Bayerische Staatsoper Releases Statement Regarding Hiring of Ildar Abdrazakov

By Francisco Salazar

The Bayerische Staatsoper has released a statement regarding the hiring of Ildar Abdrazakov for the upcoming Munich Opera Festival.

A spokesman for the company told BR-Klassik, “We have the two existing contracts for the opera festival. We value him as an artist very much. But beyond that, nothing is planned for the time being. So he won’t be there in the near future to sing at the house, but in the next season, he will appear at the Vienna State Opera, in Paris, Rome, Zurich, and Monte Carlo. So it’s not that the whole world doesn’t let him sing anymore and Munich is an exception.”

The spokesperson added, “In the case of Abdrazakov, the contracts were ready, and in ‘The weighing revealed that there are indications that he is very close to the Putin regime. But there are also statements to the contrary, and it must be taken into account that he has family and children in Russia.'”

The statements come after Opern-News reported about Abdrazakov’s alleged closeness to the regime stating that he was performing in propaganda concerts. It also comes after Abdrazakov broke ties with the Metropolitan Opera over Peter Gelb’s treatment of Anna Netrebko and Hibla Gerzmava and canceled upcoming concerts with the Boston Symphony Orchestra.

At the start of the Ukraine War, the Bayerische Staatsoper promptly broke ties with Netrebko and Valery Gergiev and condemned the aggression. The company later faced backlash for presenting a production of “War and Peace” and hiring a number of Russian singers. During the production, the Munich opera house said, “We have to be careful that we don’t exclude all Russians, but make decisions on a case-by-case basis. There are no files for every Russian-born soloist or every production participant. If a suspicion arises, of course, we investigate and talk to those affected. But it won’t be us to ask everyone how they feel about the regime.”

Abdrazakov’s upcoming performances in Munich include “Boris Godunov” on July 4 and 6 and “Don Carlo” on July 18 and 31, 2023.