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We’ve received a number of reports about a racial incident at Dresden’s State Opera against the backdrop of regional politics.

The Dresden opera house is due to stage its annual ball on February 7.

Two singers were invited – a certainn American tenor and the Armenian soprano Ruzan Mantashyan. They were scheduled to sing at least one duet. Mantashyan agreed, but the American was unavailable.

The opera house rang around and replaced him with Yusif Eyvazov, husband of the superstar soprano Anna Netrebko.

Eyvazov agreed to sing – until he learned that he was appearing with a soprano from Armenia.

Eyvazov is an Azeri. Armenia and Azarbaijan are bad neighbours, with frequent flare-ups between them.

Evvazov not only refused to sing with Mantashyan but, it is reported, he demanded that she be fired from the programme.

So the Dresden organisers got rid of the soprano in order to retain Eyvazov.

We have been unable to obtain confirmation so far from any of the principals, but the reports are widespread, coming from both partisan countries, from Germany and from France (where Mantashyan is based).


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