NEW YORK (CelebrityAccess) — Anna Netrebko, the noted Russian soprano, sought to distance herself from Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday after losing work in the wake of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Since the war started, Netrebko’s performances at The Metropolitan Opera, where she has performed for the last two decades, have been indefinitely suspended over her past statements of support for Putin.
On Thursday, Netrebko issued a statement that tried to put Putin at arm’s length, noting that she had only met him a few times.
“I expressly condemn the war on Ukraine and my thoughts are with the victims of this war and their families. My position is clear. I am not a member of any political party nor am I allied with any leader of Russia. I acknowledge and regret that past actions or statements of mine could have been misinterpreted,” Netrebko said in a statement published Thursday.
“In fact, I have met President Putin only a handful of times in my entire life, most notably on the occasion of receiving awards in recognition of my art or at the Olympics opening ceremony. I have otherwise never received any financial support from the Russian Government, and live and am a tax resident in Austria. I love my homeland of Russia and only seek peace and unity through my art,” she added.
Netrebko went on to note that she plans to begin performing again in May, initially in Europe.
Metropolitan Opera General Manager Peter Gelb told the New York Times that Netrebko’s statement won’t change the Met’s current stance on Ukraine.
“We’re not prepared to change our position. If Anna demonstrates that she has truly and completely disassociated herself from Putin over the long term, I would be willing to have a conversation,” Gelb told the newspaper.