Anna Netrebko speaks out about her son’s condition

Anna Netrebko speaks out about her son’s condition


norman lebrecht

January 24, 2014

The diva has a five year-old son, Tiago, to whom she is devoted. The boy was born with a mild form of autism and diagnosed shortly before his third birthday. Friends tell us he is progressing very well and attending a mainstream school.

Anna, who is bringing up Tiago as a single mother, has now decided to discuss the condition in public in order to give encouragement to other parents. She told the Russian TV programme Pust govoryat:

We noticed that sometimes you start talking to him, and he does not respond. And so it began. For me it was a shock. I was scared, but doctors quickly reassured me that it can be treated.

I want to say to women who have autistic children that they should not be afraid, it can all be developed up to normal standards, that children should go to school and study.

The interview is reported in Autism Daily and widely circulated in German media.

anna netrebko




  • Rosamund Illing says:

    Bravo Anna , my son diagnosed ADHD at age 7 still living with it at age 26 ,kudos to you ,our boys are special xx

  • oh, by the way, I very much doubt she is bringing up the kid as a “single mother”, her ex has been disclosing photos together with the kid on his facebook page… I’d rather see her “speaking out about her son’s autism” as an attempt of killing her ex’s good reputation. All is marketing for Netrebko, again, I wish she would spend as much time on studying her repertory as she does planning such PR stunts.

    • m2n2k says:

      If you have evidence of AN being unprepared for any of the many operatic roles that she has been performing lately, give an example. If the child’s father has visitation rights (which he probably does) and spends a couple of days a month with his son (which is quite likely), he can easily make many pictures, but that does not mean that she is not bringing the boy up as a single mother.

  • I am a single mother of a son with autism and I do not agree that “it can be treated” and “developed up to normal standards”, suggesting that one can be cured of it so parents should’t need to worry. One can learn to live with it, yes, up to some degree (!), but it’s a slow and extremely difficult process. And what’s more: autism doesn’t go away, it’s there to stay!

    My son went through main stream schooling and is now at college, but it has been and still is an ENORMOUS AND UTTER struggle that we “normal” people can hardly begin to imagine.

    I can see what Anna Netrebko is trying to do, but PLEASE let’s not down-talk autism. Instead, let’s look it straight in the face for what it is, so we can help everyone concerned!

  • MarieTherese says:

    Taken from the interview with the Russian television program, “Let Them Talk”, Ms Netrebko puts her foot firmly in her mouth with this quote:

    “I think, well, he is not talking … not talking because he hears four languages,” Netrebko said. “And then we noticed that sometimes you start talking to him, and he does not respond. And so it began. For me it was a shock. I was scared, but doctors quickly reassured me that it can be treated, and Tisha will return to normal in a few years, you only have to take care of it seriously.”

    She claims that he was “treated by the best specialists in New York” but I’m hoping that her asinine quote is simply a casualty of the language difference. “Return to normal in a few years”?? No doctor would say something like that and for her come out with it, if that’s what she means, is nothing short of stupid. Tiago IS normal, only his parameters are a bit different and he’ll need assistance and education to find the path that is right for him. I sincerely hope that the little guy gets it.

    As for her going after her ex’s reputation, she hit on that in the same interview:

    She said her son “rarely sees his father, because he is constantly touring, and really misses male attention.”

    According to Netrebko, the reason for her separation from Schrott was due to their work schedules and overall a failure to balance between professional commitments and family life.

    It’s all a mess and little Tiago seems to be paying the price…

  • Jean Collen says:

    The condition of autism has many variations and not all children with autism will be able to attend a main stream school and go to university. I have friends whose daughter was diagnosed with an extreme form of autism as a young child. She is in her early thirties now and will always need a great deal of support.