A month into the war, world-renowned Russian opera singer Anna Netrebko eventually decided to denounce the invasion of Ukraine.
Netrebko wrote in an English-language Facebook post that she condemned the war, had no ties with any political forces in Russia, and had been largely misunderstood. She also asserted her acquaintance with Putin had been very brief.
«I expressly condemn the war on Ukraine and my thoughts are with the victims of this war and their families. My position is clear. I am not a member of any political party nor am I allied with any leader of Russia. I acknowledge and regret that past actions or statements of mine could have been misinterpreted. In fact, I have met President Putin only a handful of times in my entire life, most notably on the occasion of receiving awards in recognition of my art or at the Olympics opening ceremony. I have otherwise never received any financial support from the Russian Government, and live and am a tax resident in Austria. I love my homeland of Russia and only seek peace and unity through my art. After taking my announced break, I will resume performing in late May, initially in Europe.”
Anna Netrebko was Vladimir Putin's trusted representative during the election, performed at the Sochi Olympics opening ceremony, and took pictures with the flag of Novorossiya (the union of Donetsk and Luhansk quasi-republics in the east of Ukraine) and Oleg Tsaryov, a separatist leader.
On February 28, day four of the Russian invasion, the Metropolitan Opera severed its ties with Netrebko. The Met announced that further cooperation was off the table until Russia stopped the war and made amends.
In a similar fashion, the Bavarian State Opera fired Netrebko and Russian conductor Valery Gergiev. Following these loud dismissals, Netrebko said she was taking a break from performing.