The Met Opera to stop working with artists who have ties to Putin
The Metropolitan Opera in New York City is taking a stand on Russia’s invasion into Ukraine, vowing to stop engaging with artists or institutions supported by Russian President Vladimir Putin.
“The Metropolitan Opera opens its heart to the victims of the unprovoked war in Ukraine and salutes the heroism of the Ukrainian people,” the Met’s General Manager Peter Gelb said in a video shared on Facebook.
Gelb said Putin “seems intent on the destruction of Ukraine, its people and all personal freedom in Ukraine and Russia.”
“As an international opera company, the Met can help ring the alarm and contribute to the fight against oppression,” Gleb said. “While we believe strongly in the warm friendship and cultural exchange that has long existed between the artists and artistic institutions of Russia and the United States, we can no longer engage with artists or institutions that support Putin or are supported by him – not until the invasion and killing has been stopped, order has been restored, and restitutions have been made.”
The Met’s stance comes after Carnegie Hall canceled March performances by the Mariinsky Orchestra, led by Valery Gergiev “due to recent world events as well as ongoing challenges related to the global COVID-19 pandemic.” Gergiev, a conductor, has often supported Putin in the press, backing the president’s controversial policies in Crimea,
While Gelb did not mention any artists by name, the Met has had ties to Gergiev, who served as its principal guest conductor until 2008. Anna Netrebko, a Russian soprano, has also performed at the Met as recently as February 2021, but it is unclear if the Opera house will continue to engage with her.
CBS News has reached out to the Met for more information and is awaiting response.