The Slovenia Times

Anna Netrebko will perform at Ljubljana Festival, its boss says


Ljubljana - The concert of Russian soprano Anna Netrebko at the Ljubljana Festival remains scheduled for 26 September, the festival's director and artistic director Darko Brlek said on Wednesday after the Ukrainian community in Slovenia called for its cancellation with last week's petition signed by more than 700 people when the appeal was presented.

Brlek labelled the opposition to Netrebko's concert as "politicisation", which he said the Festival Ljubljana strongly condemns.

Speaking on the sidelines of the presentation of the coming events, he said the concert staying is the wish of the organisers and the audience as expressed on social media.

Brlek stressed that music builds bridges whereas politicians are the ones that destroy them.

A musician himself, he said he had performed in both Belgrade and Sarajevo at a time when the two sided had not been communicating.

Asked about potential protests by Ukrainians during her concert, Brlek said that they will make sure the concert is safe for her and for the audience.

The director also noted that the festival had received similar threats a few years ago when the Israeli Philharmonic Orchestra played in Ljubljana.

In a separate written statement, the festival organisers said that "linking political beliefs with culture and the arts brings more division and misunderstanding".

Highlighting the fact that many performers at the Ljubljana Festival come from abroad, the statement added: "Music is the power with which we build bridges."

They also said they had received both positive and negative reactions to Netrebko's concert, and that they respected all opinions.

They quoted a statement by Netrebko, who is an Austrian citizen, in which she condemned the war in Ukraine and distanced herself from Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Netrebko, who has performed in Ljubljana several times before, is scheduled to give the concert with her husband, Azerbaijani-born tenor Yusif Eyvazov.


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