(Credit: Julian Hargreaves)
After the Festspielhaus Baden-Baden announced its season, General Director Benedikt Stampa said he would be welcoming back Anna Netrebko.
The director said, “We invite artists to Baden-Baden who do not explicitly support Putin.”
The festival director also noted that Valery Gergiev is not invited because of his closeness to Russian President Vladimir Putin. He said, “It’s definitely not possible at the moment.”
He concluded, “forgiveness is always possible, the door has never been slammed. Gergiev is actually part of the ‘family.’ Shortly after it opened in 1998, the privately operated opera house, with 2,500 seats and the largest in Germany, was on the brink of collapse. At that time, Valery Gergiev was one of those who remained loyal to the house.”
Netrebko’s return to Baden-Baden comes after the soprano was forced to cancel her concert in 2022 due to the war. She has since condemned the war and distanced herself from Putin.