Now Munich cancels Anna, too … the party’s over

Now Munich cancels Anna, too … the party’s over


norman lebrecht

March 01, 2022

An hour after the city mayor tore up Valery Gergiev’s contract as chief conductor of the Philharmonic, Serge Dorny of the Bavarian State Opera announced that all future engagements with Anna Netrebko have been cancelled.



  • Carl says:

    Good and only logical thing! Always was surprised how her political actions never had any consequences (so far). About time to change that. If rules apply for Gergiev, they have to do so for Netrebko as well.

  • A.L. says:

    About time. We now direct our attention to the Metropolitan, Zürich, Berlin Staatsoper, Berlin Philharmonic (what is up, Petrenko?) , etc.

    • Serge says:

      It is nothing to do about Ukraine with Petrenko in BP, he is not a citizen of Russia and don’t have any connections with this country

      • Kathleen E King says:

        The “statement” she made was much, much earlier when she supported the KGB Killer! She and her no talent husband are no loss but they are despicable.

      • A.L. says:

        Well, good but insufficient when it comes to Netrebko. If it is true that she is withdrawing from all performances everywhere in the West, then all is taken care of. But if she is withdrawing from some but not others, then we have a problem. And that’s when Petrenko, if he means what he says, needs to proceed to sack her from their mutual gigs (Berlin Phil). The exact same applies with Gelb and the Met and with Mehta/Barenboim and the Staatsoper (Berlin). And whoever else.

    • Harpist says:

      The Met has made a statement yesterday online and Gelb spoke before the opening of Don Carlos, which was preceded by the Urkarinain anthem and a minute of silence. They will now longer engage with Artists that support Putin or where supported by him. He didn’t name AN but it was pretty clear.

  • Herr Doktor says:

    This is even bigger news than Anna’s cancellation – it means we won’t have to hear her toad of a husband on the stage either. Certainly no one would hire him because Yusif Eyvazov is actually a fine tenor. When I saw Turandot at the Met pre-pandemic, there was one singer on the stage who clearly did not belong with the rest of the fine cast, and that was Eyvazov. I actually felt sorry for him at one point because he was so out of his league and the obvious weak link compared to the rest of the cast. But thankfully we will hear him no more.

    • John Kelly says:

      Yes, I heard him too and agree with your assessment. He’s no Corelli that’s for sure.

      • Herr Doktor says:

        I’d far rather listen to “Thomas Burns” (a.k.a. Ellis Chadbourne) than Eyvazov. At least Chadbourne’s singing makes me laugh. Eyvazov’s makes me cringe.

        Here is a link to Ellis Chadbourne singing ‘O Holy Night’ if you would like to sample his talent: (scroll down for Ellis’s rendition)

        And here is a link to “Thomas Burns” singing in a duet with his wife Norma a.k.a. “Jenny Williams” in a duet which simply demands to be heard, “A Faust Travesty: My Heart Is Overcome With Terror”:

    • JS says:

      She cancelled but HE DIDN’T. He’s singing in that La Scala “Adriana” – and oh so happy about it:

      • Lilas Pastia says:

        Why should Eyvazov cancel? He is not Russian, but Azerbajani. Like Ukraine, a different country than Russia altogether.

    • PalaisGarnier says:

      I agree!! I’ve heard him live in Macbeth at Covent Garden pre-pandemic, and I too, felt so embarrassed on his behalf!! Imagine all the talented tenors that could have taken his spot instead. I hope all major opera houses no longer engage with AN and the ghastly husband. Her denouncement of the invasion on Ukraine via her social media post was ended with a weird rant (it was a long post so not everyone read till the end, I assume), so in my view that was a non-denouncement. Just a pathetic attempt at covering her butt

  • Gustavo says:


  • Gustavo says:

    Anna Neglecto

  • Piano Lover says:

    Next step for European orchestras to be taken in order to show that they are agains Russians:ban every Russsian composer.
    Tchaikovsky,Scriabine,Rachmaninov etc out you go folks!
    You are linked to Russia…no excuses!

    • John Borstlap says:

      Yes, I know, it’s all very difficult and confusing.

      Russian performers are fired because of openly supporting Mr Putin. It has nothing to do with either independent Russian performers or Russian music as such.

    • Christopher says:

      Idiotic comment. Scriabin did not know Putin or sing praises of genocide.

    • Isobel says:

      But they are not linked to Putin and therein lies the difference.

      • Gustavo says:

        It’s like with Hitler and R. Wagner.

        R. Strauss managed to woke-wash himself via Stefan Zweig and by surviving until after WW2, allowing him to explain his position.

    • Andy Lim says:

      I think Piano Lover should continue to loves the piano and keep out of commenting this theme as he obviously does not understand basic statements concerning Putin/Russian relationships/fans. Or it might be some unsuccesful attempts to be some sort of humorous.

  • MMcGrath says:

    I guess supporting war criminals, war, and homocidal lunatics has a price. Especially if you’re arrogantly unrepentant. Good for us. Looks like we learned something from WW2. Perhaps they will now give sycophantic chamber concerts in the Kremlin.

  • Fran says:

    This is political prosecution!

    • Gustavo says:

      The question is: Will today’s society give such expelled musicians a chance to rehabilitate themselves?

      By whatever means.

      I was also wondering whether I am now urged to destroy my G*****v CD collection or erase his name out of books and concert programmes, including this cyber pillory.

      You know, like in Soviet times.

      • Me says:

        Be sure that after Putin s era they ll say they had no choice.of course it s only oportunism.
        But it s legitim for people now, not to want to hear musicians that are openly in favour of Putin. It s only human to feel like this.
        I d say the problem lies with those that don t mind them’beeing supporters of Putin

    • Andy Lim says:

      or maybe an attempt for a bit ethical make up for artistic prostitution by some Putin fans??

  • Novagerio says:

    ‘For they that sleep with dogs shall rise with fleas.’ -John Webster, The White Devil, 1612. (Irony unintended but duly noted…)

  • M.Arnold says:

    I, also, saw Eyvazov’s Calaf at the Met and the most surprising thing about his rough voice was it’s often inaudibility. I changed my seat at intermission but still had trouble just hearing him. On the other hand, his emotional commitment to Herman in Pique Dame was exceptional and,seemingly, his voice carried better in that role.

  • Bloom says:

    Putin s war machines would destroy Ukraine in 5 minutes if they were fueled by the hateful comments above. Mob law.

    • guest says:

      Really? Then let’s fuel the Ukraine resistance with them, it could be enough to send Putin’s war machines back where they came from.

      It is extraordinary how some people can forget that Putin’s war machines are _real war machines_ killing civilians indiscriminately, men, women, children. This is very different from keyboard warrior lecturing people about mob law, read throw an online fit because a Russian supporter of Putin, who also happens to sing in opera houses, had lost a few Western gigs. AN is alive and well, with double citizenship and a fat bank account to console her for the lost gigs, which she shouldn’t have gotten anyway, given the condition of her voice. The dead in Ukraine are dead and nothing will bring them back to life.

      I can only shake my head at you and the magnitude of your entitlement. But Putin has risen to power “democratically”, that is some part of the Russin population voted him. If you belong to that group, it may explain you insensitivity. I guess real deaths are just statistics to you, while online comments are real.

  • Fran says:

    I am afraid that Peter Gelb does not have the balls to fire her from the Met. Hope I am wrong

    • Kathleen E King says:

      Peter Gelb has never had “balls” — he has a rich wife instead. Perhaps we fire HIM and then the Russian!

    • JB says:

      She is only scheduled in one production next season and has Turandot left for this one. So anyhow her reign seemed somehow over even before the recent events.

  • Kathleen E King says:

    Excellent! Her voice was going anyway, but she herself is a disgrace. Now she finds that currying favor with the rich and powerful is not a good thing and has consequences.

  • B.D.S. says:

    How short memory people have!?
    Vietnam, Burma, Kambodja, Korea, Laos, Iraq, Afganistan, Serbia…….
    I’ll strongly suggest you folks to watch recent lecture of distingvished professor John Mearsheimer from University of Chicago on the topic of causes and responsibilities for Ukraine Crisis.
    In the meantime, I’ll live in hope that Wermacht will not come to confiscate my CDs with recordings with maestro Gergiev and Anna Netrebko.

  • Phyllis says:

    How many of us could actually denounce the country of our birth? AN didn’t invade Ukraine. She said very clearly that she doesn’t support the war. Has anyone stopped to think that it may actually be dangerous for her to speak out publicly against Putin? I would imagine she has extended family and many family ties in Russia. Speaking out publicly may actually put them in danger. Why is up to a singer to be political? Can’t it just be enough to entertain us? I don’t understand punishing Russian civilians. Was there an outcry against American singers when Bush invaded Iraq under false pretenses? Anna didn’t start the war, she said she doesn’t want war- why are we punishing her? It seems the world just loves to knock down anyone at the top. She is one of the few superstars in classical music and there seems to be some sick schadenfreude in seeing her kicked. I think we can all agree that what is happening in Ukraine is a travesty but Anna Netrebko is hardly the scapegoat.

    • guest says:

      She wasn’t _asked_ to say _anything_. It is as simple as that. She wasn’t asked. She published that statement because she knew she had flaunted her affiliation with Putin quite openly and was afraid for her popularity in the West. The statement was nothing but a calculation on future employability, and it misfired. She was very resentful she “had” to make that statement, which you can be read in her choice of words, “forced”, “denounce”, and so on, the full measure of propaganda rhetoric calculated to bring her victimization cookie points. No, she didn’t invade Ukraine. Nor did her homeland invade Ukraine, for that matter. Putin invaded Ukraine. Putin and her homeland aren’t the same thing, but her whining worked with some. Worked with you. You went all misty eyed at the thought of having to denounce the _country_ of your birth, and thought her a Russian patriot forced by the evil West to denounce her homeland. Only that it ain’t so. I bet you don’t go misty eyed at the thought of denouncing a _politician_, particularly one you didn’t vote. And let’s not forget she wasn’t asked to _denounce_ anything, not even a politician. All her choice of words, and it says a lot about her.

      “Why is up to a singer to be political? Can’t it just be enough to entertain us?” Why are you asking this question here? Why aren’t you asking Netrebko? She must know the answer. Do you see her supporting of Putin as entertainment?

      • Fiery angel says:

        Nope. The Zurich opera house DID ask her to to distance herself “from Russia and Putin”.

        “On Saturday evening, Anna Netrebko released a statement in which she explicitly condemned the war in Ukraine, and expressed her compassion for the individuals in the war zone. We see this statement as a positive development, and take note that she cannot distance herself further from Vladimir Putin. As a matter of principle, we do not consider it appropriate to judge the decisions and actions of citizens of repressive regimes based on the perspective of those living in a Western European democracy.

        At the same time, we are forced to recognize that our decisive condemnation of Vladimir Putin and his actions is not compatible with Anna Netrebko’s public position. She came to the conclusion that, in light of the current situation, she would prefer not to sing the performances in Zurich, with following statement: «This is not a time for me to make music and perform. I have therefore decided to take a step back from performing for the time being. It is an extremely difficult decision for me, but I know that my audience will understand and respect this decision.»”

        That is why her complaint about being forced to make a statement and to denounce her homeland is actually true and whole-hearted – unlike the rest of her declaration, where she is playing dumb and claimsnot to be “a political person”.

    • Charles Zigmund says:

      Good observations.
      Schadenfreude is alive and well in the pages…er, grooves of this publication. There is a time when the revenge that people with hatred oozing from their pores
      redounds more on themselves than those whom they excoriate.