Loyal Avalanche Readers know that I am a huge opera fan. And one of my favorite mezzo-sopranos (up until now) has been Anita Rachvelishvili. I have seen her perform in several works at the Metropolitan Opera, and reviewed several productions in which she was a major performer. Including this one, which I must continually plug, because I feel this was my finest work, ever. Especially the happy ending that I crafted for Aida and Amneris!
Therefore, it is with supreme sadness that I now come to report… that Anita is dead ….
Grrr, I saw this piece about her in VZGLIAD, and felt that sinking feeling when somebody you used to love, really disappoints you. Turns out, Anita is one of those right-wing Gruzian nationalists who worships Saakashvili and despises Russia.
When I saw her in a couple of productions last season, singing alongside Russian diva Anna Netrebko, the two ladies seemed chummy offstage and even called each other “Anya”. I like to see people getting along (especially pretty ladies), and I had this fantasy that they were friends offstage. Or at the very least, not enemies. But now it turns out that Anita regards Russia as her personal enemy. The corollary of which, she probably hates Netrebko’s guts as the “occupier” or what-not.
To the extent that she has just cancelled all her singing tours in Russia, according to reporter Dmitry Alexandrov. In fact, Anita is currently groveling at the feet of the Nationalists and apologizing for her past performances: “I must beg forgiveness for the fact that I used to go to Russia and sing there.” Oh please, Anita, be a fascist if you must, but why debase yourself like that?
Currently aged 35 years old, Rachvelishvili is a superstar in the opera world, having performed in Moscow, La Scala, Paris, London, and New York. She received her musical education in Gruzia and at La Scala. And this is the diva who now grovels on hands and knees before Tbilisi street scum?
Yes, sadly, Anita has expressed support for the violent acts of protest against Russia, which I have covered in previous posts such as this one. Despite the back-tracking of the Gruzian government itself, the Nationalist ferment continues to foam, and apparently has found a supporter in Gruzia’s most famous triller. Currently the Saakashvili-inspired agitators are demanding the resignation of Giorgi Gakharia, Minister of Internal Affairs (aka the police). Apparently the demonstrators are chuffed that Giorgi allowed the cops to defend themselves (with batons and the like) when the violent demonstrators attacked them and tried to set them on fire. The rule among civilized countries is: When Soros rent-a-mobs try to set you on fire, you are supposed to just whip out the marshmallows.
Well, I never! I would never have believed that a cultured and educated lady such as Anita would support such violent brutes, but there you have it, my friends. This is what we have come to.
Commenters to the article also express their disappointment. Svetlana Orlov: “Very sad, I thought she was smarter than that…” Others express anger and philistinism. Alexander Shpilevoi: “Another fucked up one… One would have thought she had gone to Russia to wail for free.” Others say “Good riddance” and express satisfaction that Anya will have to sacrifice the revenue for her shows in Russia. I don’t know if that is a problem for her, since she probably earns quite a lot of money for singing in the major opera houses of the world. Losing a Moscow gig here and there probably won’t hurt her, realistically.
But what will hurt her, is that Anita has put herself forward as a political figure. When artists get dragged into politics, it usually does not go well. If you don’t believe me, then just ask Tosca!