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Taiwan cancels performance by Russian soprano Anna Netrebko

NSO scraps March 5 concert after statement by Ministry of Culture

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Anna Netrebko performing in Buenos Aires, Argentina, in December. (Facebook, Anna Netrebko photo)

Anna Netrebko performing in Buenos Aires, Argentina, in December. (Facebook, Anna Netrebko photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The National Symphony Orchestra (NSO) canceled a performance by Russian soprano Anna Yuryevna Netrebko scheduled for March 5 after controversy over her links with Russian President Vladimir Putin, reports said Tuesday (Feb. 28).

Her visit and planned singing of the aria from Pyotr Tchaikovsky’s “The Queen of Spades” with the NSO elicited support as well as protest, with opponents saying a Russian soprano should not visit Taiwan at this time, the Liberty Times reported.

The Ministry of Culture issued a statement saying that even though it respected the NSO’s independence and professionalism, there could be no doubt about Taiwan’s stance on the war in Ukraine. The NSO later announced it was canceling the March 5 event, which was dedicated to women.

People who had bought tickets for the concert can apply for a refund from March 1 at noon until March 13 at 1 p.m., with the rules featured on the event’s website, the NSO said.