netrebko would not participate in the new production of "Turandot". Other mutual obligations and projects were also reviewed. The theater stressed that they could not have continued their work with Netrebko without hearing her clear stance on the situation in Ukraine. They added that on March 30, 2022, Netrebko did share her stance as clearly as she could, and distanced herself from the leadership of the Russian Federation.

The theater management adds that Netrebko is aware of the Opera's pro-Ukraine position:

"Full solidarity with Ukraine on the one hand and responsibile treatment of our artists on the other are extremely important to us. Therefore, the theater considers it necessary to give the artist a chance, and not hide her from the public."

The State Opera values dialogue, says the official statement.

The premiere of the opera "Macbeth" will take place in Berlin on September 15.

The petition "No to Anna Netrebko's performance at the Berlin State Opera" has been posted on As of the time this article is published, it has gathered nearly 30,000 signatures.

The petition points out that the Russian singer has consistently demonstrated her close relationship to the Kremlin, receiving awards from Vladimir Putin, posing for photos with him as well as holding a "Novorossiya" flag in a photo with high treason suspect Oleg Tsarev. Netrebko "has only lukewarmly remarked that she was against the current war and hoped that it would end. However, she did not say a word about Russia's and Vladimir Putin's responsibility for this war of aggression and did not condemn their actions," the petition reads.

As IMI reported, in August 2023, a performance by Russian/Austrian opera singer Anna Netrebko was canceled in Prague.

The Russian RFE/RL service has weitten that in the 2023–2024 theater season, Anna Netrebko plans to perform on the stage of the Teatro Colon in Buenos Aires in August, and then at opera houses in Berlin, Vienna, Milan and Paris.

Russia's Honoured Artist, opera singer Anna Netrebko lives in Vienna and sings solo at the Vienna Opera. In Russia, Netrebko was listed as Vladimir Putin's confidant in his 2012 election campaign.

After the start of Russia's full-scale military invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, the Metropolitan Opera cut ties with Anna Netrebko. The theater said in their statement that the cooperation would not be resumed until Russia ends the war and compensates Ukraine for the damage it caused.

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