A second celebrity presenter has withdrawn from the SemperOper Ball after a series of self-inflicted disasters involving Anna Netrebko’s husband and the miltary dictator of Egypt.
First, it was alleged that Yusif Eyvazov announced that he would not sing with an Armenian soprano. The Armenian was fired. Eyvazov denied any such intention. The Armenian was reinstated.
Then the ball organiser Hans-Joachim Frey bestowed an award on Egypt’s president, General Sisi.
The TV news presenter Judith Rakers quickly resigned as master of ceremonies over the politicisation of the event. Yesterday her substitute, Mareile Höppner, did the same, claiming she had been exposed to an ‘intolerable level of hatred’ on social media.
Frey, whose other activities are closely connected to the Putin regime in Russia, is looking increasingly fragile.