Prague Concert of Russian Opera Singer Anna Netrebko Cancelled
The cancellation was by mutual agreement, and Netrebko will not demand compensation. Credit: Freepik.
Prague, Aug 18 (CTK) – Russian opera singer Anna Netrebko’s planned October concert at Prague’s Municipal House will not take place, the venue management and the organising Nachtigall Artists agency told journalists yesterday.
The planned event met with opposition from the coalition politicians at Prague City Hall, as the artist is on the Ukrainian sanctions list.
According to Alena Kunertova from the organising agency, the cancellation was by mutual agreement, and Netrebko said she would not demand compensation from the Prague-owned Municipal House.
Netrebko was due to perform in the venue’s Smetana Hall, which is owned by the city through its eponymous joint-stock company, on 16 October.
“No-one of those involved agrees with the cancellation of the concert,” said Municipal House director Vlastimil Jezek. However, the concert had become a political and social issue and both sides agreed that it would be better to cancel the event, he said, adding that the tickets for the sold-out concert will be refunded in full.
“We have agreed to give in to political pressure and that Anna will not demand compensation from either Nachtigall Artists or the Municipal House,” Kunertova said.
She said Netrebko was sorry for the situation but understood that it had gotten out of hand and that political pressures had arisen. She said her management had also been contacted by Czech groups known for organising demonstrations, which all those involved wanted to avoid.
Jezek added that although the parties have reached agreement, the Municipal House will compensate the Nachtigall Artists agency for the costs incurred via discounts on rent of the Smetana Hall for concerts in 2024 and 2025. The discount would cover six concerts, up to CZK 1 million, he said.
Jan Wolf (KDU-CSL), who chairs the Municipal House supervisory board as well as the City Assembly’s culture committee, said it was necessary to take into account that Europe is at war, which necessarily has an impact on cultural, social and sporting events.
Yesterday’s agreement was welcomed by Jiri Pospisil (TOP 09), an MEP and Prague Deputy Mayor for culture.
He said this was a sensitive decision in a situation where the war in Ukraine has not ended and people are still dying there. “It is the right decision in relation to our key partner, which is fighting for its independence,” he told CTK, referring to Kyiv. He thanked all those involved and appreciated the fact that, as a bilateral agreement, the economic impact would be minimal.
Netrebko has lived in Austria for a long time, but previously assisted Russian President Vladimir Putin in the presidential elections and also had her picture taken with the flag and with representatives of pro-Russian separatists in Ukraine, and donated 1 million rubles to separatist leader Oleg Tsaryov. She faced a boycott of her concerts in the West after the start of the Russian military attack on Ukraine last February. She subsequently condemned the war in Ukraine but did not distance herself from Putin.