The Met must pay Netrebko $200,000 for cancellations

The Met must pay Netrebko $200,000 for cancellations


norman lebrecht

March 18, 2023

The NY Times has been leaked an arbitrator’s decision to settle Anna Netrebko’s claim that the Metropolitan Opera unfairly cancelled her contracts after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The arbitrator, Howard Edelman, ruled that ‘there is no doubt she was a Putin supporter, as she had a right to be.’

However, the Met still owes her $200 grand for 13 cancelled performances.

The amount is less than half what Netrebko had been claiming.

Read here.

UPDATE: Her other shoe drops


  • EagleArts says:

    As they should!!!

    • Mariustaba says:

      No, they should not!!!!
      Way too much for a Netrebnico suporter of Putin and the war!!!
      She can now sing in her beloved Russia…

  • John Edwards says:

    Good for Netrebko. She was employed for her singing, not her political views, and the Met had no legal or ethical right to demand she publicly opposes Putin (not least because any Russian citizen who does so places both themselves and their family in a vulnerable position). The USA is not even at war with Russia, so where does this kind of boycotting lead?

    • David says:

      Where does this lead? Defense of democracy, which is in peril around the globe. How we respond to Putin and Russia has a profound effect on how other countries and political parties will respond in the future. The US with its power has a special responsibility, and these issues are relevant domestically as well.

      • Kulturträger says:

        Defense of democracy? Oh, c’mon! More like pandering to the current political fashion. If we want to defend democracy, we should send Ukraine 50 new HIMARS and 30 ATACMS that they were begging us to deliver for months. Firing somebody for political views — that’s McCarthyism, the opposite of democracy.

  • DL says:

    No, it’s not half of what she’s claiming. It’s one third.

    “Netrebko had been seeking an additional $400,000 in fees for engagements in coming seasons”

  • PS says:

    I recommend including the cash for her husband’s cancelled performances and paying it all immediately.

  • Anthony Guterwicz says:

    Pay her off and get her out of my sight.

  • Tamino says:

    In her case I wouldn’t settle for 50%.
    Contract is contract. When the contracts were made, all her alleged acts of support for Putin were public record and a thing of the past.
    The Met might choose not to let her perform, but they have to honor the contract.

  • Esme says:

    I guess she knows that after this she will never sing again at the Met, nor at any other opera house in US

    • Enquiring Mind says:

      And who is the loser in that situation?

      • Knowing Clam says:

        The audiences everywhere else her middling talent is slated to perform.

      • Tiredofitall says:

        Ten years ago, I would have agreed; now, in her 50s, not so much.

        The winners–if we can even call them winners–in this situation are those who choose to be on the right side of history. We are witnessing a humanitarian crisis and the world must stand firm. All of us.

  • MacroV says:

    Small price to pay. Interesting that if the MET’s top fee is still officially $15,000 per show, that hasn’t changed in about 30 years. Obviously a bit starring role at the MET has great career/promotional value for a singer but it seems low, esp. for someone who can drive box-office performance.

    • Ragnar Danneskjoeld says:

      If 200k is half of what Netrebk is claiming in total for 13 performances, then her regular fee would be 30k each

  • MMcGrath says:

    Legally the settlement totally makes sense. Contracts are contracts.
    On the other hand, taking a stand as the Metropolitan Opera did, is worth something. Perhaps even $200,000.

    • Guest says:

      Peter Gelb took the stand, he should be the one to take both the credit and the financial responsibility.

  • Aedes says:

    Seems fair all around. Netrebko gets the base amount provided by her contracts, which didn’t have any provisions for political affiliations (where was the outrage when Russia annexed Crimea, or interfered in US elections?), and not a cent more. I’m a little surprised Gelb didn’t pay the kill fee straight away when cancelling her.

    In any case, happy to have her gone. I never cared for her dark, woofy tone, and her social and political views have always been repellent. Many more talented spinto sopranos out there!

  • NotToneDeaf says:

    One of the more shocking things about this is that AGMA has publicly applauded her victory. By extension, every person singing on the Met stage doesn’t care about the situation in Ukraine.

  • Guest says:

    The money will come out of the musicians’ salaries, not out of Gelb’s, as it should. Are the musicians unfairly punished.

  • Simpson says:

    Met is paying for not cutting ties with her back in 2015. Met was warned back then (more than once, I believe) about her very unsavory political connections. Met chose to ignore those warnings (more than once), one can only wonder why. Now, predictably, the sh*t has hit the fan.

  • Cantantelirico says:

    Give her $1000 per month for the next 200 months.