Mar 20, 2023

By Andy Johnson

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Her performances at New York’s Metropolitan Opera were cancelled after she refused to denounce Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.

Now an arbitrator has ordered the Met to pay Anna Natrebko $200,000 dollars for cancelled performances.

The company cut ties with the 51-year old Russian soprano, who was once the Met’s reigning diva, after the invasion.

The arbitrator ruled that the Met should compensate Netrebko for 13 cancelled performances — because of a contractual agreement known as “pay or play,” which requires institutions to pay performers even if they later decide not to engage them.

The Met had argued that Netrebko wasn’t entitled to payment because of her refusal to comply with the company’s demands.

Netrebko had endorsed Putin for president in 2012 and had spoken glowingly of him before the invasion.

The Met’s General Manager Peter Gelb said although the company’s contracts are “pay or play,” they didn’t think it was morally right to pay Netrebko anything considering her close association with the Russian leader.

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