Berlin will readmit Netrebko in 2023

Berlin will readmit Netrebko in 2023


norman lebrecht

June 06, 2022

The exclusion of Putin collaborators is crumbling.

Read this from Berlin Staatsoper director Matthias Schulz:

‘It was and is important for us to distance ourselves from the invasion, which violates international law. That’s what Anna Netrebko did with her statement at the end of March. Anna Netrebko is an outstanding singer, and she has had a long-standing artistic partnership with the State Opera. That is why I announced at the time that I want to speak to her directly. This has now happened and it was an important exchange. We are talking about performances from autumn 2023.’


  • Pianist says:

    This should be a cue for another hefty round of full-throated outrage from multiple self-righteous Internet experts. Since the novelty ( and the pleasure) of banning artists on political grounds seem to be wearing off, I look forward to hearing again what constitutes beautiful singing and how Netrebko doesn’t come up to snuff due to her apparent professional deficiencies. I also much anticipate the customary “Shame on you, Berlin Staatsoper” that is likely to come from all angles at full steam. 🙂

    • George says:

      Enjoy your Russian state propaganda. There are plenty of other beautiful voices out there who don’t give money to Russian-backed separatists and hobnob with Putin’s oligarchs.

    • Singer says:

      You are in minority with your opinion.

  • Hugo Preuß says:

    There is a fairly simple response available for everyone: don’t go to her performances. Easily done, *and* it saves time and money. If these institutions reinvite her, the public can disinvite her at the same time. And if the public flocks to her performances, they have nobody to blame but themselves.

  • william osborne says:

    The German word for collaborator often has a negative connotation, a shading it gained when people looked back at the Third Reich. Have you ever noticed how many people who rise to the upper echelons of their profession have a keen sense of what they should and shouldn’t say, lest it harm their careers, and even when it seriously compromises their integrity? They are the “collaborators” with that German shading of meaning. There’s often a whiff of irony when people describe classical music as a collaborative art form. Indeed it is. There was no better example of “collaborators” than all those conductors and soloists who worked with the Vienna Philharmonic when it categorically excluded women and Asians. Or all those Munich politicians, journalists, and musicians who groveled at Celibidache’s feet even though they knew he was profoundly misogynistic.

    Lots of rich ironies in watching so many denunciations of Russian artists. Perhaps we in the music world will eventually learn to practice what we preach, especially while the EU sends €800 million per day to Russia for energy.

    • guest says:

      Don’t you think SD readers have had enough of your Celibidache bashing, Mr. Osborne? You use posts with ‘German’ or ‘Munich’ in the title to air your _personal_ grievance against Celibidache. What’s enough is enough.

      re energy. In case it has escaped your attention, what keeps our society afloat is energy. Russia too is consuming energy, more so than your average European country because there’s colder there, and the population larger. Next time you feel like bashing Europe for daring to consume energy, turn off the energy in your house and sit at home, or don’t travel farther away than your legs or your bike can take you. Good luck with washing your bedding by hand, eating raw food and reading by candlelight. If you’re lucky, your bike can take you to the nearest forest, and you will be able to return with some firewood. If not, it’s washing your bedding with cold water, buddy, and carrying the water into your home from the well, if you have one, or the nearest river, if you don’t have a well, because the pumps won’t work. And give a thought to canalization and waste removal, and what will happen to large cities if these public services fail. And you won’t be able to complain online either, but I guess you will be too tired from your daily chores to complain anyway – or possibly dead.

      Energy is necessary. AN in the opera houses of this world, or Russian artists, or _any_ artists at all, are by no means necessary. Opera itself isn’t necessary, but nice to have in a civilized world. The average European doesn’t waste energy – they have been indoctrinated to save as much as they can. Whenever in danger of forgetting this, the energy price is there to remind them why they are saving energy in the first place. The only people of the so called civilized world who don’t save energy are the stinky rich. AN belongs to the last category. The average European, not so much.

      • William Osborne says:

        Europe was long warned not to become reliant on Russian energy and bluntly ignored those warnings–especially Germany which was deeply involved in building the Nordstream pipelines. And soon as the coast is clear, it’s going to go right back to a massive consumption of Russian energy and thus further empower Putin.

        As for Celibidache, I’m not letting up until there’s a clear and meaningful apology from the city of Munich. If they don’t acknowledge what they did is wrong, they will do it again and again. In fact, I should, by all rights, redouble my efforts.

        • guest says:

          ‘As for Celibidache, I’m not letting up until there’s a clear and meaningful apology from the city of Munich.’

          The stop doing your act here, this isn’t the city of Munich’s page. Yours is a private matter, deal with it in private. Don’t wash your laundry online.

          As to the energy question, until mankind can get it from renewable sources, we’ll get it from where we can, and the ‘we’ includes yourself. Aren’t you rather tired of trying to take the SD readers on periodic guilt trips? Anything to deflect from the fact that Putin’s Russia and his supporters are the real problem here.

      • Lucia says:

        What SD readers haven’t had enough of is AN – bashing. This is the classical example of cutting your nose to spite your face. If the prevailing nonsense has brought Europe to the brink of washing bedding by hand, eating raw food, and reading by candlelight, it is because some governments have made idiotic decisions. Add to this cutting off first-class artists from concert stages and the triumph of masochistic insanity is absolute. Soon, there will be no opera at all – with Netrebko or without her: it is hard to play, sing, or listen in complete darkness.

        • guest says:

          Dear Lucia, get real. Europe _isn’t_ on the brink of washing bedding by hand, etc. Far from it. Europe _would be_ (as would be everybody on planet Earth) if they’d stop using energy altogether, which isn’t going to happen as long as there is energy to get. The average European, even the average European _politician_ , has more brains than William Osborne. Either your attention span is such that you can’t concentrate long enough to read my comment properly, or your confirmation bias is stronger than I thought it possible in a human being. Don’t believe everything that Putin tells you on the telly. As to AN being a first-class artist: ️.
          My compliments to the other two of your not-so-holy trinity, reunited on this comment section ️.

  • Arameo says:

    Every theater goes with the flow, she is out everybody follows, she is in and all the puppets follow.
    Good she is back anyway

  • guest says:

    I wonder in what language did Matthias Schulz speak ‘directly’ to her, as in having a meaningful conversation?

    Methinks a lot of money is changing hands to make this happen. Notice the countries opening their houses to her. No one is harboring any illusions what keeps Monte Carlo afloat. Italy and Germany, both squirming under reduced subsidiaries, both with a history of falling for Russian money, and for hype (Gergiev, AN, Currentzis), when it was in their interest to fall. My bet is Austria is next in line. The Met who is sitting on a huge endowment doesn’t take the money. Me also thinks AN, who is a creature of the media, and aware of this (if she isn’t, her agent is for her), is afraid the media is going to drop her. Any performer sure of him or herself would go in for recitals. Just think how many years Melba lived off farewell recitals – more than a decade; after she was done with the first round of farewells she went in for a second round, and a third. Not so AN. Why this insistence to (re)infiltrate opera performances? After all, recitals pay significantly better, if you can sell the house, and dear AN is nothing if not greedy. Methinks this strange quest of her to sing in opera performances is motivated on one hand by fear she can’t sell houses (the La Scala concert, to judge from the tepid reaction, was papered to a large extent; but if a singer is one of many on the payroll of an opera performance no one can tell why that performance sold), and on the other hand by Russian propaganda, whose strategy has been infiltration since, well, forever. There’s also the matter of clothes, or rather lack thereof – audiences aren’t so far gone as to welcome opera recital performers in their undies, which was an important asset of AN some fifteen years ago. For reasons that escape me, certain stage directors still believe it is. No, I am not being nasty, I am just plainspoken and not laboring under any delusions. Who has forgotten the Decker, the Kusej, and the Noble productions – to name but a few – is advised to watch again, and who has forgotten her TV interview a few months ago should do the same. Rule #1 of the 21st century business if you have a thick skin – when your voice is way past sell-by date, go on beating the drum for productions selling tired shock value, that will distract a minor part of the audience from the shambles that used to be your voice; the rest of the audience come for the three-ring circus anyway, as they don’t know the difference between opera and heavy metal, so anything will do, vocally. AN isn’t the only one resorting to this, by the way – Dessay was another, and she used to have a vastly better schooled voice than AN, but age and singing what you shouldn’t have left their mark – and being inclined toward exhibitionism to begin with.

    P.S. Nice to see some of her ‘devotees’ are meanwhile sleeping on the floor on the SD comment section, figuratively speaking, so they will be first in line to comment 😉 And bumping up their comments diligently. In my country kids are on holiday. I asked the teenager kid of good friends of mine to check up periodically for a while and he told me the bumping up went on like Swiss clockwork but stopped rather abruptly a few hours ago 😉 I guess that was the moment when the devotee went to bed 😉 There was some thumbing down too but less regularly.

    • Netrebko Fan says:

      Netrebko Fan thinks some brickbats here are way past their sell-by date lol. Somebody was just foaming in the mouth in another anti-Netrebko thread: “Concerts are much beloved by certain performers because they are such a sure bet – only darlings in the audience, who don’t mind being fleeced, and not a critic to be found for love or money, they aren’t paid to waste their time with love fests” And now – “Any performer sure of him or herself would go in for recitals”. She just can’t please some of us lol.

      • guest says:

        Are you well refreshed after your nap, all three of you? I trust no tendonitis after the feat of thumbing up non-Pianist’s comment? Or was that his own one man show? (correction: one kindergarten kid show). Please don’t enlighten me, this is just a rhetorical question. I see you were terribly busy working on my comment as well, so I guess no tendonitis ️. Please feel free to continue with the kindergarten show ️.

        My dear Netrebko Fan, I am honored you remember me and my words so well. Either that or you were busy flipping back how many SD pages in order to find that comment? I suppose the quote is accurate but I can’t be bothered to check, too much work; this type of work is best left to those paid to agitate the waters online. I’m afraid I can’t return the courtesy, your own words aren’t memorable. I don’t remember your words, but I recall I wrote my comment before listening to AN’s concert on Youtube. After listening to the public’s tepid reaction I can say the La Scala concert was papered. How low the mighty have fallen. I also recall you cited one or two Italian rags’ gushing ‘reviews’ about the public’s ravings and whatnot. How refreshing it is to be able to expose the reviewing scam for what it is. Also reassuring to see you still cling to ad hominem – I am not so wrong after all in my conviction fans resort to ad hominem and quotes when they lack any arguments, which happens all the time.

        As to the rest of your comment, you have somehow managed to ignore the corruption & Russian state propaganda point in mine.

        Good bye, my online busy one. I may come back when real life permits. Or not.

        • Netrebko Fan says:

          No ad hominem ever, in any of your posts lol. And you are never nasty to anyone in this blog lol.
          I haven’t seen so much online immaturity for a while.

          Please, choose a lane: either recitals are bad (of course only if Netrebko sings them) or they are good (only if she is invited to sing in the opera. Then she should sing more recitals).

          ” I suppose the quote is accurate but I can’t be bothered to check, too much work”. Understood, life has been busy. Too many great reviews of Netrebko to trash, too many fans to confront. LOL

          • Potpourri says:

            My comment today was intended for Guest not Netrebko Fan.Apologies from Potpourri

    • Potpourri says:

      I usually disagree with your comments, but I enjoy your elegant writing style. Pulitzer Prizes are awarded for Criticism (music, literature, etc,). You would be competitive in the category of General Vitriolic Criticism.

  • Em says:

    Any way, she ‘s loosing a lot of money this year.
    But she has wealthy russian friends

  • Netrebko Fan says:

    We are talking Autumn 2023. Surely by then the war will have been over. Berlin’s music lovers will have to stay Netrebko-free for a year anyway. Enough punishment for them already. Or maybe they should ban her for life lol?

    • guest says:

      My dear, you speak with such confidence regarding the war (shouldn’t you call it ‘special operation’?)

      As to the rest of your comment, dare I point out to you:

      1. you are one person, not a collective

      2. music lovers and Netrebko fans aren’t necessarily the same species? You write like they are, implying that Berlin’s music lovers, en masse, suffer under some sort of collective punishment.

      The ‘lol’ conclusion of your comment is the only one that resonates with me, but not in the sense you hope.

  • Cyril Ignatius Kendrick says:

    Finally! She never should have been targeted in the first place. In this broken world, invasions have been occurring in so many places for years – including the Donbass over the past decade. But we heard no uproar. ??