Over the next month baritone, Igor Golaventko will perform at the Bolshoi Theatre.
The baritone, who is set to return to the Metropolitan Opera over the next few seasons, will perform productions of “La Bohème,” “Boris Godunov,” “The Queen of Spades,” and “Iolanta.”
The baritone recently performed in the Met’s “Eugene Onegin” and General Director Peter Gelb said in an interview, “He’s one of the great Verdi baritone hopes and we have him booked in many productions. It’s ridiculous if artists are being dropped for being Russian and it is wrong that some orchestras and opera companies are canceling Russian repertory.” During that same interview, Gelb also coined the slogan “We are canceling Putin, not Pushkin.”
However, Igor Golovatenko’s performances come in contradiction with a comment Gelb made during that same Guardian interview about his severed ties with the Bolshoi Theatre. Gelb said, “We had to immediately sever relations with Putin-backed organizations, which sadly included the Bolshoi. I greatly admire them artistically, but it is Putin who literally signs the contract of my counterpart there and so the decision was clear.”
The performances also come after Putin suggested that his fierce supporter Valery Gergiev unite both the Mariinsky Theatre and Bolshoi Theatre.
While Golovatenko is an ensemble member at the Bolshoi Theatre, many Russian musicians and ballet dancers have quit their positions at the Mariinsky Theatre and Bolshoi. The Bolshoi Theatre also canceled two productions from Timofey Kulyabin and Kirill Serebrennikov, after the two directors openly criticized the War in Ukraine.
OperaWire has reached out to the Met Opera for comment.