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Opera Houses Demand Artists Get Political or Get Banned

Opera houses and major stages such as Teatro alla Scala have set a precedent with their recent threats to ban Valery Gergiev unless he makes political statements denouncing Vladimir Putin. Valery Gergiev has not made statements praising Putin on the recent events with Ukraine, but apparently simply not having a statement on political issues will get your fired as an artist in today's political climate. There is no focus on art for the sake of art, rather one must be political and have the 'correct' political opinion in order to create beautiful music. Today, artists can not be silent on politics today, they must say what the powers at be demand or risk losing their career and livelihood. What a sad time to be an artist.

Valery Gergiev is threatened to be fired from Teatro alla Scala, removed as chief conductor of the Munich Philharmonic, and be removed from the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra's festival. Carnegie Hall has already cancelled his performances of the Mariinsky Orchestra that were to be led by Valery Gergiev. Metropolitan Opera music director Yannick Nézet-Séguin will replace Gergiev for the upcoming Carnegie concerts.

Sala said, “With the superintendent of the theater Dominique Meyer we are asking him to take a precise position against this invasion. If he does not do it we will be forced to end the collaboration.” Teatro alla Scala said it has not received a response from Gergiev as of Friday.

We must prepare ourselves for the fact that opera's biggest star, Anna Netrebko, who is Russian and has always supported Vladimir Putin, will probably be banned from the world's greatest opera stages unless she denounces Putin. That is, if Teatro alla Scala, among others, is truly going to stand by their actions and be consistent with all artists around the world, unless, the political rules can be broken by a favored few. We shall see what actions occur in the future.


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