Vienna State Opera pledges to allow both Russian and Ukrainian artists to perform
'We strictly reject the demands for a separation [of artists] as well as a world view that classifies people as "good" or "bad" only on the basis of their origin,' says a State Opera statement
The Vienna State Opera has posted a message on its Facebook page, pledging to keep both Russian and Ukrainian artists on its stage.
The statement has been posted in response to demands from its audience not to allow Russian artists to perform in its opera and ballet performances in the wake of Russian military action in Ukraine.
The statement reads:
In recent weeks, a number of Russian artists to have been declared persona non grata by Western companies. Anna Netrebko and Valery Gergiev have been forced to step away from the concert hall after refusing to condemn the Russian regime, and pianist Boris Berezovsky has been dropped by his agent.
In addition, two major piano competitions – the Honens International Piano Competition in Canada and the Dublin International Piano Competition – have announced that they will not be open to Russian pianists this year.
Around the world, musicians are facing calls to denounce Putin’s rule of Ukraine, with Vasily Petrenko and Thomas Sanderling stepping away from their roles at the head of Russian orchestras.
However, when the Cardiff Philharmonic removed Tchaikovsky from its programme in light of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, it received a strong backlash.
Charlotte Smith is the editor of BBC Music Magazine. Born in Australia, she hails from a family of musicians with whom she played chamber music from a young age. She earned a bachelor’s degree in violin performance from London's Royal College of Music, followed by a master’s in English from Cambridge University. She was editor of The Strad from 2017 until the beginning of 2022, and has also worked for Gramophone Magazine and as a freelance arts writer. In her spare time, she continues to perform as an active chamber musician.