Anna Netrebko concert canceled by Taiwan orchestra

FILE - Russian soprano Anna Netrebko bows to the audience at the end of La Scala opera house's gala season opener, Giacomo Puccini's opera "Tosca" at the Milan La Scala theater, Italy, on Dec. 7, 2019. Taiwan's National Symphony Orchestra canceled a March 5 concert scheduled to feature Netrebko “due to public concerns.” (AP Photo/Luca Bruno, File)
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Taiwan's National Symphony Orchestra canceled a March 5 concert scheduled to feature soprano Anna Netrebko in a decision the orchestra said it made “due to public concerns.”

Netrebko had been scheduled to perform with her husband, tenor Yusif Eyvazov, and mezzo-soprano I-Chiao Shih.

The orchestra said in a statement Tuesday that ticket buyers will be offered refunds.

Netrebko, a 51-year-old who was born in Russia and lives in Vienna, was among classical music's top draws until last year, when New York's Metropolitan Opera dropped her after she refused to distance herself from Russian President Vladimir Putin following Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

He schedule lists upcoming concerts in Hong Kong on March 9 and 11, and at Tokyo on March 15. She is scheduled to open the 100th anniversary season of Italy's Arena di Verona on June 16 in the title role of Verdi's “Aida” with Eyvazov, as Radamès.

Miguel Esteban, Netrebko's manager, said she was not commenting on the decision.

"Anna was ready, willing and able to sing to her fans in Taipei." Esteban said in an email to The Associated Press. “Following discussions that began in January 2022, this invitation was formally proposed and accepted in September 2022."

Esteban listed Netrebko's “more than two dozen exceptional performances” since.

"It is unfortunate that someone has allowed the dissonant voices of a minority to deprive a majority from hearing one of the most beautiful operatic voices today,” he said.