Netrebko director hits back: ‘Russians just don’t get it’

Netrebko director hits back: ‘Russians just don’t get it’


norman lebrecht

November 13, 2014

Hans Neuenfels, whose Munich production of Manon Lescaut has been rocked by Anna Netrebko’s walkout, has accused her of being inflexible and unwilling to explore negatives in the character she plays.

His approach is critical of Manon, a young woman living off a rich old man. Neuenfels says: ‘Maybe in Russia that’s not such a bad thing.’

In German:

Diese Widerstandslosigkeit gegen das Leben mit dem alten, reichen Mann fand ich als Regisseur falsch, genauso wie das Frauenbild, das dahintersteht… Möglicherweise findet man es in Russland als Frau gar nicht schlimm, sich von einem alten, reichen Mann aushalten zu lassen. 



  • Novagerio says:

    For once I give Neuenfels a vote!

  • Anna says:

    As long as no one is homosexual, I guess it’s ok!

  • David Hutchings says:


  • harold braun says:

    For an educated and intelligent man like Mr.Neuenfels insulting and sweeping comments like this are embarrrasing!Does the booze finally get the better of him,or is it age,or both?

  • Anna says:

    The anti-Russian, holier-than-thou sentiment among musicians towards their fellow musicians strikes me as a bit ironic at this point. Igor Levit bitching on his Twitter account about Trifonov’s attempt to avoid talking politics ( ) stands out as a particularly cringeworthy example…

    • Anonymus says:

      It’s just twitter. Little birds or chicken making noise…
      The anti-Russian sentiment in the western mainstream media is indeed worrying. Mental constructs of the “evil Russki” are activated. For what purpose one wonders. I suppose some mighty people want that perpetual war back, it was just the most profitable racket for them.

      • Anna says:

        You make a good point that we maybe shouldn’t take seriously what people on Twitter are saying, but that’s what I meant by “ironic” — someone like Levit trying to be taken seriously as an “Artist” and then tweeting that sort of thing.

        And if we do want to recognize Twitter as a legitimate platform for expressing political opinions, then maybe the opinions should be expressed more maturely than “omg guess what so-and-so said in interview!! #how stupid!” Is it the medium that determines the delivery of the message?

        I also don’t understand the desire to be back in the Cold War. Maybe it’s nostalgia..?

        • William Safford says:

          Re “I also don’t understand the desire to be back in the Cold War. Maybe it’s nostalgia..?”:

          That’s a question to ask Mr. Putin.

      • Gonout Backson says:

        You mean that Putin, who brought this war back, is an agent of the “international capital”? That would be a scoop.

        We would also love to get some examples of this “anti-Russian” sentiment. You know : anti-RUSSIAN.