Saturday, February 14, 2015

Vienna Opera Ball 2015 Shows No Political Bias To Sopranos

Dominique Meyer, Director of the Vienna State
Opera, flanked by Olga Bezsmertna (left)
 and Aida Garifullina (right)
Two sopranos from political hotbed countries performed for the 2015 Wiener Opernball: Ukranian Olga Bezsmertna (singing "Dove sono" from Mozart's Le Nozze di Figaro) and Russian Aida Garifullina (singing "Je veux vivre" from Gounod's Romeo et Juliette). "The Crimean crisis was an international crisis in 2014 that instigated the ongoing dispute involving Russia and Ukraine over the control of the Crimean Peninsula, culminating in its annexation by the Russian Federation and incorporation as two separate federal subjects. The crisis was part of the wider 2014 Russian military intervention in Ukraine which also includes the Donbass region of Ukraine. The current international status of Crimea and Sevastopol as federal subjects of the Russian Federation is only explicitly recognized by five UN member states, other than Russia. All other countries recognize Crimea as part of Ukraine....On 17 April 2014 Russian president Vladimir Putin confirmed Russian involvement in Crimea, remarking that 'of course, Russian servicemen backed the Crimean self-defense forces.' In an interview on 22 January 2015 Igor Girkin, one of the major 'Russian self-defence' commanders in Crimea at that time, explained that the 'overwhelming national support for
Aida Garifullina singing Juliette's Waltz
the self-defence' as portrayed by the Russian media was fiction, and they actually had to 'forcibly drive the deputies to vote [to join Russia].' Majority of the law enforcement, administration and army did not support the 'self-defence' (one notable exception being Berkut) and only the presence of regular Russian army in Crimea 'made the whole thing work.'" [Source] Politically-neutral Spanish baritone Carlos Álvarez also sang, "Fin ch'han dal vino" from Mozart's Don Giovanni, at the Opera Ball. See more photos of the performances, as well as other opera attendees including Angelika Kirschlager, Isabel Leonard and Naomi Campbell, after the jump.

Aida Garifullina, Carlos Álvarez, Olga Bezsmertna

Dominique Meyer, Aida Garifullina

Aida Garifullina in rehearsal

Aida Garifullina

Angelika Kirschlager

Carlos Álvarez

Naomi Campbell

Olga Bezsmertna

Olga Bezsmertna

Isabel Leonard

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