Stuttgart Minister of Finance Faces Backlash Following Comments on Anna Netrebko, While Supporting Teodor Currentzis

By Francisco Salazar

The Minister of Finance in Stuttgart is facing backlash after announcing he would deny Anna Netrebko a venue for her upcoming Sept. 3 concert in Stuttgart.

Minster Danyal Bayaz is first facing a criminal complaint that said the Minister of Finance is “coercing the Russian opera singer according to Article 240 of the Criminal Code.”

A private blogger from Bavaria contacted the investigating authority after reading a Stuttgart newspaper and accused the Green politician of violating the “constitutionally guaranteed freedom of expression.”

According to the criminal complaint no one should be forced to express a particular opinion and “this fundamental right is respected in all other venues where the singer performs.”

The complaint also noted that Netrebko “was effectively barred from returning to her homeland if she not only spoke out against the Ukraine war, which she has already done, but even against President Putin personally.” Subsequent conditions that the country wants to impose are a “breach of contract on the part of the Ministry of Finance,” the complaint concluded.

Bayaz is also facing backlash from the German press for the hypocrisy toward Netrebko as a popular magazine Crescendo pointed out that Teodor Currentzis continues to lead the largest orchestra in Baden-Württemberg, the SWR.

The magazine noted that the controversial Greek-Russian conductor is close to Putin’s system and has been profiting from him. Additionally, the magazine added that Currentzis went on a Gazprom tour after February 24 and recently appeared at Putin’s economic forum.

While Netrebko has made various statements condemning the war, Currentzis, who has been under fire in Austria for several months, has yet to make a clear statement regarding the war.

The backlash comes after Bayaz said he could not see Netrebko performing on state property while the war in Ukraine was still raging. The concert has not been officially canceled as tickets are still on sale and C2 Concerts has not received any written letter from the state.