Anna Netrebko, the Russian soprano, deserves compensation from The Met Opera in New York.

He will have to pay him $200,000 for having canceled concerts that he had already arranged. The judicial mediator concluded that “there is no doubt that she is a supporter of Putin and she has the right to be.”

The New York Justice ordered the prestigious Metropolitan Opera to pay the Russian soprano Anna Netrebko more than $200,000 for performances she canceled last year after she refused to convict President Vladimir Putin after the invasion of Ukraine.

The judicial arbitrator, in a decision issued last month that was only made public today, ruled that the Met must compensate Netrebko for 13 canceled performances, including appearances in Don Carlo this season, The force of Destiny y Andrea Chenier from next season, due to a contractual agreement known as “pay or play”which requires institutions to pay artists, even if they later decide not to hire them.

The Met had argued that Netrebko, one of opera’s biggest stars, was ineligible for the payment because of his refusal to comply with the company’s demand to convict Putin after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The institution claimed that she had violated the conduct clause.

Netrebko had endorsed Putin for the presidency in 2012 and had spoken enthusiastically of him before the invasion.

Mediator Howard C. Edelman concluded that “there is no question that she is a Putin supporter and has a right to be.” But he added that siding with Putin “is certainly not moral turpitude or worthy, in and of itself, of actionable misconduct.”

Netrebko was seeking an additional $400,000 in engagement fees in future seasons that were discussed but not formally agreed upon, including lead roles in Manon Lescaut y Tosca of Puccini, as well as Macbeth of Verdi and The Queen de Tchaikovsky.

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But Edelman concluded that Netrebko was not entitled to receive fees for those performances because the contracts had not been performed. Besides, fined Netrebko nearly $30,000 for making “highly inappropriate” statements after the invasion, including posting a text on social media that used an expletive to refer to his Western critics, whom he called “as evil as blind aggressors”.

In addition to endorsing Putin, Netrebko occasionally lent support to his policies. When she made a donation to an opera house in Donetsk, a war-torn city in Ukraine controlled by Russian separatists, in 2014, she was photographed holding a separatist flag.

According to The New York Times, andThe Met would not comment on the details of the ruling, but defended its decision to cancel Netrebko’s performances. “Even though our contracts are ‘pay or play,’ we didn’t think it was morally right to pay Netrebko anything. considering his close association with Putin,” Peter Gelb, the Met’s general manager, said in an interview.

Sam Wheeler, national executive director of the Musical Artists Union of America, which represented Netrebko, praised the decision, saying it would help protect the rights of artists seeking compensation for canceled engagements. “‘Pay or play’ is the basis of our collective bargaining agreements across the country, and we will always uphold ‘pay or play’ provisions to the fullest extent possible,” he said in a statement.

Netrebko is a huge star and a box office attraction. He still has a relatively hectic performance schedule, though he continues to face protests and calls to be banned from the world stage.

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A concert planned this month in Taiwan was canceled at the last minute due to concerns about his connections to Putin. She is scheduled to give a recital at La Scala in Milan next Sunday, and she will return there this summer for a production of Macbeth.

Their commitments for the upcoming season include a concert at the Wiener Konzerthaus and appearances at the Salzburg Easter Festival in Austria. Faced with a series of cancellations in the West last year, she sought to distance herself from Putin, issuing a statement in which she said she had met the president only a few times and that she was not “allied with any Russian leader.” . She also canceled her appearances in Russia. But she has avoided directly criticizing Putin or addressing his history of support for him. (NA)

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