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Staatstheater Wiesbaden: Hundreds protest against Netrebko’s appearance | hessenschau.de

A performance by Russian-born soprano Anna Netrebko at the Wiesbaden May Festival has sparked renewed protests. Hundreds of people gathered in front of the State Theater.

Around 400 people protested in front of the Hessian State Theater in Wiesbaden on Saturday evening as part of the International May Festival. The occasion was a performance by soprano Anna Netrebko in the opera “Turandot” by Giacomo Puccini.

According to police, the approximately five-hour protest remained peaceful and without incident. Participants showed flags of Ukraine and the European Union.

Alleged closeness to Putin

Because of her alleged closeness to Russian President Vladimir Putin, Netrebko came under criticism after the war of aggression against Ukraine began in February 2022. Her management always points out that Netrebko spoke out against the war.

There had already been protests when Netrebko appeared at the 2023 May Festival in Wiesbaden.

State Theater rejects criticism

The acting director of the Wiesbaden State Theater, Wolfgang Behrens, rejected calls for Netrebko to be disinvited on Saturday. There is no reason for this, he told the hr.

She is one of the greatest opera singers of our time. “And she hasn’t been guilty of anything.” The singer will appear again at the May Festival on Wednesday in the Puccini Opera in the Wiesbaden State Theater.

Numerous rejections

Just a few days ago, a concert with Netrebko planned for June 1st in Lucerne (Switzerland) was canceled due to pressure from the cantonal government. In the recent past, concerts with Netrebko have been canceled in numerous Western countries.

She has since been invited back. Among other things, she sang at the State Opera in Berlin in September 2023. In February she was a guest at the Opera Ball in Vienna. In addition to Russian, Netrebko has Austrian citizenship.

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