Netrebko cancels Tosca, apparently on Putin’s orders

Netrebko cancels Tosca, apparently on Putin’s orders


norman lebrecht

October 28, 2017

Anna Netrebko has told the Bavarian State Opera she cannot sing Tosca next July because she is required to appear at the FIFA World Cup in Moscow.

Since it is unlikely she will appear on the pitch for the Russian XI, it is safe to assume she has been summoned by Vladimir Putin as associated entertainment.

Munich has replaced her with the experienced Angela Gheorghiu.

Netrebko is due to make her role debut as Tosca next April in New York.



  • harold braun says:

    “It´s safe to assume…”……oh boy….!

  • MacroV says:

    Netrebko has an Austrian passport, if I’m not mistaken, and presumably could say No anytime she wants. But Putin or no Putin, what good Russian patriot would pass up a chance to perform at the World Cup? Plus the exposure. But everyone has known the World Cup dates since 2010, so why cancel only now?

  • Alexander says:

    I think she will appear on the pitch as she did for that Sochi Olympics …just so …. also I have some hints she might appear at some other interesting places next year ( not connected with the World Cup) …time will tell

  • Ungeheuer says:

    Of course, clever that she is, she knows no Tosca anywhere will earn her the exposure she craves. Is she in this for the art or for the fame and fortune? I suspect not the former.

    • Alexander says:

      …. for the first time at the main Mariinsky the Prodigy will appear to sing Senta opposite Evgeny Nikitin and Mikhail Petrenko ( have just seen this at the Mariinsky site) – you still have a time to grab your ticket at that modern onyx-Swarovski adorned venue ( acoustics are superb, as they say) . She will be there between Mexico and Berlin, her another performance is Elektra in Idomeneo ( the same venue). Your lucky chance ….

    • vonessek says:

      What pursuit of fame are you talking about? She is already the most famous and, more importantly, the most influential (female) singer in classical music. She headlines the very first cooperation between the Met and the Bolshoi, opens opera seasons at the biggest houses and gets the top dollar… and you think she is desperate for fame and fortune?
      How many singers – of any nationality – would refuse to sing on the Red Square during the World Cup? Placido Domingo didn’t, because he will be there with her – and I doubt he was “summoned” by Putin.

      • Nik says:

        “What pursuit of fame are you talking about?”
        Well, outside of perhaps Russia and Austria she is not a household name among people with no interest in opera.
        The Three Tenors achieved this status globally after the 1990 world cup.

  • Vladislav says:

    She should be openly criticised for supporting a dictator. People cancel performances, that’s life- but supporting a genocidal dictator is another.

  • Doug says:

    Ooooooh! And I suppose you’re blaming the troubles of the Met on Trump. Don’t you people have anything better to do than spread unsubstantiated garbage gossip?

  • Sandro says:

    Just one of the Putin’s goons. Overblown mediocrity.

  • G. Hendrick says:

    In these matters the only certainty is that Tosca is not suitable for Neb’s voice indeed, and now we are lucky to have a more technical and expert Tosca at BSO.

  • White Rabbit says:

    Anna and her husband will join to Placido Domingo in concert on the Red Square, July 13, before the final match of the World Cup. This traditional concert, which Domingo gives during the World Cup.

    • Elizabeth Owen says:

      Wish I could be there. Domingo probably invited her as she is the best and most famous opera star Russia currently has. It will be brilliant and hopefully televised world wide although whether we get all of it, we can only hope.

  • Cynical Bystander says:

    Ms Netrebko was hardly the centrepiece of the Opernfestspiele. I’m sure that BSO will manage to cope, after all they have their new Parsifal and a Ring Cycle with some up and coming singers as consolation.

  • Andrea Wallenberger says:

    FINALLY! Jesus, finally an acknowledgement of the Putin/Gergiev/Netrebko opera political game. And believe you me this is just the tip of a conscious 35+ year plan.
    So yes: 100% TRUE.
    And btw exactly what happened when she was called home to Russia to sing pretty princess Olympic Anthem at Such Olympics, just before Putin invaded Ukraine, an action which she, Gergiev and many Russian artists *specifically and publicly endorsed* when they each signed The Letter.
    Make no mistake this is a red flag, it is
    writing on the wall. Why? Check your calendars, people. Surprise, surprise, it is the 100th anniversary of a huge event in Russia’s history. October 1917-3017, anyone? Putin’s and Gergiev are buddies and cohorts, and Putin is no dummy.
    Indeed, Putin’s Borderless Anschluß (what one prominent artist dissident expat calls “his soft invasion”) of the West continues apace…

    • Pianofortissimo says:

      It is even worse than that. My friend Billy, a hacker, has got access to top secret information – it seems that Putin’s evil scientific team has developed a new satellite-based sonic weapon that can crush any metal or glass structure of any size with very high precision and unheard-of lethal capacity. The weapon can be used without any restriction because it does not leave any kind of dangerous waste like nukes do. It seems that the first experiments, based on modulations of Stockhausen’s Telemusik did not work well (the satellites themselves melted), but Anna Netrebko saved the whole project by providing a perfect high-C of devastating proportions, very carefully sampled in the secret laboratory in a deep cave in the Urals (it seems that her latest vacations were fake news). The weapon is to be announced in the coming Centenary festivities.

  • Onni Sifis says:

    It is unfortunate the Failed Tzar will not host FIFA2018 games. Football is Fair Play, Poutain is not (pardon my French) … The games are either cancelled or played in Britain… Never in Russia…

  • mary-anne cole says:

    Whose business is it what Anna does or does not do….she is a Russian who grew up during some pretty dark days there…if we are to be judged by who we support politically then we are damned small minded…she is human first …she is a supporter of Putin who cares…do you live there ?No politician is pure all are flawed ….get a grip …. IfTrump is Americas answer to Putin we are all dead in the water.Slating her for this just proves you are all pathetic….

    • Una says:

      Parliamentarians in Britain will get it in the neck today at 3.30pm. Forget about Putin. Well said Mary-Anne!

      • Maria Los says:

        You can’t ever forget about Putin….that man is trying to ruin all of us……if the US has Trump for President it’s because of Putin. Of course all politicians are corrupt but it depends to what degree, and Putin is stupendously flawed….and unfortunately politics do affect the arts……