On 15 September, opera diva Anna Netrebko took to the stage of the Berlin State Opera (Staatsoper Unter den Linden) for the first time in a year and a half as Lady Macbeth in Giuseppe Verdi’s opera. Spurred on by earlier displeasure with Kiev officials, a group of Ukrainians living in Berlin protested against the walls of the theatre building.
According to the BBC, the protesters chanted “No Netrebko” and called for “not giving a stage to Russian propaganda.” The Berlin police officers who were monitoring the order ensured the safety of the audience who came to the performance. Special fences were installed, separating Ukrainians from the theatre visitors.
At the same time, tickets for all performances of “Macbeth” with the participation of Netrebko were sold out. There was also a full house at the premiere. The soprano will appear on stage again on 17, 21 and 23 September.
Matthias Schulz, Artistic Director of the Berlin Opera, urged “not to make artists scapegoats”. At the same time, a number of Berliners have come out in support of Netrebko on a civic initiative portal. At the moment, 2172 people have put their signatures under the petition
As EADaily reported, earlier the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry issued an angry statement calling for the cancellation of Netrebko’s participation in the upcoming performances.
As a sign of protest, on the day of the Macbeth premiere, Ukrainian Ambassador to Germany Oleksiy Makeyev and Senator Joe Chalo defiantly visited an anti-Russian exhibition in the Humboldt University building, which is located exactly opposite the Berlin Opera House.
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