Anna Netrebko Cancels Prague Recital Following Political Pressures

By Francisco Salazar

Anna Netrebko’s Prague recital on Oct. 16 has been canceled due to political pressures.

In a statement, Nachtigall Artists Management said, “We agreed that we would give in to political pressure and that Anna would not demand compensation from either Nachtigall Artists Management or the Municipal House.”

Alena Kunertová from the organizing agency added, “Netrebko was sorry for the situation, but understands that it got out of control and that political pressures arose.”

According to Kunertová, Netrebko’s management was contacted by Czech groups known for organizing demonstrations and her management wanted to avoid them.

Vlastimil Ježek, the company director of the Smetana Hall of the Municipal House where the performance was set to be held said, “No one involved agrees with the cancellation of the concert.” However, he said that the concert became a political and social issue and both sides agreed that it would be better to cancel the event. He added that the show was already sold out and all audience members would be refunded.

Ježek added that even if the parties had agreed, the Municipal House will compensate the agency for the costs incurred in organizing the concert through discounts on the sublease of the Smetana Hall next year and the year after.

The news comes days after the Prague government said that it opposed the soprano’s concert due to Ukrainian sanctions imposed on her. Deputy Mayor Jiri Pospisil said, “All the parties perceive that at a time when the war (in Ukraine) has been ongoing and we read every day about the victims of the Russian attacks in the media, it is insensitive for such a singer to perform here in Prague.” However, the government could not cancel the concert because the management of the venue, which is a civic building as well as a concert venue, has the final say.

Netrebko condemned the war in Ukraine in March 2022 distancing herself from Vladimir Putin. She is currently in Argentina performing “Il Trovatore” and is set to return to Vienna for “La Traviata.”