Russia`s number one operadiva and star of the New York`s Metropolitan Opera, Anna Netrebko, has refused to perform in Japan over concerns about radiation as a result of the devastating earthquake and ensuing Fukushima nuclear disaster.
-According to the New York Times, Netrebko, "the brightest star of the Metropolitan`s tour to Japan," dropped out at the last minute, along with the award-winning Maltese tenor Joseph Calleja and German tenor Jonas Kaufmann.
The company faced great risks having to find replacements for the lead parts in such operas as Don Carlo, La Bohème and Lucia di Lammermoor at the last second.
"Stars are stars. They`re different than company members. In the case of both Netrebko and Calleja, they were genuinely upset that they had to make these decisions," the Met`s general manager, Peter Gelb told the New York Times.
"Ms. Netrebko changed her mind because of the emotional weight of having also lived through the tragedy of Chernobyl." Mr. Calleja "also had last-minute misgivings," the Metropolitan Opera explained in a statement.
Once hailed as the "greatest living soprano" by BBC Magazine, the award-winning Netrebko lives in Vienna, New York and St. Petersburg, and rarely gives concerts in Russia. Her shows are booked out months in advance. She performs with the world`s leading conductors, such as Valery Gergiev, Zubin Mehta, and Claudio Abbado, at the world`s most prestigious theaters.