Russian soprano sues opera company for dropping her over the war

A Russian opera singer is suing the Metropolitan Opera over its decision to drop her following Russia’s invasion.

Anna Netrebko was cut from the company’s future engagements after she reportedly refused to repudiate Vladimir Putin. 

She’s suing the Met Opera and its general manager Peter Gelb for £281,000 in damages for lost performance and rehearsal fees, claiming it’s caused “severe mental anguish and emotional distress”.

The Met has not yet commented on the lawsuit.

Ms Netrebko was honoured by Vladimir Putin in 2008/AP

Born in the southern Russia city of Krasnodar, Ms Netrebko is a distinguished soprano, with a career spanning works by Mozart, Puccini, Verdi and Tchaikovsky.

She was the first classical music artist to be named in Time magazine’s ‘100 most influential people’ list.

But her refusal to denounce the war has attracted controversy. In May, hundreds demonstrated to protest her performance at a festival in the German city of Wiesbaden.

In pictures: Ukrainian choir rehearses for Edinburgh Fringe

The Edinburgh Fringe Festival attracts over two million visitors every year – and this time, they will have a Ukrainian choir to enjoy.

Members of Oberih have been busy rehearsing at the Edinburgh Ukrainian Club near the city centre.

The choir was formed in the early 1970s by Ukrainian men who had settled in Scotland after the Second World War.

A few founding members of the choir are still involved today, and have been joined by many Ukrainians who have relocated to Edinburgh since the start of the war. 

Olena Singh came to Scotland in September 2022 and said it is “like a family” after she joined last year.

She said: “When we came here we decided it would be a very nice possibility to sing in Scotland. We found friends who invited us to start in the choir and it is a very good community. Now we are like a family. It’s now like a part of life.”

They will appear at the Ross Bandstand in Princes Street Gardens between midday and 4pm tomorrow to mark the opening of the festival, as part of a day-long celebration of music called Scotland Makes Music. 

Tetiana Hordiienko, Mariana Melnyk and Oksana Saiapina are members of the group
Rehearsals have been taking place at the Edinburgh Ukrainian Club

Leave a Reply