March 31, 2023

As DW learned on Friday, March 17, Russian opera singer Anna Netrebko will not be the guest of honor in Wiesbaden. More precisely, the city hall does not plan to enter the name of the singer in the Golden Book, where invited celebrities usually leave their autographs.

Only six weeks are left before the start of the International May Festival, which will take place in Wiesbaden from April 30 to May 31. This is an event of great importance not only for the city, but for the whole of Germany. 680 musicians, dancers and actors are invited to perform within its framework. Including – opera diva Anna Netrebko. Tickets for the opera “Nabucco” by Giuseppe Verdi (May 5 and 7), in which the Russian singer will perform the part of Abigail, were sold out in the first days after the official start of sales on February 17, 2023. The cost of tickets for the evening with the participation of Anna Netrebko is from 16 to 194 euros, depending on the category of seats.

Recall that the invitation of the opera singer to the International May Festival caused big scandal. Ukrainian groups first refused to participate in the festival, and then the Pussy Riot group, who did not want to go on the same stage with Anna Netrebko – because of her, in their opinion, a fuzzy position regarding the leadership of the Russian Federation and the war in Ukraine. Hessian politicians and the city administration opposed her participation in the festival, but the Wiesbaden State Theater invited the singer and insisted on her decision.

State Theater Wiesbaden
Anna Netrebko will perform in the opera Nabucco on the stage of the Wiesbaden State Theater on May 5 and 7Photo: Rudi Otto/dpa/picture alliance

Now, as it became known to DW, Anna Netrebko will not become an honorary guest of Wiesbaden: the mayor’s office does not plan to enter the name of the singer in the “Golden Book” of the city. The tradition of inviting honored guests to the local town hall for the solemn ceremony of making an entry in the Golden Book has existed for several centuries, not only in Wiesbaden, but also in many other German cities. For example, in Hanover – there, by the way, in the “Golden Book” there is an autograph of Anna Netrebko.

Netrebko and the “Golden Book” of Wiesbaden – background

At the presentation of the official program of the May Festival on February 13, 2023, Uwe Eric Laufenberg, artistic director of the Hessian State Theater of Wiesbaden, stated: “Mrs. Netrebko is not to blame for anything. Nothing. There is a general hysteria that calls for morality. She is wanted in anything If we are now all the people who before February 24 were photographed with Putin … “. At the conference, the artistic director addressed directly to the mayor of the city of Gert-Uwe Mende (Gert-Uwe Mende). “By the way, this also applies to Wiesbaden with his Golden Book. Is Putin still in it? He wrote his name there. Look, maybe it’s worth deleting it?” asks Laufenberg.

To a request from DW to the mayor, the office of the mayor of Wiesbaden responded regarding Vladimir Putin’s autograph in the city’s Golden Book: “This entry is 16 years old. On the occasion of the St. Petersburg Dialogue, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and President Putin entered their names in the “Golden Book” of the Hessian capital of Wiesbaden. This entry, from the point of view of today, is a historical document and the realization that this dialogue must be regarded as a collapsed one.

Read about the “golden trail” of Vladimir Putin in other cities and villages of Germany and what happened to him after February 24 last year. exclusive DW material.

Netrebko was invited to the festival in Austria

In no hurry to refuse cooperation with the Russian opera star and in the Austrian Salzburg – one of the musical and theatrical capitals of Europe. On Thursday, March 16, the leadership of the Salzburg Easter Festival, which will take place in the spring of 2024, announced that they had invited Anna Netrebko to the main role in the opera La Gioconda.

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