Russian bass is rewarded for Putin loyalty

Russian bass is rewarded for Putin loyalty


norman lebrecht

March 23, 2023

The international singer Ildar Abdrazakov who withdrew recently from western opera engagements was yesterday granted 15.5 million rubles by the Russian Ministry of Culture to sustain his domestic festival.

Ildar has three US concert dates left in his diary:
May 4-6: Boston Symphony Orchestra (conductor Andris Nelsons)
June 23-25: Chicago Symphony Orchestra (conductor Riccardo Muti)
January 30, 2024: Boston Symphony Orchestra concert performance of Shostakovich’s Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk at Carnegie Hall.
He is also supposed to open La Scala’s next season.

Don’t hold your collective breath.


  • Lothario Hunter says:

    This is the most excellent bass conducted by His Highness Muti in Salzburg 2022 (Mefistofele – I mean the opera). I believe the war had started by then, but I’m old and my memory faulty, I am not positive.

    Speaking of the conductor and the Russians. Muti was also the recipient of the prestigious Russia Order of Friendship. I think that Putin bestowed this honor on him, but I could not confirm such thing; some people say that Muti used to boast about the award on his bio page, I just don’t buy that. Why would Muti boast about an award conferred by the Russian dictator? Absurd. Nor could I find an article describing when Muti sent back the award … I am sure there are many. Muti must have sent back the bloody award right away!!

    Long live honesty and integrity! And long live Riccardo and all the great Russian musicians!!

  • A.L. says:

    Netrebko 2.0. As the Metropolitan Opera did, he needs to get sacked and blacklisted everywhere else in the West. There are no ifs, ands or buts.

    • JS says:

      But, clearly, nobody thinks about banning him. As stated above he is to open season at La Scala in Don Carlo – with Netrebko as partner. So, as you can see, being a putinist pays off, in the West too. And when Ukrainians protest against their presence everyone laughs in their faces.

  • Tiredofitall says:

    Makes my flesh crawl…

  • Dennis Jordan says:

    Grow a sack and stop engaging these self enriching , self absorbed, character lacking performers who support the present day Hitlers and Mussolinis and stand for something and the Ukrainian people and their courageous fight! Muti and La Scala should stand for the great countrymen and patriots of “la patria” like Verdi and Toscanini!

  • Simpson says:

    It is unbelievable that Boston Symphony still has him on the program. Nelsons reads and speaks Russian, he cannot be mistaken about how propaganda works there.

  • Tiredofitall says:

    Funny that 15.5 million rubles is around $200,000, the amount Anna was awarded in her suit against the Met. Perhaps it was Ildar’s consolation prize for taking a “pause” from the Met?

    As Norman likes to say “All Shall Have Prizes”.

  • Tim Walton says:

    Let’s hope he gets banned from them all for supporting a degenerate mass murderer.