Russian soprano out at Metropolitan Opera after not distancing herself from Putin

Anna Netrebko
(Image credit: CHRISTOPH DE BARRY/AFP via Getty Images)

A Russian singer is out at the Metropolitan Opera after she failed to distance herself from Russian President Vladimir Putin amid the invasion of Ukraine.

The Metropolitan Opera announced Thursday that Russian soprano Anna Netrebko will no longer be performing in New York City this or next season, CNN reports.

"It is a great artistic loss for the Met and for opera," general manager Peter Gelb said. "Anna is one of the greatest singers in Met history, but with Putin killing innocent victims in Ukraine there was no way forward."

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Gelb previously said that after Russia's invasion of Ukraine, the Met would no longer be working "with artists or institutions that support Putin or are supported by him — not until the invasion and killing has been stopped, order has been restored, and restitutions have been made." Netrebko endorsed the election of Putin in 2012, NPR reports. According to The New York Times, Netrebko in recent days had been critical of the war in Ukraine but did not denounce Putin, and Gelb told the Times that it's "hard to imagine a scenario in which she will return to the Met."

Last week, it was announced that Russian conductor Valery Gergiev, who has supported Putin and appeared in a campaign video for him, wouldn't perform at Carnegie Hall with the Vienna Philharmonic. His presence there was expected to draw protests due to his support for Putin, and Carnegie Hall said the change was made due to "recent world events."

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Brendan Morrow

Brendan is a staff writer at The Week. A graduate of Hofstra University with a degree in journalism, he also writes about horror films for Bloody Disgusting and has previously contributed to The Cheat Sheet, Heavy, WhatCulture, and more. He lives in New York City surrounded by Star Wars posters.