OPEN LETTER to THE METROPOLITAN OPERA from ARTS AGAINST AGGRESSION.
Opera Singer Anna Netrebko Donated Money to Russia-Led and Financed Insurgents in Ukraine and Was Photographed Holding the Insurgent Flag.
The Met, Cancel All Future Performances by Anna Netrebko.
On December 9, 2014, opera diva Anna Netrebko gave a press conference with one of the leaders of the Russia-financed and supplied insurgency in Ukraine, Oleg Tsarev who is personally subject to international sanctions because of his activities in furtherance of the insurgency. At the press conference, the singer gave Mr. Tsarev 1,000,000 rubles, allegedly for theater repairs, and was photographed holding the flag of the so-called Novorossia, an entity recognized only by the Russian media involved in the propaganda arm of Russia’s hybrid war in Ukraine.In February of 2014, after a protracted standoff with peaceful protesters in the center of Ukraine’s capital, then-President Victor Yanukovych signed an agreement that called for a set of government reforms. However, rather than implement those reforms, Yanukovych fled to Russia.
Since then, Russia has been waging a war of aggression against Ukraine. From occupying Crimea with troops in unmarked uniforms; to recruiting, financing, training and supplying fighters for the so-called DNR and LNR entities; to providing heavy machinery and ammunition for those entities, including the system that was used to shoot down Malaysian Airlines Flight 17; to sending in regular army units, again in unmarked uniforms, Russia has continued to soak Ukrainian soil in blood. As a result, USA and EU, as well as a number of other Western countries, have imposed sanctions.
Importantly, for as long as this war of aggression has been going on, prominent Russian cultural figures have stepped in to support the bloody policy of their government and to offer various kinds of support to the Russia-led insurgents in Ukraine. Anna Netrebko is only the latest in the sadly long line of artists doing the Kremlin’s bidding. Like others before her, she used her artistic reputation to provide cover to the government’s policies of disinformation and bloodshed.
However, as Ms. Netrebko’s actions are particularly egregious, constituting material support for what amounts to terrorist organizations, we call upon the Met to cancel all scheduled performances with Ms. Netrebko and to stop any association with her in the future. And we call on the audiences to boycott all of Ms. Netrebko’s performances.Art should bring peace, not aggression, war and destruction.
-Arts Against Aggression
On December 17, the community finally received a reply from the representatives of the opera saying that “As an artistic institution that believes in freedom of expression, the Met does not have to be in agreement with the personal views of the artists who perform on its stage. We support Ms. Netrebko as one of the world’s leading opera singers and we are proud that she sings at the Met.”
— ArtAgainstAggression (@ST0P_PUTIN) December 18, 2014