Soprano Anna Netrebko has been hired by the Monte Carlo Opera to sing this month following the Metropolitan Opera's decision to drop her for failing to repudiate Russia President Vladimir Putin.
The Monte Carlo Opera said Thursday that Netrebko will sing the title role in Puccini's “Manon Lescaut” in performances on April 22, 24, 27 and 30. The 50-year-old Russian replaces an originally announced Maria Agresta.
Tenor Yusif Eyvazov, Netrebko's husband, is scheduled to sing Des Grieux.
Netrebko was to have sung five performances in a revival of Puccini's “Turandot” at the Met in New York from April 30 to May 14. She was replaced by Ukrainian soprano Liudmyla Monastyrska for Turandot and by Italian soprano Eleonora Buratto for a revival of Verdi's “Don Carlo” at the Met from Nov. 3-19.
Netrebko issued a statement in early March that she was “opposed to this senseless war of aggression and I am calling on Russia to end this war right now." She did not directly mention Putin.
Netrebko, who is from Krasnodar, received the People’s Artist of Russia honor from Putin in 2008. She was photographed in 2014 holding a Novorussian flag after giving a 1 million ruble donation (then $18,500) to the opera hose in Donetsk, a Ukrainian city controlled by pro-Russia separatists.
She said in late March she met 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 am not a member of any political party nor am I allied with any leader of Russia,” Netrebko said in late March. “I acknowledge and regret that past actions or statements of mine could have been misinterpreted.”