A US court has ordered the Metropolitan Opera to pay opera singer Anna Netrebko $200,000 for canceling performances after she refused to publicly condemn Vladimir Putin for invading Ukraine. The New York Times writes about it.
The judge came to the conclusion that the opera had to pay in full for the 13 performances canceled at the initiative of the opera, since the contract implied a payment, whether they took place or not.
Opera representatives insisted they should not pay because Netrebko refused to comply with their demand to publicly condemn Putin for the invasion and, in their view, violated the clause of the agreement regulating the public behavior of the parties.
The judge in his ruling noted that Netrebko is entitled to Putin’s support, and that fact in itself is not something wrong or illegal.
At the same time, the judge refused to pay Netrebko an additional 400,000 dollars, which she could receive as a fee for participation in future productions, since this contract had not been officially concluded. Netrebko was also fined $30,000 for “grossly inappropriate” statements – specifically, for the singer calling the critics “nasty, like blind aggressors”.
Before the start of the war, Netrebko repeatedly publicly supported Vladimir Putin. She was notably his confidante during the elections.
After the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Netrebko initially did not comment publicly, which is why major Western venues, such as the Metropolitan Opera and the Bavarian Opera, began to refuse to cooperate with her. On March 30, more than a month into the war, Netrebko condemned the invasion and stressed that it was not an ally of the Russian leadership. After this performance begin cancel in Russia.