Anna Netrebko is wearing white rabbit

Anna Netrebko is wearing white rabbit


norman lebrecht

February 27, 2014

anna netrebko rabbit

Trimmed with silk, our fashion correspondent advises. The white Rex rabbit cape was ‘manufactured by hand at Rome’s Fendi fur atelier in consultation with costume designer Alessandro Lai’ for her Rome Opera debut tonight in Puccini’s Manon Lescaut. Expect animal rights outrage. And a touch of Alice in Wonderland.

Photo by Silvia Lelli


  • Bernie says:

    It shouldn’t be simply “animal tights outrage” but outrage from anyone who feels compassion for other living creatures. Fur is vulgar and barbaric and opera companies should know better than to promote it on stages. Boo to Netrebko for endorsing this too.

    • richardcarlisle says:

      @ Bernie

      Included in your reasoning would be to outlaw the meat industry?

      • Bernie says:

        I would say that much of the commercial meat industry needs serious reform. But the issue for me is, humans don’t need to kill animals to stay warm in 2014. We have a range of other fabrics from which we can make our clothing. Wearing fur is about vanity, pure and simple. Also, the ways in which animals are killed to harvest their fur is far more cruel than at least a free-range method of farming for meat.

        Again, very tacky Netrebko.

    • Olaugh Turchev says:

      We eat rabbit meat! So using their fur instead of discarding it is smart. With your twisted logic we should not even seat on leather sofas!

    • Stereo says:

      Rubbish. No doubt lives in a town and is against hunting,but does’nt realise farmers know best.

  • richardcarlisle says:

    Rabbits live short lives and in this case would not have lived at all had the specific business not given them life for this purpose … and aren’t they living on in a sense — a sort of memorial — incorporated into a fine garment … possibly kinder expiration than mangled by a hawk?

    Animal righters probably think differently though.

  • Dave T says:

    I do not have a strong anti-fur stance, nor am I a vegetarian, but I would think that for the purposes of appearing on a stage, couldn’t the costumer designer/director/performer have worn fake fur? After all, who could tell the difference from a distance of 30 paces? Artistic integrity, if there is such a thing, at least as relates to ‘real’ or ‘fake’ clothing materials, should hardly be reason enough to wear what the singer did wear.

  • Janey says:

    Ms Netrebko and her “real Chinchilla coat” vs Ms Voigt and the dead air, live:

  • MWnyc says:

    Wait – so this debut is actually happening? The strike isn’t going ahead?

    (The Mayor of Rome isn’t going to liquidate the Opera di Roma – at least yet?)

    What’s the status of that story, Norman? Do you have any sources there?

    • Nothing’s certain, at this point. Except the rabbit.

      • Medi says:

        The “prima” is happening tomorrow, for the other performances not yet certain – probably not…

        Shame on the sindicati, still want to see the Rabbit coat! (and hear Netrebko in this new role!)

        • Simon says:

          Any information on why they’re actually on strike? Being a socialist, I’m alway inclined to support industrial action.

          • MWnyc says:

            Why are some of the unions at the Rome Opera threatening to strike?

            Well, as you probably know, many of Italy’s opera houses are in severe financial distress. A law from last fall known as the Bray Law provides money to help rescue those houses if they restructure their operations – very much including staff reductions. (Even many observers who generally support workers appear to agree that most Italian opera houses tend to be overstaffed.)

            To oversimplify a bit, the unions threatening to strike object to the restructuring plan prepared to comply with the Bray Law.

            If the fondazione that operates a house doesn’t restructure and runs out of money, under the law it may be liquidated. Thus the threat from Rome’s Mayor that Norman reported yesterday.

            There’s a brief explanation of the Bray Law in the 10th paragraph of this article from last October on WQXR’s Operavore blog.

            Hope this helps.

          • Stereo says:

            That’s why opera companies and countries are in deep shxx thanks to unions and socialism in general.

          • Simon says:

            Thank you, MWnyc!

            Stereo, I don’t get your point.

        • sdReader says:

          @ Medi,

          “questa sera va regolarmente in scena”

          Prima is TODAY.

      • MWnyc says:

        No threatened action by the Leporine Liberation Front?

  • Medi says:

    Hope I can see this coat on Sunday! …Still not sure if further performances will happen because of strike. Leading a group of opera lovers to Rome this weekend…(with Palco Reale)

  • Boo to murdering the rabbits. Megaboos for supporting Putin. Shameful, absolutely shameful.

  • Rosalind says:

    Perhaps some of the opera singers on here can comment: If you are a star singer in an opera, how much say do you get over your costumes? So if one happens to be anti-fur and are confronted with e.g. a real mink coat to wear, can one insist on refusing to appear in it on moral grounds? I’m guessing there’s no choice in the matter for chorus members or minor roles.

  • Max says:

    Hooray for the food chain!

  • Olaugh Turchev says:

    Oh the double standard!

    How about the same type of post for Yuja wearing a Gucci fur stole for NPR?

    “The 27-year-old ultra-glam artist wore one of her trademark dresses, significant stiletto booties and a Gucci fur stole, as well as some wrist warmers as a concession to the temperature”

    At least we eat rabbit meat!