The Slovenia Times

Ukrainian community opposes Netrebko's Ljubljana concert

Culture

Ljubljana - The Ukrainian community in Slovenia has called on the organiser of the Ljubljana Festival to cancel the concert by Russian soprano Anna Netrebko scheduled for later this month in a petition that has been signed by more than 700 people.

Netrebko is scheduled to give a concert at the 70th Ljubljana Festival on 26 August along with her husband, Azerbaijani-born tenor Yusif Eyvazov.

In the petition the community condemns the planned concert at Cankarjev Dom, describing "performances by artists who directly support the criminal regime of dictator Putin" as unacceptable.

"Culture is the strongest weapon in the war against Russia. It was culture that Russia has been using for several centuries to cover up its imperialist crimes," reads the petition.

"As long as Russia has been committing systematic genocide against the Ukrainian nation and its culture, shelling children's health centres, maternity wards, universities, schools, museums, churches, libraries, any cooperation with those who support war crimes is unacceptable," reads the petition.

The lead signatory of the petition, Evgeny Goreshnik, a researcher with the Jo┼żef Stefan Institute, says the appeal has so far been signed by more than 700 people.

After Russia invaded Ukraine on 24 February, several major world opera houses declared Netrebko unwelcome. The soprano later cancelled her concerts herself following criticism of her being close to the Kremlin. She later announced her come back declaring she did not support Russian President Vladimir Putin. In 2014 she posed with a flag of pro-Russian separatists in the Donetsk region.

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