(Credit: Sarah Katharina. Wardrobe by Niko Niko.)
Elīna Garanča and Piotr Beczala have canceled their performances in Russia.
Both artists took to social media to announce their positions on why they were canceling their upcoming concerts in the country.
Beczala stated, “I am not a politician and I have no influence on political decisions. But I am an artist and I can use my voice to express my opposition to the war that takes place just across the border of my beloved motherland. I regretfully decided to cancel my concert with the Russian National Youth Symphony Orchestra, which was scheduled for May 25 in Moscow.”
He added, “I know a lot of my Russian fans have been looking forward to this concert, but it is the only right decision in view of the current events, and in line with my conscience. We are not powerless! Each of us can express our opposition out loud. Each of us can provide help to the best of our ability. At this point, I would like to emphasize how proud I am of my compatriots who are helping and welcoming tens of thousands of Ukrainian citizens fleeing the war! Poles, you are great! Unity and solidarity for Ukraine!”
Meanwhile, Garanča noted, “Dear friends – this is to inform you that last Thursday, on the first day of attack on Ukraine, I have withdrawn completely from any future concerts in Russia. I find it irresponsible and highly immoral to have my name associated with any events in a country that has decided in the light of the criminal war waged by the Russian regime against the democratic and independent nation of Ukraine, and against the European open society as a whole. I can not support people who support Putin and his regime even if they are trapped in not being able to give an open and honest statement.”
She added, “But being a Latvian, knowing what invasion and occupation is, me being a mother and teaching my children the meaning of morality, I stand with my voice for freedom and independence of Ukraine! War is NO solution! Music indeed has to unite, and what would the world be without cultural exchanges between each other, but, as history has shown, we can and should be able to choose which political leaders’ ideology to follow!”
Garanča and Beczala are the latest performers to cancel their concerts in Russia following Joseph Calleja who removed his Bolshoi appearances from his calendar and Ingo Metzmacher who canceled all his conducting commitments in Russia.