Controversy has broken out about the planned appearance of the Russian opera singer Anna Netrebko at the International May Festival in Wiesbaden. The state of Hesse and the state capital of Wiesbaden spoke out against the singer’s appearance on Monday. Hesse’s Prime Minister Boris Rhein (CDU) also wants to give up his patronage for the festival. In contrast, the Hessian State Theater in Wiesbaden is sticking to the plans. The joint city-country statement said the festival is dedicated to those who are in prison for their opinions, such as Russian activist Alexei Navalny. In view of this, it cannot be explained why Netrebko should appear at the festival. You have unsuccessfully asked the director to refrain from doing so. The internationally acclaimed soprano was after the war of aggression began Russia against Ukraine have been criticized for their alleged closeness to President Vladimir Putin. Her manager, Miguel Esteban, recently said it was incorrect to associate the soprano with government or war. Last year, the singer announced through her lawyer, among other things, that she was neither a member of a political party nor connected to any Russian leader. She regrets that her actions and statements in the past could sometimes be misinterpreted. The Staatstheater Wiesbaden emphasized that Netrebko will appear at the festival in Giuseppe Verdi’s opera “Nabucco”. “We in the western world, who are currently experiencing how our freedom in Ukraine unfortunately has to be defended with weapons and human lives, must never exclude artists and people who belong to us and who we need to fight against unjust regimes like that of Vladimir Putin urgently need on our side,” it said in a statement.