Anna Netrebko, former soprano at the Metropolitan Opera (Met) in New York, recently sued the company and general director Peter Gelb for defamation, breach of contract and other violations after she was fired following the outbreak of war in Ukraine.
Since the Woke Revolution swept the world, cultural self-destruction has become commonplace. Key American novels like Tom Sawyer and Gone with the Wind have disappeared from US library shelves, and apparently some works of Shakespeare are being banned from US schools as well. In the triumph of abolitionist culture, we hardly notice the ever more recent transgressions of cultural exclusion. We are now at a point where anyone who does not accurately denounce the official Western narrative is excluded from cultural reality by America. Of course, there are people who will not let this happen, as Magyar Nemzet reports.
World-renowned soprano Anna Netrebko refused to condemn Russia for its actions against Ukraine, despite the American worldview. However, she did condemn the Metropolitan’s actions against her. A statement from the artist’s management read:
Since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the Met and Peter Gelb have used Anna Netrebko as a scapegoat in their campaign to distance themselves from Russia and support Ukraine.”
As Netrebko is well known and loved by Hungarian opera audiences, news portal Magyar Nemzet asked Szilveszter Ókovács, the general director of the Hungarian State Opera, what he thought about the recent upsurge in cancel culture. The director pointed out:
For seven years we have been working with the world’s most important soprano of the last twenty years.
Anna Netrebko has performed at the Opera House, at the Erkel Theater, twice at the Müpa Budapest and this summer in Veszprém, but she has also requested our orchestra to Berlin, to the Waldbühne, for a television concert and to Vienna, and in February we will be her guest at the Eiffel Workshop. So this will be the eighth time.”
Anna Netrebko and Szilveszter Ókovács in the Bertalan Székely Hall of the Hungarian State Opera after an opera concert. Photo: Facebook/Szilveszter Ókovács
In this particular case, Szilveszter Ókovács pointed out how far the intellectual horizon of art and the artist is from politics and the interpretation of war conflicts. Such a thing cannot be expected from anyone who takes the task of the artist and the mission of art seriously. The general director of the Opera stated that the singer had never politicized and stressed that
artists do not stand at the edge of the field table, nor do they bend over any launch button. To punish someone for being a native Russian, for not being able to deny their country, their people, is an absurd accusation.
Anna Netrebko and art in general have the task of purifying souls, and Europe has understood this again after the initial shock.
Ultimately, however, the United States and the Metropolitan are punishing themselves by sanctioning the best soprano, I feel sorry for the American public.
Szilveszter Ókovács added: “We pity the Ukrainians whose libraries are being purged of Russian literature, the Danes whose mermaid is being painted black by Disney, and all the peoples whose culture is being mutilated by the black pen of the new censors.”
Not only the opera in New York, but also the Bavarian State Opera has canceled existing engagements with the soprano, due to insufficient distancing from the war in Ukraine. A planned collaboration with the Festspielhaus Baden-Baden as part of the 2022 Easter Festival was canceled by mutual agreement last year, but further collaboration in the future has not been ruled out.
Via Ungarn Heute, Featured image: Facebook/Anna Netrebko