While Anna Netrebko was applauded in the Cologne Philharmonie by an audience eager for her voice, numerous demonstrators protested outside the building. The singer’s concert was not without controversy.

As reported by the Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger, cultural activists had called for a demonstration on Kurt-Hackenberg-Platz opposite the venue. One of them was the Ukranian singer Mariana Sadovska.

« It is known that Ms. Netrebko is a muse of Putin » she told the Kölner Stadtanzeiger. She added that the world-renowned soprano has supported Russia’s “war of extermination » since the 2014 invasion of the Donbass. « There is blood on her hands. » Putin, she said, uses culture as a propaganda tool. « Ms. Netrebko is one of his key players. » She hoped that people who bought tickets to her concert for a lot of money would have the images of the war against Ukraine in front of their eyes.

According to reports, protesters addressed the audience directly, asking them if they would rather go home, and drew attention to themselves with other actions: for example, by lying on the ground around an artist as if dead, who was playing a Ukrainian lament in a blood-stained shirt.

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