Anna Netrebko gives thumbs-up to Putin demonstrators

Anna Netrebko gives thumbs-up to Putin demonstrators


norman lebrecht

January 28, 2015

anna netrebko carnegie demos

The diva leaves Carnegie Hall last night. Photo: Pavel Gintov.


A report from Adrian Bruttan, one of the protestors:

If there was still any lingering doubt about her total awareness of what she has been doing, look at this picture taken outside the stage entrance of Carnegie Hall following Gergiev’s concert yesterday. We faced her and confronted her, she saw our posters of the dead swan and rivers of Ukrainian blood, she heard what we were saying – and her only response was a laughing smirk and mock salute. (Her girlfriends in her entourage were less subtle, turning to flip us the finger on several occasions. How anyone could treat the human tragedy and thousands of deaths by just showing the finger is incomprehensible.)

Regarding the concert itself, the Mariinsky Orchestra played in an unremarkably bland manner. The Shostakovich 4th Symphony, which is a bit of a stylistic hodgepodge, got a reading that sounded like the instrumentalists were just going through the motions.


  • Darren says:

    I know this is a terrible things to say but this lovely lady is becoming a bit of a chubster. Love her voice and her talent anyway.

    • milka says:

      chubby or not she has that pleasant Russian muzhik round Matryoshka face ,one
      always expects to see boots under whatever fashionable gown she wears .As for
      her thumbs up –many thoughts pass ones mind as to where she can effectively put
      her thumbs to good use .

      • Darren says:

        That is a lot of hatred in one post dear Milka. I always thought that Milka was a name for that poor, mindless cow on the wrapping of a 2nd grade chocolate. Apparently I was right.

        • SDReader says:

          You insult the cow.

        • milka says:

          Between cows & chocolate you seem to be on familiar terms with what you call the 2nd.grade.As you progress you will soon identify the first grade and hopefully give up
          cows for some good 1st. grade chocolate.

          • Darren says:

            I actually have, thanks so much! I have for example established that Anna Netrebko is a 1st grade singer! I also have found out that according to a totalitarian system every person that may have a different opinion or a political view is a 2nd grade citizen. Practicing what you speak is becoming increasingly difficult, and thus it makes brainwashed haters and hypocrites 1st grade morons.

        • vonessek says:

          In my country, there’s a legend that Milka chocolate was named after Milka Ternina, allegedly because a Swiss chocolateur Carl Russ-Suchard fell madly in love with her (singing)… I guess the guy would prefer Anna’s optimism to (this) Milka’s malice.

      • WTL says:

        According to all the ill-intentioned and unfair biaised bashing these little dozen of people are spreading about her only because of her nationality I found her gesture quite elegant. I would have been less nice.

        • Kostya says:

          “Just because of her nationality” – really? I’m pretty sure it’s because she donated a million rubles to the war criminal Oleg Tsarov and took photos with the so-called “Novorossiya” that has been terrorizing East Ukraine. Nothing to do with her nationality.

  • wet toast says:

    Another day, another Netrebko love letter on SD. Yawn.

  • Dennis Marks says:

    Her weight is of no significance. She is a public supporter of human rights abuses by a kleptocratic government. I used to know her and regularly attended performances by her. Since she went public in supporting Putin’s persecution of Pussy Riot, gay citizens etc. I have found it impossible to watch her, plump or otherwise.

  • harold braun says:

    The chocolate is quite good,if not first rate.Milkas comment:gutter language, zero content.Same as always!As for Mms.Netrebko:appropriate reaction!

    • milka says:

      If you can inform us where the humanitarian singer might put her thumbs along with her finger flipping friends please tell….Let us hope that her” appropriate reaction” shows the world that garbage is garbage however you dress it up .

  • harold braun says:

    And just by the way,citing one of the capacity crowd of 10 protesters as a reviewer of the Marinsky concert shows a deplorable lack of journalistic objectivity.But,who cares:The dogs bark,but the caravan passes!

    • WTL says:

      These protesters seem also to have a problem with facts as I have been said things didn’t quite happen as they claim.
      But they had the same problem when refusing to see the banner of peace Netrebko hold when she donated to support fellow artists.
      They again have the same problem with facts when using a picture of Netrebko from the 9th of May 2010 that celebrates end of WWII in order to “prove” she supports “terrorists”.
      Strange really.

      • Julia KB says:

        Oh, do you mean the picture where she’s wearing a shirt that says “To Berlin!” That picture? Because a citizen of Austria should totally wear a shirt like that, makes perfect sense.

        Banner of peace? You mean the flag of the Kremlin-invented entity “Novorossiya” that only occupies land because it is propped up by Russia? Or do you mean her ridiculous claim that the money was to repair the theater which doesn’t have a scratch on it? Or should we go with one of Tsarev’s later versions? But then which one– the one where he said he didn’t know where the money went, the one where he said it was split 50-50 between repairs and paying salaries or the one where he (not a half hour after voicing the previous version) claimed that each of the 304 employees of the theater got the same exact payment and the remaining money went to buy medicines because, and I quote, “during the time of war the theater goes through medicines like it’s food”?

        Protesters are not the ones playing blind– that’s Putin’s pet artists’ specialty.

        • SMR says:

          YES Julia, that t-shirt ! Maybe you forget that in 1945 nazis and Hitler were in Berlin… so that were the Allies had to go to end the war.

          But I’m sure that American people who send thousands of soldiers in Europa and “TO BERLIN” too in order to end nazism would be very glad to read that YOU see a problem with that, that you feel it’s a kind of bad thing that people should be ashamed of and that they were some kind of terrorists to you.

          Thanks for making it clear and for showing us what kind of political kind you are !
          That makes your points against Netrebko much clearer too.

          As for the Austrian citizenship it’s just so irrelevant as I can’t imagine that Austria is proud of nazism today and I can’t imagine that you forgot that she is also Russian because that’s definitely per se why you hate her.

          And I’m very happy to see also that you are indeed the kind of people who forgot on purpose the “banner of peace” from the “Roerich Pact” for peace through arts that she gave during the donation when stating expressly she didn’t want to do politics and only wanted peace.

          All your sentiments and attacks are coherent… thanks for letting us know how biaised they are ! That will save us time as goodwill people now understand they can’t discuss with people like you.

  • Yige Li says:

    “How anyone could treat the human tragedy and thousands of deaths by just showing the finger is incomprehensible.”

    I cannot stop laughing at this. Apparently, the finger was for these ill-intentioned protester who wanted to bring politics into a venue for art (By the way, maestro Gergiev conducted the Prokofiev Piano Concerto and the Shostakovich Symphony. At least I didn’t hear him speaking one word about politics during the concert. Maybe that’s because I sat in the balcony. And I guess he could have his own political opinion outside the concert hall.). What’s incomprehensible for me is why these protesters thought the could represent and speak for people in the conflict area, and anyone’s opinion on these protesters is equal to the opinion on “the human tragedy and thousands of deaths”. Well, then, in this sense, I guess I could speak for all classical music lovers, shame on their insulting to great music. (Don’t argue to me why I alone could represent all classical music lovers, why Mariinsky Orchestra and maestro Gergiev is great music. This is the logic of these protesters–logic of a parallel universe, I guess.)

    • Anon says:

      Actually it’s people like you Milka, who are the barbarians in today’s world. Just read your own hate soaked comments. It’s people like you who are stuck in the past and filled to the rim of their mushy brains with perverted extremist ideas of nationalism, chauvinism and hatred. And so stuck in the past and calcified, that it seems impossible to relieve you fir your own sake from your mental parasites. It’s exactly people like you who stand against peace between the nations.

      • Milka says:

        Anon ,just think on who has invaded the Ukraine ,who murders & poisons their own , jails
        for daring free thought ,then tell me they ain’t barbarians. Donning the trappings of the west
        however romanticized does not change the nature of the beast ,history has shown that .

        • Howard haimes says:

          As I have said before, Milka you are full of hatred for a wonderful artist who brings class and joy for the masses. It is too bad that you can not get past the end of your bigotry, racism and unplaced hatred of Netrbko. It it is too bad that leprechaun does not have the courage or propriety to ban you and your compatriots from posting here. You are truly disgraceful, ignorant and repulsive. Shame on you and yor clan of misfits

    • Gonout Backson says:

      Funny you should say so. I would rather note it’s Mr Gergiev who brought politics into the debate, signing an infamous letter of support for a fascistoid regime which has just invaded a neighbour.

      Moreover, I would say music is the “parellel universe”, you would like to remain pure and intouched by the dirty, real one. Thanks to the likes of Mr Gergiev, it’s not.

  • harold braun says:

    Absolutely right!I have two Ukrainian friends  who gave a very different account on the events there,markedly different from the views of those protesters. And,both of them loathe the Pussy Riot action,if I may add that…

  • simon says:

    Dear Norman,

    All the pictures of your site are blocked. It says that it is the provider who has blocked them. I don’t know if this happens only outside the UK. Thanks. Simon

  • Brian says:

    Do Ukrainian artists refuse to perform with her?
    I’m not sure this rises, or rather sinks, to the level of Tiana Lemnitz giving Nazi salutes at Covent Garden. But, alas, what a singer she was!

  • Nydo says:

    Incidentally, the concert was actually quite good; I would say the protester might have been just slightly biased…..

  • Michael Moran says:

    There is so often a complete disconnect between the superb artistry of interpretative and creative musicians and their possibly disagreeable, inner unfathomable characters. Read more biographies of great artists – there are many exceptions to this but more often disappointments. Great artists need not necessarily be great men or women.

    After all it is the work, the music that endures after the Reaper collects his tithe.


    No great artist ever sees things as they really are. If he did, he would cease to be an artist.
    (Oscar Wilde – ‘The Decay of Lying’)

    Oh, and Norman, no pictures available in Poland either.

  • WTL says:

    Anon you are spot on.
    Peace can only come from people searching it and then trying to see what is good from the other side.

    When you are looking blindly for war you can only get it.

    People of good will would have chosen to see the gesture of Netrebko as indeed a non political claim for peace as she said it was.
    They could have realize that giving money to art and giving Tsarev the Banner of peace from the Roerich Pact was a way to tell him that as a belligerant he should try to get peace himself. Even if she also posed along his flag (no matter if she recognized it of not).

    But they chose to see only the part that could stimulate their will to hate. Sad but significant state of mind.

    • Gonout Backson says:

      TOUTES proportions gardées, you could say the same, almost word for word, about the participation in the Berlin Olympics in 1936.

  • Milka says:

    Haimes, don’t know her well enough to hate …she seems not worth any intense reaction …

    Just noting that her association with thugs invading the Ukraine causing death and destruction earns her nothing but contempt .In spite of denials the truth will out.

  • Gonout Backson says:

    TWO friends? Wow. That settles it, then…

  • Linda says:

    Does anyone ever make such a comment about a man’s weight or appearance? Of course not. She is perfection, stop trying to be petty and tear people (women) down.

  • Harley Schlanger says:

    To the haters against Anna, you show both your lack of class and lack of knowledge. The regime change in Kiev was orchestrated by the U.S., through neo-con Victoria Nuland, who orchestrated the overthrow of a democratically elected regime, using neo-Nazi militia to drive the regime out.