Just in: German state seeks to block Anna Netrebko

Just in: German state seeks to block Anna Netrebko


norman lebrecht

January 24, 2023

The city of Wiesbaden and the state of Hesse have issued a joint protest against the appearance of Russian soprao Anna Netrebko at the International May Festival.

She is due to sing a role debut as Abigaille in Verdi’s Nabucco on May 5 and 7.

The prime minister of Hesse has resigned as president of the festival and the Wiesbaden mayor has expressed regret that ‘on this sensitive issue no agreement could be reached with the festival director’, Uwe Eric Laufenberg.

Objections to Netrebko’s appearance have cross-party support.

Laufenberg says his festival is ‘dedicated to all political prisoners in this world.’ He has scheduled a performance of Verdi’s Requiem by the Ukrainian National Orchestra, but the objections to Netrebko persist.


  • Sanity says:

    They should prosecute her for crimes against Verdi.

  • Tamino says:

    Very slippery slope toward unconstitutional overstepping its borders by the state, if Netrebko has not clearly committed crimes against humanity herself.

    • Tim WALTON says:

      If she publically condemns the actions of mass murderer Putin, then fine.
      If she won’t do this she should be treated with all the contempt she deserves. The same goes for any other supporter of Putin.

      • Tamino says:

        “I expressly condemn the war against Ukraine and my thoughts are with the victims of this war and their families,”

        is what she said publicly.
        What else do you want? And with which right?
        She can’t currently perform in Russia! What a witch hunt. Of self righteous, hypocritical double standard arm chair moralist westerners. What a travesty.

        • kaa12840 says:

          Bravo Tamino. No one raised a cry when the Ukranian army participated in the invasion of Iraq and did countless crimes there !

        • Maria says:

          A witch-hunt indeed. She has vulnerable family still in Russia, and could well put them at risk if she said anything. You can shred her singing to pieces, as so many do on here as they can all sing better in the bath of course, but assuming that she can say something against Putin is not the same as an American criticism Trump or Biden. It is ignorance of the situation. Perhaps leave her alone as no one is an expert on here, just spectators. It doesn’t mean that the war the way it is being conducted is just or needed, but then I’m Irish and never been to Russia so can say that without my family being threatened as a result.

        • Tom says:

          Thank you for this, Tamino.

      • Aufhebung says:

        She did you moron.

  • A.L. says:

    They ought to force her to perform in unoccupied Ukraine. Bring out the popcorn.

  • PS says:

    Including the January 6 protesters?

  • Arezzo says:

    Daniel Barenboim’s wife is performing with her. Why not complain about that?

  • Serge says:

    Learnings from 12 years of nazi dictatorship: 0.

    Learnings from 40 years of communist dictatorship: 0.

    History repeats itself – and again, by people with the best intentions. Germans are romantics, they will never learn.

    • Hayne says:

      It’s called mass psychosis.
      BTW, even though many Germans don’t understand, they are vassals of the US. They damned well better do as they’re told!

      • Dieter says:

        I think not! Those days ended when the US could no longer reap the benefit of a divided Germany. Update yourself, please!

        • Hayne says:

          Believe me, I take no joy in showing reality.

        • so there we are says:

          The USA spent trillions during the Cold War to help protect Germany and to create a bulwark that became a major contribution to the liberation of Eastern Europe from the USSR (i.e. imperial Russia.) It is thus indeed notable that when the wall came down and the US military left Germany (aside from some small NATO contingents) many Germans had little more thanks than wanting to spit in the USA’s face.

          • Hayne says:

            Sorry, but that’s not the real history. When the US obviously bombed the Nordstream gas piplines which is crippling Germany, did the govt or the press say anything? No, because they’re controlled by the US.
            Germany sending Leopard tanks to Ukraine which they can ill afford to do? Germans follow orders…

  • Tamino says:

    “I expressly condemn the war against Ukraine and my thoughts are with the victims of this war and their families.”
    Anna Netrebko March 2022.

    I don’t get this joy of some people to act like the new Gestapo-“Gesinnungspolizei”.
    What is she supposed to do to satisfy the pseudo-moral police? Jump out of the window in a hospital? Drown in two inches of water? Drink a polonium tea?

    Horrible times with horrible people in west and east.

    • Serge says:

      Wish I could give hundred likes to this.

      She can’t do anything to satisfy them. She has hurt their emotions, and unlike robbery, rape, and even murder, there is no forgiveness for this.

    • A.L. says:

      One doesn’t jump out of a window. Rather, one gets pushed out through a window. The Putin way. As for polonium, another Putin way, I’d be very afraid to order room service if I were her. Or even change underwear.

  • Tom Phillips says:

    If only this happened more often. Of course her performance would be artistically disastrous in any case, quite aside from the morality issues.

  • Gustavo says:

    In Vienna, she was warmly welcomed to the Philharmonic Ball, together with Domingo.

    Wien bleibt Wien.

  • JS says:

    So what – once she was banned in most places, lost her agent and DG contract – she issued a statement that she was against the war? No one ever accused her of supporting the war only that she actively supported Putin, e.g. being his official representative in the 2012 and 2018 elections (SD wrote about it). Never and nowhere has she disassociated herself from putin. She continues to be on very good terms with the russian elite and her forced statement against the war (without saying who attacked whom, of course) was agreed with the russian side (we will undoubtedly have proof one day). Russia has practically officially declared that it is at war with the European Union, EU countries have introduced sanctions, the Ukrainian government has called for a boycott of (among others) netrebko but of course, the German authorities are wrong, Ukrainian services know nothing and you know better. Let me laugh.

  • LVPO says:

    This “can’t see the bush for the trees” is baffling.
    It’s not (just) for her affiliations that she should NOT get hired to sing (anywhere), but because of her ACTUAL (godawful) singing.
    That’s the real crime! (to my mind and ears).