Boycotting Ukrainian war and culture: Anna Netrebko now openly condemns the Ukraine war – Culture

Soprano Anna Netrebko openly condemns the war in Ukraine and claims to have met Russian President Vladimir Putin several times. The Russian singer, residing in Austria, sent a corresponding statement, which was distributed on Wednesday through her German lawyer, Christian Schertz, “in light of the numerous media reports in the past days,” according to the statement.

Netrebko has been criticized for its ambiguous stance on Russia’s war of aggression in Ukraine. Soon after the war began, she said that she is not a political figure, that she is against this war and that she loves her country. She did not want to comment more explicitly on requests from the Berlin Opera, for example, and instead announced that she did not want to appear in public in the near future.

Now Netrebko says: “I frankly condemn the war against Ukraine and my thoughts are with the victims of this war and their families. My position is clear. I am not a member of any political party and have no connection with any Russian leader.”

The 50-year-old also says she understands and regrets that her actions or statements in the past have sometimes been misinterpreted. Netrebko celebrated her fiftieth birthday in September 2021 with a party in the Kremlin, where congratulations from Putin were read. .

“In fact, I’ve met President Putin a few times in my life, mostly when I received awards for my art or at the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games.” She also says that she has never received any financial support from the Russian government and is also a tax resident in Austria.

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“I love my mother country, Russia, and only through my art seek peace and unity,” she added. After a break, operas and concerts will resume at the end of May, initially in Europe.

In 2015, Netrebko made a donation to a separatist leader on TV

Your current message is worded a little more clearly, departing slightly from Kremlin President Putin from your statement shortly after the war began in February. “I am Russian and I love my country, but I have many friends in Ukraine, and the pain and suffering breaks my heart. I want this war to stop and people to live in peace,” she said at the time. She added that artists should not be forced to express their political opinions and denounce their country.

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The extent to which an internationally acclaimed opera singer is a non-political person has been a matter of debate in previous years. Netrebko campaigned for Putin’s re-election in 2012 and appeared in front of television cameras with separatist leader Oleg Tsarev in 2015 when she made him a donor for the Donetsk Opera in Saint Petersburg. Her donation has been the subject of controversy as open support for separatists in eastern Ukraine.

Since the start of the war on February 24, there have been arguments about cultural boycotts out of solidarity with Ukraine, especially in the world of classical music and cinema. In particular, the appearance of the star Russian conductor and Mariinsky director Valery Gergiev has been canceled throughout the West because he is an open friend of Putin and advocates his aggressive foreign policy.

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