Anna Netrebko Awarded Austrian Citizenship

Classic Arts News   Anna Netrebko Awarded Austrian Citizenship
 
Russian soprano Anna Netrebko has been granted Austrian citizenship, reports the Associated Press.

Netrebko, 34, applied in March under fast-track provisions for athletes, entertainers, artists and other celebrities. Usually, the process can take ten years and then the original citizenship must be forfeited. She will retain her Russian passport.

Deputy Chancellor Hubert Gorbach described the decision as a "confirmation of Austria's status as a nation of culture," according to the Associated Press.

Netrebko is currently singing Susanna in the Salzburg Festival's eagerly anticipated new production of Mozart's Le nozze di Figaro, which opened the city's new $37 million House for Mozart yesterday.

Netrebko's plans to obtain Austrian citizenship initially led to her being branded a traitor by fellow Russians. In May, the St. Petersburg Times had reported that the Russian soprano was canceling her application after being labeled a deserter; those accusing her reportedly didn't realize she would be allowed to keep her Russian passport as well.

Netrebko wanted Austrian citizenship to facilitate her frequent travels; as a Russian citizen, she needed to go through a complicated visa application for every trip to a European Union nation (as a top-tier opera singer, she needs to make many such journeys), and she was limited to a total of 180 days per year in EU countries.


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