Jul 28, 2023

Prague Officials Seek to Cancel Concert by Renowned Russian Opera Singer

Prague’s authorities are considering banning a concert by the Russian opera singer Anna Netrebko set to take place in the city in October, Seznam Zprávy reported.  

The news site said the event’s organiers would seek financial compensation from the city if it is blocked.

This announcement comes amid growing political opposition from Prague’s leadership towards the concert, owing to Anna Netrebko’s past connections with Russian President Putin and her appearance on the Ukrainian sanctions list.

Jiří Pospíšil, the deputy mayor of Prague overseeing cultural affairs, has expressed his determination to find a way to halt the concert, stating that holding the performance would be insensitive to the struggling Ukraine and that current times demand greater consideration for symbolic gestures.

The concert, scheduled for October 16th at Smetana Hall in the Municipal House, is being organized by the Nachtigall Artists agency.

Despite concerns about political interference, the agency’s producer, Alena Kunertová, has expressed confusion and emphasized that Netrebko had publicly denounced the war and distanced herself from President Putin. The concert has already generated significant interest, with approximately eighty percent of tickets already sold.

In the event of cancellation, both the agency and the artist herself would seek compensation, as they did previously after a canceled engagement at the Metropolitan Opera in New York.

READ ALSO:   Czech and Ukrainian Governments to Have Joint Meeting in Prague

Netrebko’s inclusion on the Ukrainian sanctions list stems from alleged support of President Putin during the 2012 election and her association with separatist elements in 2014.

Although she condemned the war in Ukraine, some critics argue that she did not directly denounce President Putin until later.

Despite facing challenges in her home country and encountering some cancellations in the West, Netrebko continues to perform at various prestigious venues, including her upcoming concert in Prague.

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