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The Blaze
The Blaze
5 Aug 2023
Dave Urbanski


NextImg:Russian star soprano refused to repudiate Putin, so the Metropolitan Opera dropped her. Now she's suing.

The Metropolitan Opera last year cut ties with Russian star soprano Anna Netrebko after she refused the general manager's demand that she repudiate Russia President President Vladimir Putin over the invasion of Ukraine.

Now Netrebko is suing, the Associated Press reported.

Her suit filed in U.S. District Court in Manhattan is against the Met and its general manager Peter Gelb, alleges defamation, breach of contract, and other violations, and asks for at least $360,000 in damages for lost performance and rehearsal fees, the AP said.

Netrebko claims the Met caused ”severe mental anguish and emotional distress” that included “depression, humiliation, embarrassment, stress and anxiety, and emotional pain and suffering," the AP added.

“Since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the Met and Peter Gelb have used Anna Netrebko as a scapegoat in their campaign to distance themselves from Russia and to support Ukraine,” the management of the 51-year-old soprano said in a statement, according the AP.

The suit also notes that “due to the Met’s requirement that Netrebko issue public statements opposing the actions of Russian government, Russian politicians have denounced Netrebko, Russian theater companies have canceled contracts with her, Russian audiences have criticized her on her social media channels and in the Russian press, and Netrebko and her family and friends in Russia have suffered the risk of harm, retaliation, and retribution by the Russian government," the AP also reported.

The Met said in a statement, according to the outlet, that “Ms. Netrebko’s lawsuit has no merit.”

After Netrebko withdrew from Met performances over the Putin issue, Gelb last year told the AP that "it is a great artistic loss for the Met and for opera. Anna is one of the greatest singers in Met history, but with Putin killing innocent victims in Ukraine, there was no way forward.” Gelb also told the outlet at the time that the Met would not engage artists who back Putin.

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