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Russian opera diva Anna Netrebko invited to sing in east Ukrainian Donetsk

December 11, 2014, 4:28 UTC+3 MOSCOW
“We have spoken with her to invite to come. She said she would come as soon as shelling was over,” the theatre’s director general Yevgeny Denisenko said
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© ITAR-TASS / Ruslan Shamukov, file

MOSCOW, December 11. /TASS/. World-acclaimed Russian opera singer, Anna Netrebko, who donated one million roubles (18,980 U.S. dollars) to the opera and ballet theatre in the war-gripped east Ukrainian city of Donetsk, has been invited to sing at this theatre after the warfare is over, the theatre’s director general Yevgeny Denisenko said in an interview with the Thursday issue of the Izvestia newspaper.

The opera diva took part in a charity action in Russia’s second largest city of St. Petersburg on December 7 and donated a one-million-rouble certificate from her personal incomes to Donetsk’s Anatoly Solovyanenko National Opera and Ballet Theatre. “I have friends, young musicians in Donetsk. They told me how they are living under bombs but never stop coming to the conservatory for rehearsals. I am not a politician, I just wanted to extend a helping hand to Donetsk,” Netrbeko told TASS.

“We have spoken with her to invite to come. She said she would come as soon as shelling was over,” Denisenko said, adding he would ask her to perform in Giacomo Puccini’s La Boheme or in Giuseppe Verdi’s La Traviata.

He said Netrebko’s money would go to make new scenery for the theatre. “Maybe, some part of the sum will be used to support our company members who are facing hardships,” he noted.

In the meantime, Netrebko, who has double Russian-Austrian citizenship, came under severe criticism in second home country, Austria, for help the Donetsk theatre. Austrian mass media and a number of official agencies caviled about her being photographed on the background of Novorossia’s flag in the company of a lawmaker from the Donetsk People’s Republic /DPR/. “Such photos can be used in propaganda purposes,” a representative of the Austrian foreign ministry said.

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