Anna Netrebko is putting the record straight in an interview with Le Monde in anticipation of her recital at the Philharmonie de Paris on May 25.
The soprano told the French news source that she was not guilty of anything and revealed that Peter Gelb went against the terms of her withdrawal from “Turandot.”
According to the soprano, she and Gelb agreed on her withdrawal from “Turandot” and Gelb added “Don Carlo” unilaterally.
She told Le Monde, “The Met was the first to insist that I clarify my position. What I have done. But 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 utter these words publicly. So I refused. ”
She added that they had agreed to the terms but was shocked when he suggested to the New York Times that she would never return. She added, “It’s very hard because nothing foreshadowed this attitude. We had agreed to let some time pass, which we would see later… We cannot denounce all of my future contracts just because they judge that I am too close to Putin.”
According to Le Monde, all of Netrebko’s contracts are in question through May 2026.
In the interview, Netrebko also spoke about her donation to the Donetsk Opera House in 2014 which has been one of the biggest sources of controversy. She said that separatist leader Oleg Tsarev was recommended to her as the most reliable intermediary for a donation to deliver the cash money and added, “There was nothing political in this gesture. My only mistake is not having informed myself more about the situation in Donbass, where I have never been. I just wanted to help friends in difficulty, who are still alive, thank God.”
Netrebko also noted that she did endorse Putin in 2012 because he had done so much for the arts and the cultural sector but did not vote for him in 2018, as has been reported. She also noted that she never campaigned or did any political concerts.
The soprano also clarified that it was her who had fired her management Centre Stage Artists and said she was not performing at the Stars of the White Nights Festival, which was previously reported.
On an artistic level, the soprano revealed that she will finally make her debut as Abigaille in May 2023 and is still hoping to debut Lisa in “Pique Dame” and Alice Ford in “Falstaff.”
To this date Netrebko has released three statements against the war and in Russia has been declared an enemy of the state.
You can read the entire interview here.