The new 2024/25 season just announced by the Metropolitan Opera raises questions about its selection of singers.

Many in the Western world have just commemorated a tragic two-year anniversary of Russia’s aggression against Ukraine and the immeasurable suffering and loss of life caused by these two years of the worst war in Europe since WWII. One of the main war propaganda goals in Russia has been and continues to be creating an impression that nothing much is happening and a remote colonial war does not affect the never ending festivals, concerts and parties of the same merry way of life.

One of the many examples of such propaganda was the government sponsored lavish show Classics on the Palace Square took place in St. Petersburg on May 28, 2022. It was a grandiose show featuring an orchestra, chorus, soloists, dance and music hall artists. The Russian Imperial Palace was the backdrop of the show. Three months into bombing and killing people in the neighboring country everyone rejoiced. Offenbach’s Cancan added to the joyful mood on stage and on the Palace square

“Life is a Cabaret!”  joyfully sang Vasilisa Berhzanskaya

«Stretti stretti, nell’estasi d’amor» sang Vasilisa Berzhanskaya and Alexey Markov  (15:42 – 18:54)

The final song was the expression of joy, exuberance and happy times. Mr. Markov and Ms. Berzhanskaya sang solo parts and it looked like the propaganda show was great fun for all involved.It was the 94h day of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the atrocities of Bucha and Irpen have already been committed.

One can only wonder why The Met keeps inviting singers who are so publicly a part of the Russian propaganda machine.


Arts Against Aggression , an international movement fighting Russian cultural propaganda.

Since 2014, Arts Against Aggression’s educational campaigns aim to raise awareness among academic and cultural institutions about Russia’s hybrid warfare against the United States and Europe, and to expose Russian artists who openly support Putin’s wars of aggression for domestic consumption while cowardly pretending to be «artists, not propagandists» in the West.