Mezzo star declares boycott on Russia

Mezzo star declares boycott on Russia


norman lebrecht

July 02, 2019

From Anita Rachvelishvili:



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#stopputin 🇬🇪🇺🇦✊🏼

A post shared by A N I T A Rachvelishvili (@anitarachvelishvili) on



  • Alan says:

    Brave words. People have been killed for less. Good luck to her.

    • Bob Boles says:

      So who has been killed?? Give the names pleae, to your EMPTY WORDS.

      • Jean says:

        E.g. Anna Politkovskaya ? (on Putin’s birthday, by the way)

      • Bob Boles says:

        As we very much thought – you can’t name a single performer who has been bumped-off by Putin, can you? Just empty and offensive finger-pointing that makes you look a fool.

        • MacroV says:

          He didn’t say it was musicians who were killed. Just people who took stands against Putin.

          • Bob Boles says:

            Whichever, it was still an empty blowhard lie.

          • Larry W says:

            Journalists murdered in Russia since 2000–
            Igor Domnikov
            Sergey Novikov
            Iskandar Khatloni
            Sergey Ivanov
            Oleg Goryansky
            Adam Tepsurgayev
            Valery Kondakov
            Eduard Markevich
            Natalya Skryl
            Valery Ivanov
            Dimitry Shvets
            Yuri Shchekochikhin
            Alikhan Guliyev
            Aleksei Sidorov
            Paul Klebnikov
            Pavel Makeev
            Magomedzagid Varisov
            Vagif Kochetkov
            Anna Politkovskaya
            Maksim Maksimov
            Ivan Safronov
            Magomed Yevloyev
            Telman (Abdulla) Alishayev
            Anastasiya Baburova
            Sergei Protazanov
            Natalya Estemirova
            Abdulmalik Akhmedilov
            Gadzhimurad Kamalov
            Kazbek Gekkiyev
            Mikhail Beketov
            Nikolai Potapov
            Akhmednabi Akhmednabiyev
            Arkady Lander
            Timur Kushev

        • Alan says:

          I said people, not performers. You should learn to read words before condemning them as EMPTY. You think Putin hasn’t silenced critics? Then you got bigger problems than me friend.

          • Bob Boles says:

            DId you? I lose track of what you’ve said with all your multiple sock-puppet accounts and your fatuous dreck about ‘henchmen’. Your credibility is knocking on zero.

        • Bruce says:

          Look up the “no true Scotsman” fallacy for an example of what you just did.

    • Robert Groen says:


  • Anon says:

    Brava! She speaks truth to power.

  • anon says:

    If only the rest of the world were as brave as she.

    Every artist, orchestra, conductor should boycott Putin’s Russia and blacklist his musical henchmen, starting with Gergiev, from posts and performing in their country.

    • Robert Groen says:

      Gergiev, I am pleased to tell you, was resident conductor of the Rotterdam Philharmonic from 1995, starting a friendship with the city that continues until the present day. We knew he was a Russian, but that had nothing to do with his music, We knew that he was of Ossetian origin, but that had nothing to do with his music either. We knew that the history of the Caucasus and Georgian territorial ambitions was a fraught one, having led to acts of aggression which are well documented for those who want to learn about them. The hatred of all things Russian (or should I say: all things Putin) is spoonfed to all Georgians and the results, in terms of mindless antipathy and historical distortion, are there for all to see. Why an otherwise attractive and accomplished young artist like Khatia Buniatishvili should absorb uncritically what her elders, for reasons all their own, pour down her earhole is beyond me. In 2008 (about the time when Georgia attacked South Ossetia, she was successfully touring, giving concerts here and there and developing her career. What personal observation led to her very outspoken anti-Russian (Putin) views I do not know, but the similarity to ‘passed down the generations’ of sectarian hatred, Northern Ireland-style is, to me, obvious. What a shame. Anyway, we love Gergiev, here in the Low Countries, so what are you going to do about it?

      • MacroV says:

        “Georgia attacked South Ossetia.” Go back under your bridge, troll.

        • Bob Boles says:

          Inform yourself? If you can even read??? Your very own EU investigated the war and found Georgia responsible:

          Independent Experts Blame Georgia for South Ossetia War
          An EU expert commission has put the blame for last summer’s South Ossetia war on Georgia, but also holds Russia partly responsible, SPIEGEL has learned. The findings, which are still under wraps, are likely to reignite the debate on the causes of the war when they are published.

          • MacroV says:

            I’m not an EU person. Besides, whatever the Georgians may have done, it’s what Russia would certainly call an “internal affair” if it happened within its own borders. Beyond that, it not acceptable in today’s world for a country to change borders by force, which Russia has done in both Georgia and Ukraine in the past decade.

    • Laurence says:

      And revoke Wilhelm Furtwangler’s passport!

    • Sarah says:

      And deprive the Russian people further?

    • Bob Boles says:

      Here is your Anita – wrecking the French language, in a concert in MOSCOW in 2014 (sorry about her hysterical shrieking in the final moments).

      She had no problem in taking the money in 2014 – even after her country attacked Ossetia in 2008.

      But HYPOCRISY is Rachvelishvili’s middle name!! She supports anything which pays her MONEY – whether it’s concerts in Moscow, or being paid to write crap about Gergiev.

      [Dear Ukrainian Sock-Puppets! You can downvote this message as much as you like, with your identical anonymous imbecilic messages about ‘henchmen’]

  • Bob Boles says:

    A nobody who no-one wants to sing in Russia anyhow. Desperate for publicity with her failed career.

    • Not suffering gladly says:

      Independently of Ms. Rachvelishvili‘s political engagement: she is a superb singer coming into her prime, and approaching the no 1 slot for the Met, Covent Garden, La Scala etc in her vocal category. Bob Boles should get out more.

      • Bob Boles says:

        We never get to see your ‘superb’ singer here in Moscow, because she’s in a sulk. What I have seen of her on YouTube shows an artiste with some promise, but severe deficiencies. Her linguisic abilities are shockingly bad. Her acting is primitive, with hand-0wavinog and grimaces apparently based on silent films. But it’s the vocal problems which bug me most – a shouty and bloodcurdling top, glued onto a woefully underpowered central voice which can barely be heard – there is no tone quality at all. For a mezzo, that’s a fatal flaw in my book. And of course, there is no bottom end to her voice at all, so she avoids those roles – as she can’t sing them .

        Frankly Moscow has no shortage of excellent mezzos these days – but of course, powerful dramatic mezzos are a Russian tradition. We don’t need second-raters.

        Talking of second-raters, David Nice declared a boycott of Gergiev too. How’s that going for him, eh? I haven’t seen his work in print for a long time, whereas Gergiev is conducting at Bayreuth. 🙂

        • John Kelly says:

          This is such a blatantly cloth-eared assessment of Anita’s voice that I just have to respond. In your Youtubing are you sure you have the right singer? You obviously didn’t hear her in either Aida or Adriana Lecouvreur last season at the Met (or at the movies). She has a lower register akin to that of Jessye Norman. Huge, powerful and gorgeous, which could be stated about her voice in toto. Bob Boles, you are deaf as a post mate.

          • Bob Boles says:

            [[ You obviously didn’t hear her in either Aida or Adriana Lecouvreur ]]

            Nobody did. Below her battery-acid top, nothing in her central or lower registers is audible at all. You;re not my mate, John Kelly. You’re a pathetic NATO troll.

          • Tiredofitall says:

            You are right. She is an utter failure. The opera world shuns her. Look at the number of appearances. Evidently she can’t hold onto a job. Such a disgrace!

            Jun 2020 Il trovatore Azucena Wiener Staatsoper

            Jun 2020 Carmen Carmen
            Gran Teatre del Liceu, Barcelona

            Mar-Apr 2020. Samson et Dalila Dalila Wiener Staatsoper

            Mar 2020 Carmen Carmen Staatsoper Unter den Linden

            Nov-Dec 2019 Prince Igor Kontchakovna Opéra National de Paris
            Opéra Bastille

            Oct-Nov 2019 Don Carlo La Principessa Eboli Opéra National de Paris

            Sep 2019 Cavalleria rusticana Santuzza De Nationale Opera, Amsterdam

            Jul-Aug 2019 Adriana Lecouvreur La principessa di Bouillon Salzburger Festspiele, Großes Festspielhaus

            Apr-May 2019. Carmen Carmen Opéra National de Paris

            Dec 2018-Jan 2019 Adriana LecouvreurPremiere La principessa di Bouillon The Metropolitan Opera, New York

            Nov 2018. Samson et Dalila Dalila Opéra de Monte-Carlo

            Sep 2018-Mar 2019 Aida Amneris The Metropolitan Opera, New York
            Metropolitan Opera House

            Sep 2018-Mar 2019 Samson et Dalila. Dalila
            The Metropolitan Opera, New York
            Metropolitan Opera House

            Jul 2018. Carmen Carmen
            Greek National Opera, Athens
            Odeon of Herodes Atticus

            Jun-Sep 2018 Aida Amneris Fondazione Arena di Verona

            Jun-Jul 2018 Il trovatore Azucena Opéra National de Paris
            Opéra Bastille

            Apr-May 2018. Aida Amneris
            Wiener Staatsoper

            Apr 2018. Cavalleria Rusticana Santuzza Teatro dell’Opera di Roma

            Feb-May 2018. Der Troubadour Acena Deutsche Oper Berlin

            Jan-Feb 2018. Il trovatore Azucena The Metropolitan Opera, New York
            Metropolitan Opera House

            Oct 2017 Carmen Carmen Bayerische Staatsoper, München

            Oct 2017-Jul 2018 Carmen Carmen Sächsische Staatsoper, Dresden

            Sep 2017 Aida Amneris
            Royal Opera House of Muscat

            Sep 2017 Aida Amneris
            Gstaad Menuhin Festival

            Aug 2017. Aida Amneris
            Chorégies d’Orange
            Théâtre Antique

            Apr-May 2017 Carmen Carmen Tbilisi Paliashvili Opera House

            Mar-Jul 2017 Carmen. Carmen Opéra National de Paris
            Opéra Bastille

            Mar 2017 AidaAmneris
            Tbilisi Paliashvili Opera House

            Feb 2017 Carmen Carmen
            Chicago Opera Theater

            Feb-Mar 2017. Carmen Carmen
            Lyric Opera of Chicago
            Jan 2017. Carmen Carmen Bayerische Staatsoper, München

            Dec 2016-Feb 201 Il trovatore Azucena Royal Opera, London

            Nov 2016. Carmen Carmen
            State Opera Stara Zagora

            Oct-Nov 2016
            Samson et DalilaPremiere Dalila Opéra National de Paris

            Jun-Jul 2016. Aida Amneris Opéra National de Paris
            Opéra Bastille

            Apr-May 2016 Carmen Carmen Canadian Opera Company, Toronto

            Feb-Mar 2016. Khovanshchina Marfa De Nationale Opera, Amsterdam

            Oct-Nov 2015. Carmen. Carmen
            Royal Opera, London

            Sep 2015 Requiem (Verdi) Concert Mezzosoprano
            Teatro alla Scala, Milano
            Chiesa di San Marco

          • John Kelly says:

            I’ve heard her live and you haven’t. End of discussion buddy. (Yes I know I’m not your buddy). What’s NATO got to do with opera singing? Just asking.

        • John Kelly says:

          From NY Times review of Adriana:
          As the princess, the mezzo-soprano Anita Rachvelishvili, who almost stole the show singing Amneris to Ms. Netrebko’s Aida this fall, was again stupendous. She sang with unforced power and rich colorings throughout the wide range of her voice, from chesty low tones to gleaming top notes. Yet in conveying this imposing princess’s inner emotional fragility, Ms. Rachvelishvili shaped crucial phrases with supple, yearning tenderness. For all the convoluted strands of this story, “Adriana” is at its core a torturous love triangle. Ms. Netrebko, Mr. Beczala and Ms. Rachvelishvili claimed those roles so tenaciously that the drama bristled with passion and danger.

          Of course you may argue with Mr Tomassini’s review but I was there and he is right.

        • John says:

          You could not be more wrong. Anita is world class and is having, what will be, a historic career. She can pick and choose where she works and what she sings. Judging a singer from youtube is juvenile and inaccurate. The full voice/dramatic mezzo is a fach woefully under populated. The opera world will be lucky to have Anita as long as she will sing. I personally heard her Carmen in Toronto and her Amneris at the MET. She is an unstoppable force.

  • esfir ross says:

    Shut up-she sound ridiculous when speak and not sing

  • David H Spence says:

    How then, Anita, do you get along with Anna Netrebko? Or is there an update in regards to her position of which I am not yet aware? There are also the co-productions the Met in New York is planning with the Bolshoi. it all turns my stomach. I understand however you want to keep your career somewhat intact and perhaps not say too much. Gergiev has his proteges with prominent jobs across the world, such as Nezet-Seguin, Noseda, Sokhiev, etc.

    • Robert Groen says:

      “…and perhaps not say too much…”?!”Dictator Putin”, “Putin is killing our people and stealing our lands”, “Putin is Devil”…..I trhink she has said quite a lot already, don’t you think, Mr. Spence?

  • Musician says:

    Brava for brave words, but she seems fine singing at the met opera, a country that has caused many more wars and bloodshed without any accountability. If you’re going to boycott aggressors surely the US has more to answer for?! It seems like the Cold War has resurfaced and quite clearly one side is all good no matter the action and the other evil. If only world politics were that simple…

  • Anthony M. Gigliotti says:

    Good for her!

  • Bone says:

    If she wants to impress anyone, she should do the full Casals for her art.

  • almaviva says:

    Just wait until the appeasers of evil, the Putin apologists – of whom there are plenty around here – read this, they will tear her to shreds!

  • Tamino says:

    Another very naive person.

    „Putin stilling our lands“??

  • Unpopular opinion says:

    I like Putin. He’s a great leader.

  • Nick says:

    Particularly noteworthy in this blog that while a Georgian artist boycotts Putin’n Russia, refusing to sing in Russia, the German Chancellor Merkel invites Putin’s pawn, Gergiev and attends Wagner’s opera with Gergiev conducting the performance!! How lovely!

    • Tamino says:

      You might want to check how things are in reality. Who invited who?
      And Gergiev is not a criminal. He is a musician with personal affiliations and relationships that some might dislike. But that does not allow you to talk about him like as if he were an “Untermensch”. He is a successful conductor who is invited by top orchestras all over the world, including the US. Try to get rid of your cold war calcified mindset, if possible, and don’t be so naive, even though naive is in fashion.

      • Mike Schachter says:

        The irony is that many so-called liberals who criticise Putin, often with good reason, would defend him if he were still a communist.

    • Bob Boles says:

      Here she is, “refusing to sing in Russia”

      But the offer of all those tasty Russian pies was too temptiing for her – as we can see!

  • Mike Schachter says:

    It would seem that Mrs Merkel does not entirely agree.

  • Hartmut says:

    Wonderful. Now hopefully some artist will also boycott the USA for its illegal concentration camps and human rights violations.

    • The View from America says:


    • MacroV says:

      I don’t like the camps and the human rights violations, but U.S. musical institutions are not part of the government, nor do any American performers of any consequence seek to curry favor with Trump. Many pointedly reject invitations to the White House or to perform at any event associated with him. Most who get close tend to get shunned. There is no American equivalent to Gergiev, Matsuev, or Netrebko, at least not in the classical sphere.

      • Bob Boles says:

        Yet you and your coterie call Gergiev a ‘henchman’, don’t you, MacoV??

        While your hero Trump is still separating refugee children from their parents.

  • Bob Boles says:

    I feel sorry for her, Incipient mental illness is not only a tragedy for the sufferer themselves, but their friends, relations, and colleagues. But who will find the guts to tell her? Someone needs to explain to the crazies why their phone no longer rings – no-one wants the liability of working with the mentally unstable.

  • MacroV says:

    She’s living the history (and more important, the present).