Opera star catches Covid during Bolshoi’s Don Carlo

Opera star catches Covid during Bolshoi’s Don Carlo


norman lebrecht

September 10, 2020

The international bass Ildar Abdrazakov has tested positive for Covid-19 after singing opposite Anna Netrebko and Yusif Eyvazov in Moscow in the Bolshoi’s Don Carlo.

Ildar has gone into quarantine and the opera has been suspended.

Ildar writes on social media:
Dear friends! The day before yesterday evening, after the second performance of Don Carlos at the Bolshoi Theater, I felt unwell, a slight fever rose and I decided to take the coronavirus test again. A preliminary positive result came this morning .. 😔

We held two amazing performances on September 6 and 8. The opening of the 245th anniversary season at the Bolshoi Theater turned out to be grandiose without exaggeration! I was very happy to work with my dear friends Anna Netrebko, Yusif Eyvazov, Elchin Azizov, Agunda Kulaeva, Denis Makarov, Nikolai Kazansky, the excellent conductor Anton Grishaev and all other colleagues! Bravo, friends !!!

The most important thing is that a start has been made, and as we all know: beauty and art will save the world!

Many thanks to the entire highly professional team of the Bolshoi Theater headed by Vladimir Urin, thanks to our dear viewers, to each of you – you greeted us with deafening applause. We were all looking forward to each other!

In spite of everything, I wish the Bolshoi Theater a successful season, let it be as bright and high as it started! And may everyone be healthy !!!

UPDATE: Netrebkos test negative.


  • Brian says:

    Who didn’t see this one coming a mile away? All of those Instagram photos of the Netrebkos without masks and flaunting social distancing guidelines have clearly caught up with him. That said, hope he feels better soon.

    • V. Lind says:

      This, and the headline, are simply malicious. Everyone is aware that the Russians are being less than open about the cases of Covid at their performing arts centres. This production had loads of people in it, playing it, making it. Mr. Abdrazakov did not alight upon its stage from heaven — he had to get there (Aeroflot?), get to his hotel the theatre, maybe went shopping, took the Metro, the bus, taxis, went to restaurants and/or bars. Blaming two individuals is just irresponsible and spiteful.

      • norman lebrecht says:

        If you are accusing me of malice, don’t.

        • HugoPreuss says:

          Well, the headline suggests that he caught Covid 19 from the Netrebko’s (neither of whom I am a fan of, quite the opposite). Is there any evidence whatsoever for this? There must have been up to 50 people on stage (Don Carlo is not a chamber opera…). I take your word that the headline is not meant to be malicious. But benevolence sounds different as well…

        • Simon Sirca says:

          Given the long incubation period and all sorts of hypothetical causal connections, the “Netrebkos” are just one of many many possibilities that the singer got infected. Maybe this isn’t exactly malice, but phrasing the title in this manner is pretentious and misleading — and motivates me to stop following this blog.

        • David says:

          Whilst it does not mean that he caught the virus from the two leads, the heading could be taken to imply that that was the cause, whereas in fact he could’ve caught it anywhere – but he caught it because of the performance.

        • ...good day says:

          Indulging V. Lind’s normally acerbic comments put you in this position Norman.

          Perhaps more stringent “moderation” of her comments going forward would be best for the community as you do others.

      • Tiredofitall says:

        The irresponsible people are those who run the theater and the government that allows its opening. Ignoring the pandemic will not protect you.

        Sadly, people don’t seem to get it until they get it.

        • Shelly Fenway says:

          Since the rioters and protesters haven’t contracted it between their lack of education on masks and social distancing between beatings and violence, BLM and ANTIFA proved the pandemic to not be of a big deal.

          These people are out en masse regularly as a collectively destructive force.

          News never reports positive results for them so it must be ok to be in close contact with others. The data supports it.

        • Sharon Arronberg says:

          What is the answer to those unable to work and pay bills??

  • Karl says:

    Have Anna Netrebko and Yusif Eyvazov been tested? More than half of people with Covid-19 don’t know how they got it.

    • Sue Sonata Form says:

      So why are we shutting down the world economy?

      • Tiredofitall says:

        So we don’t die. Pay attention, dear.

        • F. Hannagar says:

          People continue to grocery shop, etc with no reports of transmission so it’s not a realistic position on your part.

          You’re still going out occasionally as are many others. Traffic is still flowing. It’s not as bleak as you would like for it to be then.

  • Novagerio says:

    Morons. Take a few more group pics for Instagram! (sorry)

  • Sol Siegel says:

    Please get well, Mr. Abdrazakov.

  • Bruce says:


  • anon says:

    Apparently, Mr. Abdrazakov did not take Mr. Putin’s vaccine.

    Or apparently, he did.

  • Tom wardlow says:

    If B follow A, does it mean A caused it? Do we know Netrebko is a carrier? Perhaps I’m uninformed. Has she not been tested? The University of Illinois, I’m told, tests each and every student twice a week, and test results show up on their telephones, which documentation is required to attend each class. Can an Opera company do less?

  • anon says:

    The singer will recover and get on with his life like a great number of other people.

    • Tiredofitall says:

      With everyone’s hope. 916,000 to date have not been fortunate. Say that number out loud several times. It will eventually sink in.

      • Daniella Patitz says:

        Not bad at all when one EDUCATES themselves on the morbidity statistics of the numerous diseases that claim lives annually let alone historically worse epidemics like the Black Death, Swine Flu, SARS, etc

        President Trump saved more people than Hillary could have Tiredofitall. Love your comments. They inspire confidence in our President going into his second term.

  • Tim says:

    Dear Norman,

    Headlines can change. URLs are forever.