Anna Netrebko Will Perform at Wiener Staatsoper Despite Ukrainian Sanctions

By Francisco Salazar

Despite sanctions imposed by Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, Anna Netrebko will continue performing in Vienna. 

According to Manager Miguel Esteban, the Austrian-Russian soprano will not comment on the sanctions and the action will not affect her upcoming performances.

According to Austria Presse Agentur, Netrebko had no performances scheduled in Ukraine and has no assets in the country. Additionally the Wiener Staatsoper said that Netrebko’s upcoming performances of “Aida” will not be affected.

The Wiener Staatsoper said, “last year after the outbreak of war, the Austrian federal theaters made a clear statement on their position on the war and binding rules for dealing with Russian artists.”

The theater added, “while there is ‘no basis’ for artistic collaboration with people who identify with the war, its operators, or its goals, individuals should not be excluded from the stages just because of their nationality. As in autumn 2022 with Anna Netrebko’s performances at the Wiener Staatsoper, this determination still applies.”

Netrebko has condemned the war on three occasions and distanced herself from Putin in March. Her action led her to be called a traitor in Russia and all of her performances in Russia were subsequently canceled.

On Jan. 7, President Zelensky released a list of 119 Russian and Ukrainian artists that would be sanctioned from entering Ukraine and having access to  assets in Ukraine. The sanctions would also allow the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine the ability to inform the competent authorities of the European Union, the United States, and other states about the application of sanctions and raise the issue of them imposing similar restrictive measures. Noticeably missing from that list were Putin supporter Valery Gergiev, as well as Ildar Abdrazakov, whose foundation is supported by Putin bank VTB, and Hibla Gerzmava, the soprano who supported the invasion of Donestk in 2014. Both artists have also been participating in concerts in Russia throughout the war on Ukraine.

Netrebko returns to the stage on Jan. 14 for “Aida” at the Wiener Staatsoper alongside Jonas Kaufmann, Elina Garanca, and Luca Salsi.