AFP, published on Thursday, May 26, 2022 at 12:40 p.m.
Russian star soprano Anna Netrebko was given a standing ovation at the Philharmonie de Paris on Wednesday evening for her return to the stage in a Western capital, after being criticized since the war in Ukraine.
The public gave him a triumphant welcome as he entered, applauding for long minutes.
Smiling and relaxed, wearing a long black and white dress, which she fluttered from time to time, she interpreted pieces by Rachmaninoff, Debussy or Tchaikovsky, before receiving a standing ovation at the end of the show.
The Ukrainian embassy in France for its part denounced on Twitter the “revolting” maintenance of this concert.
“Afflicted by the glaring dissonance between French public opinion mobilized in its support for Ukraine and the hypocrisy of the public rushing to applaud the Kremlin soprano,” she wrote on the social network.
One of the greatest lyrical voices in the world, Anna Netrebko was among the first Russian artists to be singled out after the start of the invasion of Ukraine for not having clearly denounced the war.
The prestigious Metropolitan Opera in New York, of which she was the star, thus deprogrammed her for an indefinite period and she then announced that she was temporarily withdrawing from the stage.
On March 30, she “expressly condemned the war against Ukraine”, which led to her being removed from the poster in her own country.
The soprano has never openly proclaimed her support for Russian President Vladimir Putin, but she is accused of having posed in December 2015 in Saint Petersburg with the flag of the pro-Russian separatist rebels and of having presented a check for one million rubles (about 15,000 euros) to pro-Russian Ukrainian leader Oleg Tsarev.
Anna Netrebko defended herself by explaining that she wanted to support the arts, and more particularly the Donetsk Opera, to which Ukraine had cut all funding, and assured that she had “never received financial support from the Russian government” and not to s ever be allied with “any leader of Russia”.
In an interview with the daily Le Monde on Sunday, she repeated that she was “guilty of nothing”, saying that her only mistake was not having “informed herself more about the situation in Donbass” and that she wanted “just helping friends in difficulty”.
“I was also asked to declare myself against Vladimir Putin. I replied that I had a Russian passport, that he was still the president, and that I could not publicly pronounce these words. So I refused” , she added.
Despite its condemnation of the war, the Met has called into question all of its contracts until May 2026, according to her.
His former mentor, the conductor Valery Gergiev, close to the Kremlin, was declared persona non grata by Western concert halls.
In their country, Russian artists have been called upon to display their patriotism or, failing that, to remain silent, and in Western countries, to publicly distance themselves from the military operation and the Russian regime.
Anna Netrebko’s concert at the Philharmonie on Wednesday had already been postponed three times due to the pandemic.
His previous recital in Paris dates back to 2019, during a gala for the 350th anniversary of the Paris Opera. She will be back in December on the stage of this institution to sing in “La Force du destin” by Verdi. It will also make its big comeback in Italy, at the Arena of Verona this summer.