Russian Opera Drops Top Soprano Over Ukraine Comments

A Russian opera said Thursday it had canceled a concert by Russian superstar soprano Anna Netrebko over her comments on Moscow’s military operation in neighboring Ukraine.

The 50-year-old singer who lives in the Austrian capital of Vienna on Wednesday “condemned” the operation, after she and other Russian artists in Europe and the United States came under pressure to publicly take a stance.

The Novosibirsk Opera in Siberia canceled a concert at which she was to perform on June 2.

“Living in Europe and having the opportunity to perform in European concert halls appears to be more important (for her) than the fate of the homeland,” it said in a statement.

But “our country is brimming with talent and the idols of yesterday will be replaced by others with a clear civic position.”

Netrebko, who has voiced pro-Kremlin views over the years, and in 2014 posed with a flag in the separatist Donetsk region in Ukraine, also holds Austrian citizenship.

Netrebko’s statement on Wednesday was, however, not enough for the Metropolitan Opera in New York to reconsider its ban on her performance there. 

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