Top Russian soprano fired over war sues Met Opera
Renowned Russian opera singer Anna Netrebko has filed a lawsuit against the Metropolitan Opera in New York City and its manager, Peter Gelb, seeking $360,000 in damages.
The soprano alleges defamation, breach of contract, and other violations, citing lost performance and rehearsal fees as a result of her removal from future performances at the opera house.
Ms. Netrebko had previously expressed support for President Vladimir Putin but condemned the invasion of Ukraine under pressure from the Met.
She claims that the opera’s actions caused her severe emotional distress and negatively impacted her professional relationships with audiences and Russian theatre companies. The Met has responded, stating that the lawsuit lacks merit.
The Met said in a statement: “Ms. Netrebko’s lawsuit has no merit.”
Earlier this year, Ms. Netrebko filed a separate complaint through the union representing opera performers, the American Guild of Musical Artists.
An arbitrator in that dispute ruled in February that the Met had violated a contractual agreement when it canceled some performances and awarded her compensation of more than $200,000.
Since being dropped by the Met – who she had been singing with for 20 years – Ms Netrebko has performed elsewhere including in Italy in June, and is scheduled for upcoming performances in Buenos Aires, Berlin, Vienna, Milan, and Paris.
She is also due to perform in Prague in October, but last month the city’s deputy mayor urged the concert hall to cancel the show.
Jiri Pospisil said he had met with Ukrainian officials and said Ms. Netrebko was on Ukraine’s sanctions list. The producer organizing the event said Ms Netrebko had condemned the war and she did not understand efforts to cancel the event, which is almost sold out.