Ildar Abdrazakov has appeared on a list of Vladimir Putin’s supporters who nominated the president as an independent candidate for reelection.
Per Reuters, according to Russian news agencies, “An initiative group made up of over 700 politicians and figures from the sporting and cultural worlds met on Saturday in Moscow and unanimously endorsed Putin’s nomination as an independent candidate.”
In a leaked list of VIPs who had direct access from the parking garage to Zaryadye Concert Hall, Abdrazakov’s name appeared alongside conductor Valery Gergiev, violist Yuri Bashmet, and soprano Hibla Gerzmava. This is the first time Abdrazakov’s name is formally linked with Putin, but the bass has been scrutinized over the past year for his continual performances in Russia in events like the Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok; he was also seen with Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu.
His Ildar Abdrazakov International Festival has also received money from the Russian Ministry of Culture.
Interestingly enough Abdrazakov has not faced any scrutiny from major theaters for his Pro-Putin stance. In the summer of 2022, he was allowed to perform at the Royal Opera House, where other artists were forced to cancel, and he recently performed at the Monte Carlo Opera. He was even allowed to pause his relationship with the Metropolitan Opera on his terms. General Manager Peter Gelb responded to Abdrazakov noting, “My response is they chose a side and they chose the wrong side. I feel sorry that he like many other Russians are so misinformed and doesn’t really understand what’s going on in the world.”
At Carnegie Hall, his name was removed from an upcoming performance without a big press release, and at the Bayerische Staatsoper, where Serge Dorny had made a public statement regarding Ann Netrebko (who is not part of the 700 Putin Supporters) and Valery Gergiev’s performances, the bass was allowed to cancel, citing a break.
Abdrazakov is still set to perform at the Teatro Aligheri, the Paris Opera, and the Wiener Staatsoper.
OperaWire reached out to Abdrazakov’s management regarding the list and his support for Putin but received a response stating that they “have ceased any and all business dealings in Russia in March 2022” and were not aware of the list.