Anti-Netrebko protests in Zurich

Anti-Netrebko protests in Zurich


norman lebrecht

March 23, 2015

Members of the Swiss Ukraine Association picketed Anna Netrebko at the Zurich Opera, where she appeared as Donizetti’s Anna Bolena. Leaflets were handed out to passersby proclaiming that taxpayers’ money should not be squandered on  what they called an ‘ambassador of hatred’.

Netrebko, who has backed President Putin’s military assault on Ukraine, is reported to be earning 80,000 Swiss francs over four performances.

Unnoticed by the demonstrators, her conductor at the Zurich Opera is the Ukrainian, Andriy Yurkevych.


netrebko picket

photo:  Tom Kawara


  • ed says:

    Whether Ms. Netrebko broadcasts it or not, I’m willing to bet she will contribute a sizable percentage toward humanitarian relief for the victims in the East who have been the real ones suffering through multiple military assaults- e.g., the Kiev military’s and its neo-nazi militias’ heavy artillery, aerial, and grad missile attacks on civilians and civilian infrastructure.

    As for ‘President Putin’s military assault’ on Ukraine, with all due respect, the OSCE is yet to see it or report it, even if the crazies in Kiev, Washington or Brussels and their media are imagining it in their Dr. Strangelovian world and peddling it in ours. For those who believe this is all propaganda, read or listen to the interviews of George Friedman of the Stratfor Intelligence Review- he is refreshingly candid about who the real aggressor is, even if he is advising and supporting the wrong side.

    Am also predicting that notwithstanding the police state clamp-down on protest in Ukraine, this junta and its allies will have a limited half-life and disappear within two or three years.

      • Olaugh Turchev says:

        In Kiev they are in POWER

        • Gonout Backson says:

          Yeah right. What else can you say, poor thing.

          A little reminder :

          1. Presidential election 2014
          Svoboda (Tyahnybok) and Right Sector (Yarosh) together : 1,86%
          Vadim Rabinovitch, an independent Israeli of Ukrainian origin : 2,25%

          2. Parliamentary election 2014
          Svoboda : 4,71% (6 MPs)
          Right Sector : 1,75% (1 MP)

          3. The whole European and American extreme fascistoid Right (plus the fascistoid Left, but that’s beside the point here) ardently supports Putin and spits on the new, Ukrainian authorities.

          So, either they know something you don’t, or maybe you know something they don’t.

          My advice: since you probably have all their recent phone numbers, call them and talk about it.

    • Milka says:

      This contemptible creature has offered supposed humanitarian aid while
      wrapping herself in the flag of death and destruction .The second rate Marianne of russian
      invasion is not deterred by recent murder of opposition leader . This matryoshka doll knows on what side her bread is buttered .That yurkevych conducts her brings these thoughts to mind;he is pro russian invasion ,he lacks moral fibre to speak out , that a career advancement is more important than thousands of dead Ukrainians .The rest of Ed’s
      comments are typical apologists BS .

      • Stephen says:

        Such an over-the-top reaction, Milka, weakens your case. This lady is not responsible for anyone’s death.

        • Milka says:

          Not making a case –just stating facts -Garbage is garbage no matter how you dress it up .

          • SMR says:

            Or maybe these two persons think that trying to work together and accepting each other despite their nationality is already a step to peace. Maybe they don’t always think about war or don’t care because they just don’t want it… so they don’t feel concerned in seeing the other as an enemy.
            I would say that conflicts mainly come from people like you, Milka, who prefer blind hate and fight to death rather than accepting to hold the hand of the neighbour !

    • Gonout Backson says:

      BTW : by “interviews of George Friedman” you probably mean the recent interview he gave the Kommersant in Moscow, enthusiastically reproduced by every “Russlandverstehend” site on the net. It’s a deeply distressing piece, since it’s blatantly wrong and/or biased on many points. His short descripion of the Yugoslavian crisis alone suggests that either he has a very short memory, or that he has some new reasons to say such things, reasons that it would be interesting to know.

    • Liudmila joy vasuta says:

      Neo – Nazies are in Kreml not in Kiev!!!
      Or …. You will be next just like with Hytler in 1933! STOP PUTIN NOW!

  • Anon says:

    Oh the irony. The ambassadors of hatred are actually those who hand out these leaflets.
    And the ambassadors of hatred are barking in this thread also as usual.
    But you will get your war with Russia, Washington is working hard on it for years.
    Russia is not let to have a peaceful relationship with Europe. That would be the end of the American hegemony, so it is core US policy to keep Europe and Russia apart.
    The rest is history, literally…

    • Gonout Backson says:

      You mean : those who speak about this international ultranationalist Parteitag in Moscow, a protofascist pageant organized by the vice-prime minister of Russia and obviously authorized by president Putin – are “ambassadors of hatred”?

      The thermometer is the ambassador of fever, do I get it right?

  • Victoria Stepanova says:

    Yes! She is responsible for many death! She supports rebels!

  • MacroV says:

    I do wonder whether Netrebko’s various donations could get her in trouble with U.S. authorities. We have some laws here, passed after 9/11, that impose criminal sanctions for “providing material support to terrorist organizations.” And it has been very broadly interpreted in some cases. The U.S. government probably doesn’t (yet) classify the separatists as a terrorist organization, but if it does, and any of Netrebko’s donations touch one of those groups…

    You could say Netrebko and Gergiev, as well as Bashmet, Matsuev and others, are basically the modern-day Mengelburg and Bohm. This may well come back to bite them at some point, or at least be a cloud that lingers over them for years.

    • Victoria Stepanova says:

      USA must impose sanction on Netrebko,Matzuev,Gergiev and others,who supported Putin’s aggressions in Ukraine!

  • Stephen says:

    Some of you may have noticed that Britain has in the past, and is ready again, to go to war with Argentina over a tiny group of underpopulated islands.

    • MacroV says:

      And precisely how is that relevant?

      • Gonout Backson says:

        It’s not there to be relevant (even on the basic, political level, Stephen’s comparison is absurd), but to kick the table…

        • Stephen says:

          It’s not irrelevant. It has everything to do with colonianism and taking over someone else’s country.

          • Gonout Backson says:

            You mean: the fascistoid, Argentinian military junta – invading British territory in a desperate attempt to cover up for its crimes and economic disasters?

          • Stephen says:

            That’s precisely my point. The Falklands are nor British territory; they were taken over – stolen, in fact.

          • Gonout Backson says:

            Hence your support for the Argentinian, fascistoid military junta. I get it.

          • Stephen says:

            You don’t get it at all. I’m looking at the problem from a historical point of view not your short-sighted one. Also you are a bigot to presume I am a Fascist supporter. A bigot and a prig.

          • Gonout Backson says:

            OK, so let’s be serious.

            The subject was the support of Anna Netrebko for Russian “separatists” in Eastern Ukraine and the reactions it provokes.

            All of a sudden, you mention British military answer to the Argentinian invasion of a Biritish territory. The relevance of this remark and the merits of this analogy still escape me.

            Russia invaded Ukraine. Mr Putin recognized it officially in a recent propaganda movie produced by his television. Argentina invaded Britain. Whatever your likes and dislikes, Falklands were British at that time, just as Crimea and the other invaded provinces are Ukrainian.

            You mention a “historical point of view”. Apparently, you didn’t even read the wikipedia article on the subject, otherwise you wouldn’t pretend anyone “stole” the Falklands from anyone else. Read it: it’s better than Jarndyce v. Jarndyce.

            I never said you were a “Fascist supporter”. I said you supported the junta’s position and actions in this matter, since your wrote that “Britain went to war” – when, in fact, it’s the junta who went to war (precisely for the reasons I mentioned), and Britain defended itself.

            And if you do not support the junta, you should thank Maggie, because thanks to its debacle in 1982 the junta collapsed and Argentina became a democratic state again.

      • Gonout Backson says:

        Now I get it! I have missed that one.

  • Stephen says:

    Intuitively I was on the right track. There’s genius for you! Thank you for the information.