Prague government opposes local performance by Russian soprano Anna Netrebko | AP News
FILE - Russian soprano Anna Netrebko appears at a news conference to present Giuseppe Verdi's

FILE – Russian soprano Anna Netrebko appears at a news conference to present Giuseppe Verdi’s “Macbeth” in Milan, Italy, on Nov. 29, 2021. The ruling coalition of the Czech capital said Monday Aug. 14 2023, it “unequivocally” opposed the planning Prague performance of Russian soprano Anna Netrebko. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno, File)


PRAGUE (AP) — The local government in Prague said Monday that it “unequivocally” opposes a scheduled performance by Russian opera singer Anna Netrebko in the Czech capital while Russia wages war on Ukraine.

Deputy Mayor Jiri Pospisil, who oversees culture in the city, said that all the members of Prague’s governing coalition shared the same view.

“All the parties perceive that at a time when the war (in Ukraine) has been ongoing and we read every day about the victims of the Russian attacks in the media, it is insensitive for such a singer to perform here in Prague,” Pospisil said.

The Czech Republic has been a staunch supporter of Ukraine during the war. The governing coalition in Prague is made up of the same political parties that comprise the Czech government.

The view from City Hall does not necessarily mean Netrebko’s Oct 16 performance at Prague’s Municipal House won’t take place as planned. The management of the venue, which is a civic building as well as a concert venue, has the final say.

Pospisil acknowledged it would be “very difficult” to find a legal reason to cancel the soprano’s contract. Netrebko sued the Metropolitan Opera in New York City over its decision to to cut ties with her last year for refusing to repudiate her support for Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Her 2023-24 season includes engagements with Berlin’s Staatsoper unter den Linden, the Vienna State Opera, Milan’s Teatro alla Scala and the Paris Opera.

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