Royal Opera House’s Antonio Pappano Defends Anna Netrebko, Speaks Out Against Cancel Culture

By Francisco Salazar

Sir Antonio Pappano is defending his choice to work with Anna Netrebko in the upcoming production of Ponchielli’s “La Gioconda” at the Salzburg Easter Festival.

In a statement to Times UK during the Royal Opera House’s 2023-24 season announced, the Music Director said “There’s a lot of inept cancelling going on in the world”  and added that Netrebko was a “a very warm and talented human being” and that she had “distanced herself from any kind of perception of support for the war and for the regime.”

He added, “I do think that in all this you do have to consider that these people have families in Russia. So one has to be careful what one says and, and how one attempts to cancel somebody from the horizon of their work and their life.”

The conductor did however note that the soprano would not be performing at the Royal Opera House during the new season because “the conditions are not right for her to be performing here. It was way too early to consider bringing her back in any meaningful way. Other countries see it differently.”

This is the first time Pappano opens up about Netrebko since the soprano was canceled from the Metropolitan Opera and the Bayerische Staatsoper, among other concerts due to her alleged closeness to Putin.

Pappano and Netrebko have collaborated countless times at the Royal Opera House in productions of “La Forza del Destino” and “Macbeth” as well as her Verismo recording and Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater, among others. The two are expected to collaborate in Salzburg’s Easter Festival in 2024.