Mr Netrebko pulls out of Met

Mr Netrebko pulls out of Met


norman lebrecht

May 12, 2022

The Metropolitan Opera has announced that Yusif Eyvazov, husband of the banned Anna Netrebko, will not be singing Rodolfo in next week’s Boheme revival, ‘due to illness’.

Three replacements have been called in – Matthew Polenzani on May 16 and 24, Stephen Costello on May 20 and Russell Thomas on May 27.

We wish Eyvazov a prompt recovery.


  • Potpourri says:

    Is The Met afraid of the ecstatic reception Anna Netrebko will receive when she appears in the the audience?

    • Kathleen E King says:

      “Ecstatic”? Is that a new name for rotten eggs or a species of tomato? Nobody respects this woman and her fading voice and fat body after her craven backpeddling of the endorsement of Putin. She’s a vicious loser.

      • Potpourri says:

        Please read “Why Are Classical Commentators So Bitter” by Norman Lebrecht, May 13.

      • Kalou says:

        Re: Kathleen
        Bei Kritik habe ich gelernt: Es geht immer um die Sache und nicht um die Person

      • David Dreebin says:

        No-one can help where they were born, Kathleen. She did meet Putin in person in 2014 to receive her medal but that was before Russia invaded another country. I don’t know whether this was before the annexation of Crimea in Ukraine though. She was very slow in doing so, but I think Netrebko has now distanced herself from Putin as far as she can safely do so.

        • Melania says:

          Re: David : Netrebko neither speaks German nor good English. But knowing her, she is vicious and an egoist ! It’s not her singing, ( many Sopranos have a better quality voice!), but her russian extravagancy made her famous! Dresses, shoes, hats, bags, .etc.. she needs attention. People are more interested of what she is wearing, rather than hear her singing. Have you noticed that there is not a bit of expression on her face ? That all roles are the same!? Her manners are unpolite, and lately she shouted on the critics calling them “shit” because someone sang Butterfly better than she ? I don’t want to go further on moral issues…and yes, her voice has faded and is sloppy. I don’t like this woman, and Europeans have lost their love and respect towards her. Only the idiots are buying some tickets.

      • Dave says:

        I don’t know about the “fading voice” bit. I am under the impression that she is singing spectacularly
        Comments about weight are low.

        • Melania says:

          Dave, people who know some knowledge about technique hear her sloppy singing with Tremolos inside ! Concerning her out of order weight, don’t forget that one eats food with the eyes also !

      • Tracy says:

        Hi Kathleen… I don’t think she had much choice in the matter if Putin wanted a photo op with her…. politicians do grab artists to bolster their image…. I expect in some societies its difficult to refuse…. plus… it is her country….and she’s entitled to love it…. she’s not Putin….the FAT comment was unkind…Her voice is beautiful….any chance we can all be kind to one another….absolutely HATE this war…but let’s not turn against each other and everyone Russian…. and I DO hate every war…Peace…Tracy

      • Tracy says:

        Peace between people…peace amongst people…peace for all our sake…no hate, no anger, and therefore no war…. we will destroy ourselves and this exquisite planet with all this HATE….Peace for all our sake…. everyone has anger issues…. but we need to grow up……and recognize what we’re about to lose…….please…go on the side of love, kindness and peace….its harder than anger and hate…but its all that’s left to us….xxx sorry for the lecture but everything is so upsetting…

    • jane christo says:

      Peter Gelb made the wrong decision. Anna Netrebko denounced Russia’s unprovoked attack on Ukraine three times. It is obvious to everyone, evidently except Peter Gelb, that it would have been dangerous for her and her family to mention Putin by name. Without mentioning Putin, she has been named a traitor and an enemy of the State.
      Peter Gelb is the one who should be fired.
      The embarrasing , over the top, description he gave for Anna’s replacement was another dumb idea.
      He set the bar so high for her that it would be impossible for her to succeed. She was already placed in a spot where she would be compared to Anna.

      • Potpourri says:

        A good analysis.

      • David Dreebin says:

        I’m rather disappointed that your comment has four times as many downvotes as upvotes as I actually agree with you, Jane. When you wrote “without mentioning Putin ” I presume you meant “even without mentioning Putin”. Agree that it can be difficult to denounce one’s homeland completely, and dangerous especially if it’s a State such as Russia.

    • guest says:

      Pot, in that barn of a house, even the prez could go in unnoticed but for his bodyguards. If someone were to notice dear Anna, it would be for the professional claque paid to fanfare her entrance. Don’t forget the Met audience was treated to the image of a young woman lying on a bed & clad in skimpy silk panties, Villazon’s head between her bare legs. They don’t remember her face that well (or her voice) – big house, you know. Anna in her present incarnation doesn’t resemble that woman much, and despite her provocative attitude, I don’t think she would enter the Met clad only in silk panties. Nor would it be advisable, considering the pounds surplus.

  • guest says:

    All three replacements currently sing Rodolfo; two of them have sung the role regularly (or were booked to sing it) for the last four years at least. This confirms – should such confirmation be necessary – , what a put-up job AN’s replacement for the ‘indisposed’ Agresta has been. Opera houses _always_ look for replacement among singers who currently sing the role, not among those who sang it last six years ago, and for whom it had never been a regular role anyway. It shows how desperate AN is, and to what lengths she is prepared to go, supported by shady agents and shady house management. The only unclear point is whether Agresta has received a generous sum for falling ‘ill’ at such a providential moment (at least three weeks in advance, to give AN time to relearn the role), or was intimidated into relinquishing the performance.

    • JS says:

      Looks like Agresta developed an acute case of Berin-Berin hehe…

      • guest says:

        Well, someone had to hand in the money, I’m sure Berin didn’t mind 😉 . The ‘indisposed’ Agresta was singing last month Adriana in Milan with none other than Yusif himself. I don’t have to look further than that. In May she is scheduled to sing Mimi at the Met, unfortunately for her, sans Yusif.

    • Potpourri says:

      Did the KGB/SVR (Russian Foreign Intelligence Service) devise this conspiracy theory. Please read Norman Lebrecht’s article Why Are Classical Commenters So Bitter..

      • guest says:

        My dear Potpourri, better have a look at the mentioned post yourself instead of upbraiding other people. When a singer retires from a production for whatever reasons, the house management looks for replacement among following persons, in this order:

        #1. The other casts of the run (they know the role _and_ the production)

        #2. If #1 doesn’t work out (let’s say, they refuse because they need the rest days between their own performances), the management contacts singers who have the role in their _regular_ repertoire. These singers know the role by heart (score, text) but might not know the production.

        #2 _never_ fails in the case of _popular_ roles because there are more singers than plum performances. It.never.fails. The management doesn’t go chasing singers who have never set eyes on the role in the last six years, not to mention they are not familiar with the production, because there are already enough singers who know the role by heart, beating down the opera house door. You may not like this, but your inconvenience doesn’t make it less true.

        So, what does Potpourri when he reads a post he can’t refute with arguments? Why, he indulges in a bit of nastiness, calling the poster names and deriding him. After which dear Potpourri puffs himself up with a bit of virtue-signaling (he thinks), referring to a post calling attention to precisely the behavior Potpourri himself exhibits. Well Potpourri, I’m afraid you have proved you aren’t exactly the brightest bulb here, and you did this quite unsolicited, on your own free will.

        • Potpourri says:

          My response today referred to Norman Lebrecht’s column.
          Since I did not resort to an ad hominem attack, I assume you are referring to my sarcastic remark about the KGB and conspiracy theories. I was commenting on unfounded allegations that Netrebko’s “shady agents and shady house management” colluded to offer Maria Agresti “a generous sum for falling ill at such a providential moment” or “was intimidated into relinquishing the performance.” You added “someone had to hand in the money. I’m sure Berin didn’t mind.”
          This is the conspiracy to which I referred, not replacement singers.
          Since I am “not the brightest bulb,” I shall attempt to increase my wattage.

          • guest says:

            Potpourri, if you haven’t understood my previous comment, I’m afraid you’ll have to put in more effort into increasing your wattage.

            ‘Indisposition’ in operatic parlance means a short-term illness, usually caused by cold, flu, etc. The cancellations are short-notice cancellations. There’s no time for the replacement singer to learn the role, they must know it already, notes and text. A singer who hasn’t set eyes on the score in many years, and who wasn’t singing the role regularly not even back in the day, who has a different repertoire, who has to learn the text phonetically, and who doesn’t know the production, won’t be even on the house’s radar, never mind considered, because she can’t step in at short-notice. If such a singer gets the run against all common sense, it means the first singer wasn’t indisposed, and the deal was closed a few weeks in advance.

            The Berin bit was tongue-in-cheek in reply to JS’s wordplay. Glad I am allowed to explain the meaning of emoji to you in this time and age.

            If you still don’t understand the above, Pot, yours is a problem of electricity supply, not of wattage.
            And now if you please, stop the attention-seeking act, I am not your electrician.

            PS It’s Maria Agresta, not Agresti.

          • Potpourri says:

            Dear Guest, I defer to your observation about wattage. My husband, who has a Ph.D. in electrical engineering and is a retired professor emeritus, told me You are correct and I would need to purchase a new light bulb of higher wattage.Plus, the current wiring might be adequate for the increased wattage. Since we are about to celebrate our 50th wedding anniversary, I hope he doesn’t have plans to replace me. Regarding your more recent commentary, cool showers on a hot summer day in Southern California are refreshing. At the age of 76, I appreciate the nudge offered by my morning coffee. I have enjoyed our game of verbal cross swords.

          • guest says:

            And Pot, I think Norman should do a post ‘Why Do Opera Fans Wallow In Unhinged Hyperbole.’ Both categories, the Bitters and the Fans, lack a much needed filter. ‘The ecstatic reception Anna Netrebko will receive when she appears in the the audience …’ Really Pot, you should switch to decaf, and a cold shower won’t come amiss either.

    • David Dreebin says:

      If you’re making such a controversial comment you could include at least your first name… I’m not saying I disagree with you but don’t know enough to say either way.

  • Em says:

    The question is why the Met didn t cast Polenzani and Costello from the beginning if they were available

    • guest says:

      They did. Too lazy to inform yourself before commenting? It’s a long run. The Met always has several casts in long runs. When someone falls ill, other casts are asked if they can take over. More work for them, more exhausting run, and more pay. Nothing new in this.

  • Cantantelirico says:

    Povero Puccini.

  • JS says:

    Anyway, it was Anna who showed up in New York, apparently without Yusif (only with her usual entourage – Tatiana, her sister Natasha, Nika, Tiago). I wonder why. What will she do? Take revenge on Gelb or put her apartment on sale?

  • Herr Doktor says:

    If only Eyvazov also withdrew from all future appearances with the Met as well, due to illness of course (in this case, illness of his audiences).

    I still can’t forget hearing him sing Turandot in person pre-pandemic with the Met. He embarrassed himself on stage, and was outsung by the entire rest of the cast. I can only imagine the thoughts running through Christine Goerke’s head while they were on stage singing together.

  • Jimmy says:

    I don’t understand why he wasn’t fired sooner than his wife. He’s made some strong political statements and has supported war. Gelb is jumping on the anti Russia bandwagon but completely disregards other horrible situation globally of hate and racism. As long as Gelb is feeling good about himself helping the world….

    • David Dreebin says:

      I was thinking the same thing! If Netrebko has been fired, then her husband with presumably similar beliefs should have been too.

  • Tiredofitall says:

    Did anyone really believe he was going to show up for these performances? The reception would have been merciless.

  • Kathleen E King says:

    “Recovery”? If he is not associated with Putin’s faithful fan, he won’t have jobs such as the MET since his talent is minimal and she’s his agent. He’s better off taking wifey and going back to Mother Russia. WE won’t miss him.

  • PhilGteene says:

    I am done with the Met too. They are really not that good anymore., and who wants to go to NYC and for what??

  • Harpist says:

    For the better. Polenzani is miles better anyway.

  • Tom Phillips says:

    He’s obviously NOT ill – just knows he’s unwelcome. Hopefully he will never return to the Met – this evil racist mediocrity’s career is entirely due to his now discredited wife.

    • Potpourri says:

      Please read Norman Lebrecht’s story on Bitter Commenters, May 13.

      • Herr Doktor says:

        Potpourri, while your intention here is noble, in this case what Tom Phillips stated is mostly appropriate. I’m not sure I would use the word “evil” when describing Eyvazov, but he has earned the description of being a racist as a result of his frequent and extremely disgusting anti-Armenian rants. And to call him a mediocrity is perhaps an insult to mediocrities.

        I have heard him singing with my own two ears, and the truth is he had no business being on the Met’s stage in the performance I saw of Turandot. Now maybe he was just having an off performance – everyone is allowed that. But the inadequate performance I heard is consistent with what other critical writers have also experienced in the past, and my experience was far from unusual based on the opinions of a number of people and critics. Every single member of the cast out-sang him. EVERY SINGLE ONE. This is not flinging mean-spirited criticism, it’s stating my actual experience. Others have referred to his singing as the bleatings of a drunken goat. I think that’s unkind to drunken goats to be honest with you, but the point is the same: Yusif Eyvazov is singing in operas he does not belong in, and on stages he would otherwise never be on, were it not for who he is married to (for now). And those of us who pay for and appreciate world-class opera deserve far better than to have to listen to an inadequate performer who we’re being subjected to, who I’m sure everyone in the Met knows does not belong there.

      • David Dreebin says:

        I have now read the story on Bitter Commenters, Potpourri, although to be fair it’s not an exact parallel. Indeed Bae Chen should not have been criticised for having won a place as a violist in the orchestra, but the situation with Netrebko is more complex. But it is still more nuanced than many if thr commenters on here are implying.

    • Sigisings says:

      Contractually “Due to illness” avoids legal repercussions

  • MPMcGrath says:

    Ah, what ever happened to reliable singers? But the world has created, then cultivated such artifacts. Who is to blame? Maybe lessons for the future?

  • Me says:

    Nobody needs stinking russian fascists in NYC – they can stay home in fascist mother-russia.

  • Save the MET says:

    Ras-Putinitis is still the current Russian plague.

  • Dave says:

    Anna was dismissed due to her allegiance to Putin. I was pleasantly surprised by the decision, seeing as how she is such a draw. Who knows? Perhaps he’s legitimately I’ll; perhaps not. The dismissal of Anna proves “No one is indispensable”

  • Roderick Nash says:

    Yusif Eyvazov is a terrible tenor. I’ve seen him at the Met. I cancelled my La Boheme ticket this season because of him. I hope that both he and Anna Netrebko never return to the Met. She should be ashamed of her statements and her actions.

  • Barb says:

    I suspect Ms. E. Buratto wasn’t willing to be sick to allow Ms. Netrebko graciously to step in…so nothing else was left for Mr. Netrebko, but get sick himself…

  • DT says:

    I attended “Madama Butterfly”, “La Boheme” (both with E. Buratto) and “Rigoletto” (with Q. Kelsey and E. Morley) at the Met this spring, and was elated at how good the singing was in all three performances. All of the singers, including comprimarios, were top notch in these performances. I had often been disappointed by Met performances over the past few decades due to mediocre singing, but something new seems to be happening there, and I applaud whomever is casting these singers in these roles now. Perhaps the introduction of new and seasoned talent at the Met is making the difference. Bravi tutti!!!!