Anna Netrebko: Please can I have my career back

Anna Netrebko: Please can I have my career back


norman lebrecht

March 30, 2022

The sanctioned Russian soprano has just issued a new statement on her political disinvolvement:

“I expressly condemn the war on Ukraine and my thoughts are with the victims of this war and their families. My position is clear. I am not a member of any political party nor am I allied with any leader of Russia. I acknowledge and regret that past actions or statements of mine could have been misinterpreted. In fact, I have met President Putin only a handful of times in my entire life, most notably on the occasion of receiving awards in recognition of my art or at the Olympics opening ceremony. I have otherwise never received any financial support from the Russian Government, and live and am a tax resident in Austria. I love my homeland of Russia and only seek peace and unity through my art. After taking my announced break, I will resume performing in late May, initially in Europe.”

She does not mention her longstanding support for the Russian-backed separatists in Ukrainian Crimea.


  • John Kelly says:

    Waaaaay too late for this to be taken as a sincere statement. Guess what? It’s what you say when your team is losing. And it is.

    • Perspective says:

      Too late? I haven’t heard Gelb and other opera house bosses (not just Baden Baden and Salzburg, Berlin Phil and Swiss festivals but virtually all of the Western musical institutions) having retracted themselves from their Putin association, because yes, Russian oligarchs and corporations’ money IS Putin’s money.

      Go on, don’t be a hypocrite and cancel as well your opera houses and museums who also profiteered from Putin over the years.

      She condemned the war on the first week and she is doing it again. When would you accept her word, does she need to kneel before Biden? Your righteous witch hunt is utterly despicable, your ruthlessness is the stuff wars are made of. Who gave you the right and knowledge to tell what is sincere of not?

      With vile posters like this is there any hope for redemption, kindness and balanced perspective?

      I despair.

      • John Kelly says:

        Despair on mate.

        • Perspective says:

          Not your mate, mate.

          As someone said of Pritti Patel, you seem the sort of person who would unplug someone’s life support to charge your mobile phone.

          You carry on with your irrelevant hatred.

      • Alex Vitorials says:

        This is by far, the most hypocrite artist. Netrebko Russian statements and social comments are more like blunt support of the invasion.
        Here, she just wear a mask.

  • Just saying… says:

    I don’t particularly like how bilious the remarks have been towards her, but to take over a month to make a clearer statement than her original one is ridiculous.

    Who is failing to advise her?

    • IP says:

      The bile has fed on the antics of the industry that pushed her. At first they pronounced the new Callas. Then they thought, what has Callas done for us recently, and they came up with: The Greatest Temptation in the History of Opera! All this for a singer of limited technique and rudimentary understanding of what is in and behind the music. Her personal taste and political choices I leave to those interested.

  • Susan says:

    I have ZERO interest in seeing her. Not after her VERY VISIBLE support of the Russian terrorists in Ukraine.

  • operacentric says:

    Hmm, even if her political sympathies are true rather than expedient, has she really never receievd any financial support from the Russian State?

    • Dima says:

      I guess all those state awards she mentioned she had received were without any money.
      Too bad for her 😉

      Maybe she can melt all those golden medals and get some money…

    • Ls says:

      Not necessarily by the state outright, but certainly through subsidiaries including state funded theaters.

  • John Kelly says:

    I guess there isn’t that much work available in Israel and the Middle East (see previous SD posting about that being her future plan). I see she was just in Dubai and realised they don’t (yet) have a world class opera company. Peter Gelb asked for a statement like this a month or so ago………..and didn’t get it. Too late now. Anna – you’re still not singing at the Met and you’d be about as welcome on the streets of NYC as the former President (still asking Putin for help with the current President………..LMAO)

  • Cara Cara Meravigliosa says:

    Instead of groveling, which is a bad look for someone who has always projected entitlement, how about she initiates fundraising concerts to support refugees and rebuild Ukraine? Not expecting this from someone with her morals but would be nice if a Russian of her influence and stature extend this gesture. Alas, she is a crass, tasteless, and not very intelligent opportunist.

  • Ms.Melody says:

    Anyone who falls for this does not deserve to hear a better singer, ever.

  • Alviano says:

    She is listed as singing Leonora (Forza) in December 2022 in Paris.

  • Melisande says:

    How hypocritical one can become!
    If she wrote this herself (which I doubt), she must be very anxious about her financial future, because it’s only MONEY and a luxurious life-style which count for the ‘family’.

  • Couperin says:

    How about getting your voice back first?

  • Paul Dawson says:

    Am I alone in having Mandy Rice-Davies spring to mind as I read this?

  • Hildegard von Blingin says:

    Such bravery!

  • Tiredofitall says:

    Even Will Smith beat Ms. Netrebko to the mea culpa.

    Also, Ms. Netrebko’s English, while fluent, has never been this eloquent. At least try to make it sound authentic…

  • Peter says:

    The comment section on Slipped Disc is full of mediocre freelancers and failed musicians who has no idea what it is like being deprived of music making. If they knew, they wouldn’t be so mediocre.

    • Bone says:

      Who “have” no idea would be correct grammar; do try and use proper English so all of the mediocre failed musicians can get their comeuppance without having to wince at bad writing.
      I have no opinion on Netrebko: she made her bed and doesn’t seem to want to lie down in it. Oh, well.

  • Karl says:

    So what does she have to do to get her career back? Poison Putin?

  • A.L. says:

    Insincere, two-faced, opportunistic.

  • Graham Elliott says:

    “Sing when you’re winning. You only sing when you’re winning…”

  • Rob says:

    Rosa Klebb (From Russia With Love):

    “Come, come, my dear. You are very fortunate to have been chosen for such a simple, delightful duty. A real.. labour of love, as they say.”

  • Perspective says:

    You people holier than thou, witchhunter puritans in possession of all truth and justice are just a bunch of hypocrites. Ruthless, merciless, humourless, sanctimonious keyboard warriors. You are what Nick Cave said on cancel culture; and why don’t you go and cancel Richard Strauss by the way, who was unmistakenly on payroll by the nazis.

  • Daniel Raiskin says:

    What a cheap slut…! Suddenly she is an innocent angel… I guess money is running out and a second rate singer-husband does not get the juicy gigs without his putinesque wife… Disgusting!

    • Tiredofitall says:

      Regardless of your feelings, maybe cool it with using “slut”? Such language diminishes your argument.

  • Oscar gil says:

    Her talentos, vocally speking, are way over her international standing. Next one, please..

  • Sue Sonata Form says:

    Hang on; I think I’ve heard the cock crow 3 times.

  • Sue Sonata Form says:

    Can’t sing, can’t act, can’t discern.

  • MacroV says:

    Maybe when she appears at some high-profile Ukrainian benefit concert, where it would be clear she’s burning bridges to Putin.

  • A.G. says:

    Is she sorry for calling westerns ’Shits’?
    Is she sorry for attacking anyone who criticized her?
    Is she sorry for deleting all her statements and posting that pic with Gergiev?

    This lady NEVER takes responsibility for her actions. Not now, not in the Aida mess at the met, not after saying that women are not being sexually harassed. NEVER.

    I guess she also blocks whoever comments on her social media. Agh. Do Svidaniya Anya.

  • Tiredofitall says:

    Did you ever see a lassie go this way and that way? Did you ever see a lassie go that way and this?

  • Alexander says:

    Ms. Netrebko’s meager statement is over one month late, and is here only because she and Eyvazov lost their lucrative contracts in the West. Subjective vocal merits aside, I hope the Netrebko brand is irreversibly damaged due to the pair’s direct links to the Putin’s regime , their attitude toward the Russian war crimes in Ukraine, and Eyvazov’s blood-thirsty comments, siding with Azerbaijan during the 2020 war in Nagorno Karabakh when Azerbaijan attacked first. Amazingly, Netrebko’s statement remains somewhat ambiguous even now, as being “against the war” is not sufficient any longer. Repudiating Russian aggressors who are committing thousands of war crimes calls for far stronger and unambiguous statement than she made today.

  • James Weiss says:

    Too little, too late. Gelb has already rejected her statement.

  • S Corn says:

    Sorry Anna, these comments are 5 weeks too late. How is your holiday in the Gulf? Lots of compatriots around?

  • marcus says:

    As bullshit statements go, that is a masterpiece of dissimulation and deflection. Not even close to cutting it. Fuck off, and having fucked off, fuck off some more so we can be sure that you have, in fact, fucked off.

  • Pauker says:

    Poor little girl wants her career back. Lots of Ukrainians want thier lives, family, friends and homes back.

  • victor says:

    Ooooh dearest Anna.
    You lost your Character a long time ago if you know what i mean.????
    I hope you will never come back.
    The world has no use for you as an artist.
    To be a artist means to be in the first place to be a MENSCH.
    You are completely eaten by corruption and vanity.
    You lost your path so quickly a long time ago.
    There was a moment where you had everything. The Problem:just for a very short time. You started very quickly to play the world with all your people around.
    Now except the price.Do it like Valery.He shows at least character.

    • Tiredofitall says:

      You obviously have never worked with Mr. Gergiev. He does not display good character.

      While being a mensch is laudable, there are precious few in the classical music industry. We just work with what we have and hold our noses.

      • Daniel NYC says:

        In my book Evgeny Kissin is a Mensch and a true humanitarian and an example of being Russian and being opposed to the tyranny in his home country and speaks out about it.

  • Fran says:

    Jeez this is a PR mop up.even that’s gone wrong. Too late. Plenty of sopranos out there and I for one won’t see her again

  • M E Cole says:

    Why are people making every Russian a pariah?..Netrebko has Austrian citizenship…she classes herself as a European…born in Russia.. She has family in Russia whatever she says has ramifications back there…The world has learned nothing from the two world wars….making people take sides does not help the situation it make it worse it forces people to make statements in order to continue with their lives….it doesn’t stop the maniac running the show he doesn’t care..If we want to avoid a mistep we should assume all mankind are possible Putins and have nothing to do with anyone.

    • Nick says:

      Netrebko can call herself even a “mouse” — that does
      not change a thing: She is RUSSIAN, no matter what passport she has. Having said that, not all Russians are “putinoids”. But Netrebko is certainly one of them! While I do NOT support ban on all Russians, I very support a ban on “putinoids”, no matter which industry they come from.

      • Tiredofitall says:

        My Russian ex-pat friends in the States were so traumatized in Russian that they cannot even discuss Putin. Their pain remains too great.

        They will become the most ardent Americans.

  • torches and pitchforks says:

    Yes, indeed, let’s tar and feather Netrebko, but keep the billions Europe spends on Russian energy flowing to Putin. After all, we don’t want to pollute our air with coal or pay more for energy.

    • Nick says:

      You are absolutely right!! But I hope it changes soon.
      European leaders are not exactly great strategists. They hardly can see further than their noses!! Unfortunately, people will pay for that!!!
      And just look how many “down-fingers” you get from uneducated people!! Mediocrity rules.

  • Viv says:

    I am waiting for the yellow label to dump her.

  • Nick says:

    Maybe a touch too late!!

  • Daniel NYC says:

    I see no issues in restarting her career with a worldwide tour raising funds for Ukraine and humanitarian efforts to rebuild the country after her mentor Vladimir made such efforts to destroy peoples lives and homes. I have no pity for her and her career when you compare it to the struggles of the people of Ukraine given the destructive regime she has supported for so many years.

  • Federico Figueroa says:

    Unfortunately artists like Netrebko, (Domingo who has recently spent a fair amount of time next to Putin) and many others, live in their fantasy world where they think that music magically heals everything and all, until their own bank accounts take a blow.
    Wake up! is the real world, Anna, the reality you’d been detached from for years.
    Now the point is not condeming Putin or changing your stance in order to save your financial future, there’s geopolitics and interests involved that go far beyond singing nice arias. Today anything russian will be financially pressured and crushed until Putin bends on his knees and withdraws. Until that happens, I doubt that press releases redacted by lawyers or PR agents can help much.

  • Ira says:

    Two words: “OH SURE!”

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