Many lower ties with shut associates of Putin — particularly the conductor Valery Gergiev, a longtime pal and outstanding supporter of the Russian president. Gergiev, who leads the Mariinsky Theater in St. Petersburg, the place he nurtured Netrebko’s profession, has performed concert events over time that have been freighted with political which means, together with one in a breakaway area of Georgia and one other in Palmyra, after it was retaken by Syrian and Russian forces.
Different Western establishments, although, have been criticized for overreach after they canceled performances by Russian artists who weren’t intently recognized with politics, and even with some who had spoken out in opposition to the invasion.
Now many cultural organizations face an uncomfortable query: What to do about Netrebko?
Her ties to Putin usually are not as deep as Gergiev’s, however they’re substantial, based on a New York Instances assessment of stories reviews in Russian and English and public data.
Her identify appeared on a listing endorsing Putin’s election in 2012, and she or he has spoken glowingly of him over time, describing him as “a very attractive man” and praising his “sturdy, male power.” In 2017, within the run-up to Putin’s re-election, she told a Russian state information company that it was “inconceivable to consider a greater president for Russia.” She has additionally sometimes lent help to his insurance policies; she as soon as circulated an announcement by Putin on Instagram alongside flexed biceps emojis. In 2014, she donated to an opera home in Donetsk, a war-torn metropolis in Ukraine managed by Russian separatists, and was photographed holding a separatist flag.
Putin, in flip, has showered Netrebko with reward and awards over time. She was invited to sing at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics and different state celebrations. Final September, on her fiftieth birthday, he despatched a telegram calling her the satisfaction of Russia, and describing her as an “open, charming and pleasant individual, with an uplifting persona and a clear-cut civic stance.” At a live performance celebrating her birthday on the State Kremlin Palace, the president’s press secretary, Dmitry Peskov, learn Putin’s message from the stage.