Netrebko’s husband is booed over her absence

Netrebko’s husband is booed over her absence


norman lebrecht

August 02, 2019

Yusif Eyvazov should have been singing opposite his wife in Adriana Lecouvreur at Salzburg on Wednesday, but she dropped out with a cold and he was left to face an audience that had paid gala prices for an unflashy cast.

When Netrebko’s withdrawal was announced, the fat-cats yelled abuse at the festival management and particularly at the unfortunate Eyvazov. SN reports:

Es begann ein heftiges, laut brüllendes Buh-Konzert, mit deutlichen Verbalinjurien und Rufen, der Sänger solle doch heimgehen. Oder auch, er wäre am besten gleich zu Hause geblieben. Eyvazov, ohnehin gern als bloßes Anhängsel seiner berühmten Frau geschmäht, hatte spürbar keine guten Karten. Man wünschte zu diesem Zeitpunkt, der tapfer auftretende, gleichwohl hörbar angeschlagene Sänger möge diese unfairen Vorverurteilungen nicht hinter der Bühne gehört haben.

Many of them left noisily, tearing up their tickets. The houses was far from full during the performance.



  • John S Orel says:

    Poor widdle boys,

    • Max Grimm says:

      No, not “poor widdle boys” but one man’s poor German and inexact representation of what the Salzburger Nachrichten initially reported.

      What the German article clearly describes is that when, before the performance, the festival’s Executive Director Lukas Crepaz came onstage to announce Netrebko’s absence, the audience accepted it with “quiet grumbling”. When he then went on to announce that Yusif Eyvazov was also indisposed but would sing anyway, the audience started booing Crepaz and shouting that “Eyvazov should have also stayed at home”, instead of turning up and singing badly.
      After that, the audience calmed down and the performance started. In the end, while Eyvazov’s voice was “audibly affected”, he received “respectful thanks” from the audience without being booed.

      • Martain Smith says:

        Thanks for clearing this up! I wasn’t at the event but heard from various sources about “irregularities” in reporting which was presented here – and which led to a virutal uproar which was both incorrect and unjustified!
        Fake News!

      • Brettermeier says:

        Yes, the quoted paragraph is missing the first two sentences (which changed the narrative completely. Pure coincidence. 😉 )

      • Sue Sonata Form says:

        Anna Netrebko is a vast over-rated singer IMO. I have zero idea why anybody would want to go and hear her at all.

      • Gustavo says:

        So, anti-Salzburg and russophobe propaganda not justifyed. There is still some hope that people go there for the music.

    • Wladek says:

      This is a “tempest in a teapot”and the husband wife
      team aren’t worth the space given them if one
      truly expects great singing,they both being especially low on the scale of singers of any calibre.

  • Nik says:

    I don’t understand why people think they should behave like that.
    Clearly they had a justified grievance against the festival management. The performance was a star vehicle, and when the star pulled out refunds should have been offered.
    But surely there are better ways of registering a complaint than to heckle the artists who did turn up.

    • Chris says:


    • John S Orel says:

      Moreover, Hui He is an international artiste out of the top drawer. They are just spoilt little Salzburg bankers and insurance salespeople – who think that everything and everyone can be bought for money, and were deprived of their bragging rights that they’d been to hear Netrebko.

    • Paolo says:

      Mrs Netrebko posted fotod of lake boat trip enjoying fresh air and not thinking dhe is not ion vacation in vacatio in Salzburg but working. She eas not professional.

      • Mike Schachter says:

        Could we have this in English, or comprehensibly in any language?

        • guest says:

          Mrs Netrebko posted a foto of a lake boat, trip enjoying the fresh air and apparently not thinking “I am not on vacation in Salzburg, I’m working”. She is not professional.

          • Mike Schachter says:

            Thank you. Though even if you are not feeling 100% enjoying fresh air is not unprofessional.

          • Sue Sonata Form says:

            Discretion is the better part of valor.

          • Robert Groen says:

            Thanks. Funny our resident linguist )…in English, or comprehensibly in any language..) couldn’t have worked that out for himself. Sorry about the gratuitous insult Paolo. We’re not all like that, you know.

        • Novagerio says:

          What I think Paolo is trying to say is that Netrebko posted holiday pictures on her boat, instead of respecting her Salzburg commitment.
          The Instagram generation of Netrebko, Yoncheva, Boris and Trump is going to mark the very fall of civilisation as we know it… 3:)

    • Novagerio says:

      Nick: Outmost easy answer; do you have any idea what the tickets cost in Salzburg? Especially when they are not refundable, and you are left with a huge Raspeberry blowing?…

  • erich says:

    This just goes to show what sort of public is influenced by the cult of publicity surrounding Netrebko. It would not surprise me if the majority of those members of the audience behaving disgracefully probably would not have a clue about what they were hearing, but were there to flash their jewels and looked forward to the cocktail beforehand and the dinner afterwards. It’s partly Salzburg’s fault for encouraging such Schickeria behaviour by over-hyping. Poor Eyvazov is no great shakes in any case but he doesn’t deserve to be treated like that.

    • Nik says:

      “…would not have a clue about what they were hearing”
      To be fair, Adriana L. is a bit pony though, isn’t it. Frankly it’s painfully dull musically and dramatically. It’s not a work anyone would choose to go and see for its own sake, if there wasn’t a starry cast in it.

      • Tiredofitall says:

        The same could be said for a lot of boring operas that only come alive with a stellar cast. The fact remains, Anna shines in this role and makes the time spent with Adriana worthwhile. Hardly a painful sit when sung, acted, and directed well. Hui He is an internationally acclaimed singer and a more than adequate substitution for an indisposed singer. The Salzburg crowd is an entitled lot. A scene to be avoided.

  • Lawrence Watts says:

    Disgraceful behaviour. Have these people never had a cold? Wonderful though these ‘stars’ are, they are still human.

    • Brettermeier says:

      “Have these people never had a cold?”

      They have. Doesn’t stop them from attending the concert though. 😉

  • Gustavo says:

    Anti-Russian sentiment against fat-tom-cat oligarchism?

  • Vienna calling says:

    Such bad manners of Salzburg audience. I wonder if the BMW and Mercedes dealers would recognise who is singing if they had to close their eyes.

  • Svet says:

    Her name is ANA Netrebko, not Adriana!

  • Alan says:

    Who are these people? There are NO circumstances in which I would rip up a ticket and storm out of anything

    • Brettermeier says:

      “There are NO circumstances in which I would rip up a ticket and storm out of anything”

      Alien: Rip up your ticket and storm out of that concert or I destroy your planet!
      Alan: NEVER!

  • Tamino says:

    Well, but he was bad, that evening, wasn’t he?

  • Annonymous says:

    This is unacceptable for an audience. It is not the theaters fault that illness overtook Netrebko. My personal preferences have nothing to do with this and I won’t voice my opinion but an audience should stay and hear the other singer. Support that singer for one of the hardest things for a cover to do. Which is there job to jump-in. When the audience already gives crap the singer will not feel welcome.

  • Scott Alexander-Montieth says:

    This is absolutely Ridiculous behavior on the part of the audience. When a singer is not well, that person knows his/her voice better than anyone else to know if it’s possible or not for that person to perform. It’s the gamble that the audience takes when they pay for tickets. Why take their anger out on Mr. Eyvazov? He’s a perfectly fine singer in his own right without regard to whom he’s partnered, on or off stage. I say this, citing as fact that I heard him in Verona in Il Trovatore earlier this summer, and he not only sang the role of Manrico splendidly but encored, as the audience demanded, “Di quella pira” without any strain at all and a final top C held to the very end of the number. Whatever happened to Northern European courtesy? The Salzburg audiences have evidently become just as big a bunch of ill-mannered baboons as the Milan audiences have been for a century and more.
    Dear Mr. Eyvasov and Ms. Netrebko,
    Carry on as splendidly as your are already doing, and don’t pay attention to such boorish behavior as has been demonstrated toward you in Salzburg.

    • Suzanne says:

      Please read Max Grimm’s comment which explains all clearly – first comment in this thread. This is not what happened.

  • Cantantelirico says:

    Can you imagine how miserable he must be married to such a shrew?

  • ronald valk says:

    wen he is sick……he’s sick, don’t you get it???

  • Hans says:

    I am neither a “fat cat” nor a banker or insurance guy nor otherwise a rich person, but I did attended the first performance of Adriana Lecouvreur. So please don’t generalize. While I agree that Eyvazov is not a world class tenor and never will be, he was good in his own right. Netrebko and in particular Rachvelishvili were just outstanding. But I agree, the behaviour of the audience before the beginning of the next performance when Anna cancelled, was really bad and quite unacceptable. It is true to a certain exent that some (not many, I would argue) people attend performances in Salzburg just because it is the thing to do and they just want to be seen and are not interested in the art. As somenone already mentioned, after the show Jussif was generally cheered by the entire public.