The Russian-born chief conductor of the Munich Philharmonic Orchestra Valery Gergiev is facing a purity test for his refusal to publicly denounce Russian President Vladimir Putin.
The musical maestro was fired three years before his contract ended because he refused to acknowledge Munich Mayor Dieter Reiter’s demand to denounce Putin’s “brutal war of aggression.”
“And Anna Netrebko, the Russian diva who is one of opera’s biggest international stars and also has ties to Mr. Putin, saw her upcoming engagements with the Bavarian State Opera cancelled, and the Zurich Opera House announced that she had withdrawn from her next performances there,” the New York Times reported.
The mayor gave Gergiev until Monday to respond to his “demand” that he falls in line, and was subject to “widespread anger and condemnation” according to the Times.
As a result of his failure to conform and denounce 'wrongthink', Gergiev was also dismissed from his position at the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra. The orchestra also said that it was getting rid of its “Gergiev festival.”
Reiter said he was surprised by Gergiev’s position on the matter, as he had previously called for Munich’s Allianz Arena to be illuminated in rainbow flag colors to protest against a law in Hungary that banned the promotion of transgenderism and “queer” lifestyles to children.
“I would have expected him to reconsider and revise his very positive assessment of Russia’s leader,” Reiter said in a statement. “He didn’t.”
Despite growing efforts to cancel Russians for their failure to conform ideologically, Germany’s former Federal Minister for Family Affairs Kristina Schröder said that the purity tests are “silly and counterproductive.”
Schröder said that Gergiev’s political views should not impact his career, stating, “He is being fired, and I am not aware that he has not met professional requirements.”
German director and screenwriter Thomas Hügel echoed her remarks to ask if the Munich mayor had also initiated expulsion proceedings against his fellow party member Gerhard Schröder, who maintains a friendship with Putin and has refused to denounce him over the invasion.
AfD Member of Parliament Stephan Brandner asked if there are any consequences for the former German chancellor now that people are being socially and financially cut off for their refusal to display ideological subservience to the narrative. Even those who express sympathy for the plight of average Russians are being singled out for cancellation, he said, Summit News reported.