The soprano has announced she is giving a million rubles ($19,000) in aid to the opera house in Donetsk, a disputed city whose Russian citizens have voted to secede from Ukraine. The city has come under heavy bombardment from both sides.
Netrebko insists her aid is humanitarian. ‘I have comrades in Donetsk, young musicians, who are living under bombs,’ she said at a St Petersburg press conference. ‘I am not a politician, but I really wanted to lend a helping hand to Donetsk.’
Her motives may be apolitical and well-intention, but making the announcement in Russia was ill-advised. It aligns her with its president’s support for the secessionists. Netrebko is a proud Putinista.