Anna Netrebko has recently been under fire for her 'ties to Russia' and her refusal to 'denounce Vladimir Putin,' whom she has supported in the past. Valery Gergiev has lost almost all of his professional contracts and even his management due to him not releasing a public statement denouncing Putin, but Anna has not faced similar consequences. Gergiev has not made any statements praising the recent acts of Putin, but simply not 'denouncing Putin' will get an artist banned from performing at the world's greatest opera stages, that is, except if you are Anna Netrebko.
Anna Netrebko has never denounced Putin, in fact, she has supported him in the past and has just made a public statement arguing that,
"...forcing artists, or any public figure to voice their political opinions in public and to denounce their homeland is not right. This should be a free choice..." - Anna Netrebko
Anna has not denounced Putin, but she has stated that she does not want this war, just as any decent person does not desire war, including Valery Gergiev. All artists hope for peace and stability across the world, in particular their own home country. However, despite having similar political opinions, Anna Netrebko seems to have kept her management and all of her contracts, while Valery Gergiev has not. Is there a double standard where some artists must play by the political rules but a favored few do not? Should Anna Netrebko be held to the same standard as Valery Gergiev because she also did not denounce Putin?
Perhaps, all artists should be able to perform and create art regardless of their political opinions or lack-there-of. Afterall, music and art is unifying and can bring together people of differing ideas, politics, opinions, and offer a unique opportunity to engage in a peaceful, non-threatening way, and bring about restoration and healing. That is, if given the chance.
You can read Anna Netrebko's full statement below,
"I have taken some time to reflect because I think the situation is too serious to comment on without really giving it thought.First of all: I am opposed to this war. I am Russian and I love my country but I have many friends in Ukraine and the pain and suffering right now breaks my heart. I want this war to end and for people to be able to live in peace. This is what I hope and pray for. I want to add, however, that forcing artists, or any public figure to voice their political opinions in public and to denounce their homeland is not right. This should be a free choice. I am not a political person. I am not an expert in politics. I am an artist and my purpose is to unite across political divides.” - Anna Netrebko