Video: Protestor invades Met stage during Netrebko’s curtain calls

At the Iolanta Curtain Call tonight a protester with a poster of Putin with a Hitler moustache and other photos I couldn’t make out walked to center stage and held the poster up for the audience and then turned to show it to the cast, who seemed surprisingly unfazed.

He appeared to walk in from stage right but I think he climbed onstage from the side of the pit.  He was soundly booed.   And security was VERY tight getting backstage after Bluebeard’s Castle.  Two NYPD stood at either side of the interior stagedoor.  Many were turned away.

Outside, about 25-30 protestors chanted ‘musicians have choices’ and something to the effect of ‘shame on the Met’ and ‘Netrebko supports terrorists’.

met protest1

UPDATE: The stage protestor is named here.

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    • The video and the streaming of the performance are clear : the protestor was heavily booed and the cast was cheered when he left.

      In their blind hate and in their will to bring their war in other countries or in theaters, these people don’t realize that they do their “cause” wrong.

  • When you read some reactions of MET chorus members on facebook : they were scared and chocked by this man because they thought he was then “a terrorist” ! Great effect indeed and great plan he had.
    Quite ironical, but deserved in a way at the same time.
    Strangely they didn’t seem scared nor chocked by Netrebko or Gergiev…

  • Very effective protest in a way. He raised the ante and will probably bring a lot more media attention to the cause. The question is whether it will backfire – paying opera fans are persnickety about having the “sanctity” of their temple of opera disturbed in any way. Will be interesting to see if public support for their street protests (which I suspect has been fairly strong) goes down now after this.

  • Hope this juvenile, pathetic, attention-seeking stint will land him in jail for a fair amount of time, to deter others from following in his path. As always, wonderfully classy behaviour from Ms. Netrebko and the cast, when dealing with such lunatics.

  • The protester’s name is Roman Torgovitsky, he is a graduate of Harward and a Ukrainian anti-war activist. Personally, I admire his courage. You should read up on Gergiev and Netrebko to understand why there are protests at virtually every concert they play anywhere in the world. Sometimes you have to take a moral stand against those who publicly support war and consciously use their art as a tool of oppression.

    • By Mr Pryrodny’s logic, one could justify stage invasions against artists of a great many nationalities. Obama (notwithstanding his Nobel Prize) is a far bigger warmonger than Putin, despite which he enjoys the support of many artists across the world — does Pryrodny advocate for also disrupting Obama-supporters?

  • It is not simply “their war”. It is a war that Mr. Gergiev’s and Ms. Netrebko’s favorite sponsor Putin brought to their country that has caused over 5000 deaths. The only “blind” people in this situation are people like you who continue ignoring what’s being done by Netrebko and Gergiev. The mere fact that they are classical musicians does not excuse them from the responsibility they should bear for using their influence to vocally support some of Putin’s worst policies.

    • That is a very selective view of what is happening in the Ukraine, overlooking the fact that the violence and death is being perpetrated by thugs of various allegiances, including those loyal to the Kiev régime (which itself does not appear to be particularly interested in serving its own citizens).

      • Remind us where and when, recently, Ukraine has invaded a foreign country and annexed part of its territory.

  • I firmly believe in separating the artist from the person. If someone wishes to protest Gergiev or Netrebko they are more than welcome to, but not at the expense of a performance. Ok, the performance itself may not actually have been disturbed, but I think this is going a little far now.
    Gergiev and Netrebko are entitled to their opinions, as the protesters are entitled to theirs. However, there may well be several people in the paying audience who are willing to ignore the politics to watch some very talented musicians perform.
    Beethoven supported Napoleon’s invasion of Vienna (granted, up until the crowning debacle) and no-one holds that against him.
    Stravinsky disliked the Jews, and no-one holds that against him.
    I do wish people were a little less blinkered and reactionary…

  • The only honest thing to happen on the Met stage in years . An honorable man indeed.
    That many cheered brings to mind many who cheered Hitler concerts…… One honest act is
    all it takes to bring down the house of cards however long it takes .Even if arrested he
    succeeded brilliantly …no one talks first about the opera performance but about the
    act of an honest man ….poor Beczala looked so uncomfortable as well he should .Let
    us hope more like this happens to remind smug opera goers that some of their heroes
    are not what they seem to project ,that lives are being lost while Netrebko bows .

    • This is a new proof of your problem with facts or of your biaised approach Milka. Beczala (who is a great friend of Netrebko in case you ignore it) doesn’t look uncomfortable. He looks disgusted by the protester and obviously found the poster stupid and clearly dismissed it by shaking his head !

  • Dear Benjamin! Adolf Hitler was not a bad artist and created a significant body of paintings. According to your principle of separating an artist and a person would you support Having Hitler’s exhibition at Metropolitan Museum?

  • I don’t think it was the action of a lunatic. In my opinion, the guy had a lot of courage… Although this will not stop Netrebko and Gerghiev to lick Putin’s boots, it will make some more people aware that today, arts cannot always/anymore be separated from politics.

  • Yet, performing, visual and other categories of artist who thrived during the Nazi era were handsomely rewarded for their Wagner or non-degenarte art respectively, while few stood up. While G and N are star MET performers, they have voluntarily and expressly associated themselves with the Putin and his mafia government and they did not need to do so. Shame on them!

  • Inexcusable and meaningless publicity stunt. U.S, presidents have engaged in horrific war acts (Clinton in Serbia, Bush in Iraq, etc.), imagine if this stunt were to happen every time at Met by activists against Republican- or Democrat-supporting artists. I saw Bluebeard last evening and it was a great work of art musically and visually. Harvard should do a better job in teaching humanities to its students.

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