Another opera star pitches in to Armenian-Azeri war

Another opera star pitches in to Armenian-Azeri war


norman lebrecht

October 13, 2020

The soprano Maria Guleghina went demonstrating in Luxembourg yeterday, calling for international recognition of Nagorno-Karabakh, which the Armenians call Artsakh.

‘Artsakh is historically Armenian sacred land,’ she declared.


  • Alexander says:

    She has the right to do so taking into account her ethnicity … all of those things are so sad not to say more ….. war should be illegal for ever and wherever

  • Darrell says:

    The most beautiful sound I ever heard:
    Maria, Maria, Maria, Maria . . .
    All the beautiful sounds of the world in a single word . .
    Maria, Maria, Maria, Maria . . .

  • Zelda Macnamara says:

    She’s expressing her opinion as she has a right to do, and she isn’t insulting anybody else or praising dictators.

  • V. Lind says:

    “…historically…sacred land…”: This supercharged phrase bodes no good. Especially when not one member state of the UN has questioned the position that N-K belongs to Azerbaijan.

    This does not end well. But God willing, negotiations will bring some sort of accommodation.

  • DoesTheNameReallyMatter says:

    Guleghina is not just “another opera star”, she has been active ever since the whole conflict started, mainly on her private Facebook page, from which was banned/ blocked.
    However, the numerous insults and death threats from Aserbaidschanis are still reaching her.

  • againstbigotry says:

    Unlike Yusif Eyvasov, Maria Guleghina demonstrates how one can demonstrate publicly while NOT advocating for ethnic cleansing, as she is asking the world to recognize a region that has been inhabited by indigenous people for hundreds, if not thousands, of years. Brava to a great diva and a genuinely outstanding Tosca.

    • V. Lind says:

      She may not be advocating, but Azeris — the distinct minority here — are being “ethnically cleansed” (one of the most reprehensible terms I have ever heard, let alone one of the most appalling things. Did those who thought it up think it was somehow more sanitary than pogrom or “final solution”?). Close too 300,000 have been driven into Azerbaijan.

      It’s not all one-sided. Civil conflict never is. Too much to hope that they could just be left to the independence they wanted, and have the external powers back off.

  • Derek Smith says:

    An artist should be calling for peace, which is what she is doing. It would have been a different story if she was to call for murder and support a dictator in his unlawful, terroristic acts. Brava Maria!
    It is shocking that a xenophobic such as Mr netrebko is allowed to perform a high artform from the world’s best stages singing about love, freedom and justice after publically backing a corrupt dictator.
    It is confirmed by the Pentagon, French and Russian intelligence that the dictators of Azerbaijan & Turkey have deployed hundreds, if not thousands, of Syrian mercenaries to fight for Azerbaijan. An artist coming from such a country should be ashamed of showing his face in the public, let alone supporting such atrocities.

    • Herr Doktor says:

      Not just Syrian mercenaries, but jihadists–the worst of the worst of Islamic terrorists. I’ve read reports that there are terrorists from ISIS, the Nusra Front, etc. These are the tools that Turkey and Azerbaijan are deploying in the fight against indigenous people, the Armenians of Artsakh, a.k.a. Mountainous Karabagh (a.k.a. Nagorno Karabagh) who’ve been living on their ancestral homelands forever.

      This is nothing less than Turkish efforts to continue the Armenian Genocide.

      Thank you, Norman, for continuing to bring this subject up.

      • olivier levasseur says:

        “an artist coming from such a country should be ashamed of showing his face in the public” … I disagree with this statement, as an artist from Azerbaijan could also oppose to the leaders of his countries and to their politics, in which case he would deserve our full respect. To be honest, I have not seen such an artist coming from there so far, but some artists from Turkey are very honorable persons.

      • Sharon says:

        And the irony is that Azabaijan has a 5 BILLION dollar arms deal from Israel and apparently is using sophisticated Israeli drones. In addition there are reports that a load of military equipment had recently been exported from Israel to Azbaijan. I guess that amount of foreign exchange was too good for Israel to give up.

        The Israeli Supreme Court said they could not block these arms exports unless there was very credible evidence that Israeli arms were being used directly and consistently in killing civilians. This information is hard to obtain since reporters are blocked from the area.

        I have read in the Times of Israel that the prime minister of Armenia called the president of Israel, Reuven Rivlin to complain about this, since Armenia had very recently established full diplomatic relations with Israel. All that the poor guy, Rivlin, could do was sound sympathetic and offer humanitarian aid. The response? Armenia withdrew it’s ambassador.

        This is sounding like the controversy in the 1970s about Israel selling arms to South Africa. I hope that for Israel the money is worth the negative publicity

        As Chekov is attributed to have said, if there is a gun on the set it has to go off. If there are musical instruments available musicians are going to want to play them. If a small government buys billions of dollars of military hardware it wants to or plans to use it.

        I realize that horrible genocides can take place with machetes, as in Rwanda. However the arms trade, whether in small traditional arms or sophisticated technology, makes making war so much easier. And–if a country has the technology it’s a lot more profitable to export sophisticated arms than agricultural products or even computer software where the it has to compete against other countries with much cheaper labor costs.

        Throughout the twentieth century and maybe even earlier in so many countries the United States’ enemies have gotten hold of US made and exported arms and have used it against US allies and even US troops. How ironic if the Israeli arms that ISIS affiliated paramilitaries now may be using in Nagorno Karasgagh may eventually be used against Israeli allies or even against Israeli troops or civilians!

    • Zelda Macnamara says:

      “An artist coming from such a country should be ashamed of showing his face in the public” – No, we can’t help where we come from, but we are certainly responsible for our attitude towards our home country. The honourable position would be to name repression , persecution and racism for what they are – as indeed many musicians and other artists do. It’s when artists support repressive and racist statements and actions that we should boycott them, not just because of where they come from.

  • Tom Phillips says:

    Nowhere near as egregious as the actions of Mr. Netrebko. She is not calling for war and bombardment nor does she refuse to appear with other performers based solely on their nationality/ethnicity.