Metropolitan Opera Star Albina Shagimuratova Set to Perform at Putin-Funded Mariinsky Theatre

By Francisco Salazar

On May 21, soprano Albina Shagimuratova will perform at the Mariinsky Theatre, a theater run by pro-Putin supporter Valery Gergiev.

The soprano, who recently canceled concerts with the Boston Symphony Orchestra and Zaradye Hall in Moscow, will perform alongside pianist Irina Soboleva in a recital of music by Glinka, Rimsky-Korsakov, Liszt, and Rachmaninoff.

The news comes as the soprano is scheduled to perform next season at the Metropolitan Opera in a production of “Idomeneo.” The New York company has since cut ties with artists and companies supported by Putin because General Manager Peter Gelb noted in an interview with the Guardian “it is Putin who literally signs the contracts of my counterpart there and so the decision was clear.”

The Mariinsky Theatre is state-funded and is led by Gergiev, a major Putin supporter who was recently offered to unite both the Mariinsky Theatre and the Bolshoi Theatre by the Russian leader in a press conference.

However, Shagimuratova, who hails from Tashkent, Uzbekistan has been a representative of the Republic of Tatarstan, where she has publicly worked with the President of Tatarstan, a politician who President Putin publicly endorsed in 2019. In 2017, she publicly thanked President Putin as the Honored Artist of Russia. She said, “I would love to thank you our President of Russian Federation Vladimir Putin conferring the title of Honored Artist of Russia.”

OperaWire has asked the Metropolitan Opera for comment but has received no response.