Boycott: Diva won’t sing with conductors who support Putin

The Finnish soprano Karita Mattila has told her local paper, the Helsingin Sanomat, that she will not perform with Valery Gergiev or anyone else on the list of 500 Russian artists who endorsed Vladimir Putin’s annexation of Crimea. She has already pulled out of one Carnegie date with him.

The Finns know all about Russian expansionism. They lost East Karelia, ten percent of their territory, in 1945.

Valery Gergiev may find himself less welcome there in future.

karita mattila

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  • The so called list of 500 Russians in the entertainment industry who had signed the Putin support list, should be ostracized by world community and have EU and US sanctions imposed on them, barring them from travel and performing outside of Russia.

  • Bravo Karita. I admired you as Tosca and Salome. Now I have one more thing to admire you for. Boo to Gergiev. Never liked him as a conductor anyway with his butterfly hands in the first place. I hope all artists worldwide will shun him….Contract or not. Would be curious to know on what side of the fence Anna Netrebko or Hvorovstovski etc are sitting on. Where can we see this list?

  • We actually lost East Karelia already in 1940 and tried to fight it back later in the Second World War. I am sure Gergiev is more than welcome into Finland. He’s even ran a music festival here in the small city of Mikkeli for more than 20 years, which shows his great devotion to projects attempting to build bridges between cultures.

  • BRAVA!!! To cover up cirme with arts is criminal. Glorification of Stalin’s genocide during the Sochi Olympics and now masking persecution of Tatars & Ukrainians in the Crimea, sewing seeds of interethnic hatred in the eastern and southern regions of Ukraine is & will not be acceptable.

  • Of course Karita Mattila is free to boycott whomever and whatever she wants. But if I am not mistaken, she was announced to sing in the second concert by Munich Philharmonic in New York (and may be sang), which was conducted by Fabio Luisi. This 2nd concert was on the 12th of April, one day before a Gergiev concert with LSO in London, and I don’t believe that the LSO administration would have allowed Gergiev to conduct his London concert on the 13th with only one rehearsal on the day of the performance. What would be possible (and is the usual way of rehearsals) with his Mariinsky Theatre Symphony Orchestra, seems to me not posible with LSO. In the present political situation (which I don’t want to discuss here) Karita Mattila will get more attention by publishing “the cancellation” of a Gergiev concert.

    In few weeks we will see if this has any impact on Gergiev’s festival in Mikkeli / Finland, where also Denis Matsuev is playing and Yuri Bashmet (two artists, who signed the Putin support letter) was regular guest in the past.

  • Mark Berry has just posted a film – Finnish introduction, interview in English – which captures more clearly what evasive Gergiev really thinks:

    If you think he’s entitled to his opinion about Nazis versus Crimean Russians and mass child slaughter, then it won’t worry you as much as it does me.

    As for Karita, I didn’t like her Ariadne take, but she’s a great artist and now, it seems, a Mensch.

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