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Since discussion of politics is practically unavoidable in a subject like this, I moved it to the only sub-forum at Talk Classical where that is allowed.

Please note that only politics directly related to classical music can be discussed.
 

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Don't let her political views distract us from the fact she is a horrible, overrated "singer". Not only the Met, but any opera house should also sever their ties with her rather than cast her in luxurious productions, for the sake of Opera itself.

What a disgrace to the art of opera. Here are a few atrocities:



 

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I'm a bit divided on arts and politics, and sports and politics. Yes, artists and athletes should be "above politics," but if they use their fame to lobby for one side or another, it makes it hard to keep the two separate. Ted Nugent and Kanye West have forever tarnished their brands, in my view. But then so did the Dixie Chicks.

Is it fair to ban Russian athletes from competitions? Not to the athletes. Not unless they're doping.

On the other hand, if they're lobbying for greater freedom and autonomy for an oppressed people, it's hard to fault them for attempting to leverage their fame.

Athletes and artists can become pawns against their will, too. Jesse Owens just wanted to run, not bring down Hitler's Aryan dreams of supremacy. Richard Wagner never even met The Third Reich.

I WANT to be able to separate politics from non-political realms, but sometimes it ain't easy.
 

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Gergiev & Netrebko may be on Putin's side, but a great number of russian artists aren't.

Bychkov, Petrenko released statements denouncing the invasion of Ukraine and they are not alone.

=> So far, some 10,000 other Russian cultural and art workers have signed an open letter against Putin's actions. "We, artists, curators, architects, critics, art critics, art managers - representatives of the culture and art of the Russian Federation - express our absolute solidarity with the people of Ukraine and say resolutely "NO TO WAR!" "

link => https://www.npr.org/2022/02/28/1083496491/russian-performers-speak-out-putin-ukraine
 

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Netrebko seems to have preempted any firings by cancelling all her future appearances.

https://slippedisc.com/2022/03/breaaking-netrebko-cancels-everything/

Can we hope it will be permanent? :devil:
Maybe it will apply retroactively? A man can dream...

The best part about the linked statement is the line "highly unlikely that she and her tenor husband Yusif Eyvazov will ever recover the elite status". Hopefully, the met will find some stronger tenors in the future.
 

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Maybe it will apply retroactively? A man can dream...

The best part about the linked statement is the line "highly unlikely that she and her tenor husband Yusif Eyvazov will ever recover the elite status". Hopefully, the met will find some stronger tenors in the future.
Sounds like she fired herself. :lol:
 

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Land of the Free
Exactly.

She's free to voice his support for Putin.

The Met is free to fire her for her personal philosophy if they feel it detracts from the company.

Some other news from the article:

"The Met's move comes four days after Carnegie Hall and the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra dropped Gergiev and pianist Denis Matsuev from a three-concert series due to the two musicians' close ties to Putin.

"Also dropping Gergiev as conductor were the Munich Philharmonic and the Rotterdam Philharmonic."
 

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I'm a bit divided on arts and politics, and sports and politics. Yes, artists and athletes should be "above politics," but if they use their fame to lobby for one side or another, it makes it hard to keep the two separate. Ted Nugent and Kanye West have forever tarnished their brands, in my view. But then so did the Dixie Chicks.
For me, artists don't "tarnish their brands" simply by speaking out about politics. It depends on what they say, what positions they challenge or defend. From that perspective, I see the examples above as a false equivalence.
 

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Gergiev & Netrebko may be on Putin's side, but a great number of russian artists aren't.

Bychkov, Petrenko released statements denouncing the invasion of Ukraine and they are not alone.

=> So far, some 10,000 other Russian cultural and art workers have signed an open letter against Putin's actions. "We, artists, curators, architects, critics, art critics, art managers - representatives of the culture and art of the Russian Federation - express our absolute solidarity with the people of Ukraine and say resolutely "NO TO WAR!" "

link => https://www.npr.org/2022/02/28/1083496491/russian-performers-speak-out-putin-ukraine
Gergiev's beloved Tchaikovsky likely would have kept his thoughts private so as to not fall out of favour with the Rusian establishment. Rimsky-Korsakov, who stood on the side of students in the 1905 revolution, on the other hand, would have signed this.
 

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An paid ad popped up on my Facebook Feed from the INDEPENDENT OPERA COMPANY, which has a description that it "is striving to make Russian operas better known in the US." It's perhaps a 45 minute drive from where I live. The ad posted on February 28th, although it didn't appear in my feed until today

The ad went thusly:

"Independent Opera Company continues its tenth "Russian" season with two operas by Cesar Qui based on beloved fairytales Little Red Riding Hood and Puss in Boots. These two delightful operas were composed in 1913 and are popular in Europe, particularly in Germany, but so far haven't been well known in the US. IOC performance is going to be a West Coast premiere of these wonderful works. Beautiful music, beloved classical stories, lovely staging, and talented cast makes this a perfect event to be enjoyed by the whole family!

"Performances will be in Russian with English supertitles."


. . . and continued with the cast list, and a cute graphic for the operas.

I was the first to comment.

"I couldn't think of worse timing for a Russian season."

They commented back rather quickly:

IOC statement about latest events.

Independent Opera Company is really saddened and shocked by the horrible events happening in Europe with Russia's
recent invasion of Ukraine. While these events are universally terrible, we are particularly upset and take the matter personally as IOC Founding Artistic Director Galina Barskaya is originally from Kiev, Ukraine and still has family and friends there.

We would like to issue the following statement to clarify our position.

We resolutely condemn Russia's unprovoked aggression toward Ukraine. We are deeply pained and saddened by the suffering of Ukrainian people.

We condemn those prominent figures in Russian cultural life who have been and still do support Putin and his oppressive regime.

We, however, don't think that this condemnation should be spread to cancelling and shunning all of the cultural contributions that were made by Russia throughout the history, including, but not limited to musical contributions. Many of the composers of Tsarist Russia and especially Soviet Union were themselves oppressed and persecuted. Yet they continued contributing beautiful work for the better of the whole Humanity.

We are proud to perform works by Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninoff, Rimsky-Korsakov, Qui, and Prokofiev. IOC Artistic Director Galina Barskaya says:
"Beautiful music and artistic works that IOC performs will always support and promote love, peace and harmony, be they Russian, American, Italian, French, Ukrainian, German, Czech or any other language and country."

As great American composer and conductor Leonard Bernstein said "This will be our reply to violence: to make music more intensely, more beautifully, more devotedly than ever before."


My reply

Their point is well taken. Tchaikovsky and Prokofiev and the other famous Russian composers have nothing to do with the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Nor does the lesser known Cesar Cui, who wrote these operas in 1913, and died over a century ago.

But here in the USA, most folks tend to stereotype, generalize, and profile. We put our own citizens into prison camps after the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor. Hell, we even renamed French Fries "Freedom Fries" for a short time because we were mad at France for something.

A Russian restaurant in San Diego has been receiving threats, even though the owner supports Ukraine.

But the IOC has chosen to announce their "Russian Season" while the Russian Army was invading Ukraine.

It just seemed insensitive to me, timing-wise.

As the musical director of an English Opera Group, we've actually withdrawn an announced opera when there was an outcry because people misunderstood its intent(yeah, The Mikado). Sometimes we stand up for art, and at other times the battle isn't worth our limited resources.

Best wishes
 

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An paid ad popped up on my Facebook Feed from the INDEPENDENT OPERA COMPANY, which has a description that it "is striving to make Russian operas better known in the US." It's perhaps a 45 minute drive from where I live. The ad posted on February 28th, although it didn't appear in my feed until today

The ad went thusly:

"Independent Opera Company continues its tenth "Russian" season with two operas by Cesar Qui based on beloved fairytales Little Red Riding Hood and Puss in Boots. These two delightful operas were composed in 1913 and are popular in Europe, particularly in Germany, but so far haven't been well known in the US. IOC performance is going to be a West Coast premiere of these wonderful works. Beautiful music, beloved classical stories, lovely staging, and talented cast makes this a perfect event to be enjoyed by the whole family!

"Performances will be in Russian with English supertitles."


. . . and continued with the cast list, and a cute graphic for the operas.

I was the first to comment.

"I couldn't think of worse timing for a Russian season."

They commented back rather quickly:

IOC statement about latest events.

Independent Opera Company is really saddened and shocked by the horrible events happening in Europe with Russia's
recent invasion of Ukraine. While these events are universally terrible, we are particularly upset and take the matter personally as IOC Founding Artistic Director Galina Barskaya is originally from Kiev, Ukraine and still has family and friends there.

We would like to issue the following statement to clarify our position.

We resolutely condemn Russia's unprovoked aggression toward Ukraine. We are deeply pained and saddened by the suffering of Ukrainian people.

We condemn those prominent figures in Russian cultural life who have been and still do support Putin and his oppressive regime.

We, however, don't think that this condemnation should be spread to cancelling and shunning all of the cultural contributions that were made by Russia throughout the history, including, but not limited to musical contributions. Many of the composers of Tsarist Russia and especially Soviet Union were themselves oppressed and persecuted. Yet they continued contributing beautiful work for the better of the whole Humanity.

We are proud to perform works by Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninoff, Rimsky-Korsakov, Qui, and Prokofiev. IOC Artistic Director Galina Barskaya says:
"Beautiful music and artistic works that IOC performs will always support and promote love, peace and harmony, be they Russian, American, Italian, French, Ukrainian, German, Czech or any other language and country."

As great American composer and conductor Leonard Bernstein said "This will be our reply to violence: to make music more intensely, more beautifully, more devotedly than ever before."


My reply

Their point is well taken. Tchaikovsky and Prokofiev and the other famous Russian composers have nothing to do with the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Nor does the lesser known Cesar Cui, who wrote these operas in 1913, and died over a century ago.

But here in the USA, most folks tend to stereotype, generalize, and profile. We put our own citizens into prison camps after the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor. Hell, we even renamed French Fries "Freedom Fries" for a short time because we were mad at France for something.

A Russian restaurant in San Diego has been receiving threats, even though the owner supports Ukraine.

But the IOC has chosen to announce their "Russian Season" while the Russian Army was invading Ukraine.

It just seemed insensitive to me, timing-wise.

As the musical director of an English Opera Group, we've actually withdrawn an announced opera when there was an outcry because people misunderstood its intent(yeah, The Mikado). Sometimes we stand up for art, and at other times the battle isn't worth our limited resources.

Best wishes
Ok. I appreciate your input
 

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No gettin' around the fact that Russians have written some great books and music. Don't throw out the baby with the bath water.

"Cancel culture" is a made-up insult that bugs me. Why is it wrong to take a principled stand? As long as you've got your babies and your bathwaters sorted out, that is. Just like "woke culture" is a ridiculous insult. Who wants to be "asleep" to the injustices in the world?
 

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No gettin' around the fact that Russians have written some great books and music. Don't throw out the baby with the bath water.

"Cancel culture" is a made-up insult that bugs me. Why is it wrong to take a principled stand? As long as you've got your babies and your bathwaters sorted out, that is. Just like "woke culture" is a ridiculous insult. Who wants to be "asleep" to the injustices in the world?
I guess you don't have to worry about bombshell dropping on you. Sleep
Well.
 
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