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Because of performances with Russians. The Lviv Opera has terminated its cooperation with the 27-year-old singer: Valentyna Pluzhnikova says she was thrown mud

Lviv Opera House refuses to cooperate with Valentyna Pluzhnikova because of her performances with Russians

The Lviv National Academic Opera and Ballet Theater named after Solomiya Krushelnytska has terminated cooperation with one of its vocalists, Valentyna Pluzhnikova, who was to perform the title role in the performance of Georges Bizet's Carmen on February 17. The singer's dismissal was justified by the fact that she had allegedly performed on the same stage as Russians during her studies at the prestigious La Scala Academy in Italy. The artist has already responded to the accusations.

Thus, Valentina believes that the Lviv Opera "threw mud at her ". She posted her response to the dismissal on her personal Facebook page. It is worth noting that the vast majority of users on the network defended the singer and supported her.

"The decision was made to cancel Valentyna Pluzhnikova's participation in the opera Carmen on 17.02. We urge Ukrainian artists not to participate in joint projects with Russian artists, as this works against Ukraine," representatives of the Lviv Theater wrote on their platforms. This post has already been deleted.

Meanwhile, the fired actress said: "I, Valentyna Pluzhnikova, am a Ukrainian opera singer. I was born, raised, lived and received my higher education in Ukraine (I graduated from the Khmelnytsky Music College and the Tchaikovsky National Music Academy). I am the first Ukrainian woman in the history of the Metropolitan Opera to have trained at this theater. I am 27 years old, a young singer who, in my short age, has completed internships at the Opera Academy at the Warsaw Opera (2017-2019), the Metropolitan Opera (2019-2021) and the La Scala Theater Academy (2021-2023), and I studied in the program for young singers at the Salzburg Festival 2019 and Corso d'Opera in Italy 2018. Throughout my career, I have studied and received international opera education in order to gain recognition in my homeland, Ukraine, and have had a mission all my life to represent my country abroad on the best opera stages in the world."

Because of performances with Russians. The Lviv Opera has terminated its cooperation with the 27-year-old singer: Valentyna Pluzhnikova says she was thrown mud

Pluzhnikova assured that she has never visited Russia in her entire life, speaks only Ukrainian, has not sung Russian operas abroad, and has not performed Russian songs. Moreover, according to the artist, she violated the rules of the La Scala Academy when she appeared on the stage of the theater after February 24, 2022, wrapped in a blue and yellow flag.

Because of performances with Russians. The Lviv Opera has terminated its cooperation with the 27-year-old singer: Valentyna Pluzhnikova says she was thrown mud

"My position is clear, I have always expressed it openly, and I expressed it on the second day of the full-scale invasion, when, contrary to the rules and prohibitions, I went on stage at the La Scala theater wrapped in a Ukrainian flag. According to the laws of this theater, it is forbidden to go on stage with any flags. This is my merit, my path, my work to become a singer that Ukraine can be proud of. The performances I am accused of were part of a youth program where I was a student, I did not have a contract for these performances as an independent artist. The photo that is being circulated of me hugging other artists was taken on stage as part of my performance of Dangeville in the opera by Adrien Lecouvreur at the Salzburg Festival (the most prestigious opera festival in the world, where every singer would dream of being), where I also studied in a summer program for young singers," the singer added.

Because of performances with Russians. The Lviv Opera has terminated its cooperation with the 27-year-old singer: Valentyna Pluzhnikova says she was thrown mud

Valentina thanked her colleagues who stood up for her after her dismissal. She assured them that she was going to fight the injustice that she believes the Lviv Opera is doing to her.

"I will defend my name and I will not allow anyone to defame my reputation. Ukraine should be proud of me because I represent the Ukrainian opera school and Ukrainian talented youth in all theaters, all youth programs, at all festivals and competitions. Once again, I would like to thank all my colleagues, fans, and all the people who supported me," the artist summarized.

Because of performances with Russians. The Lviv Opera has terminated its cooperation with the 27-year-old singer: Valentyna Pluzhnikova says she was thrown mud

Meanwhile, a new official statement was released on the theater's page, in which they responded to the hate and tried to explain their position.

"After publishing the first post on social media about Valentyna Pluzhnikova's participation in the opera Carmen on 17.02, within the first 40 minutes we began to receive negative feedback from the press and the public, accusations of collaboration with the artist who went on stage with Russian singers. Having experience in how quickly the media pick up on any negative information and how they use it for their own, unfortunately, not always noble purposes, distorting the context, the theater team had to react with lightning speed. That is why it was decided to cancel Pluzhnikova's performance in the theater's production and to immediately communicate about it on social media. There would also have been a huge risk that the public would have disrupted Valentina's performance if it had taken place. While the team was preparing the first statement, the theater's musical management tried to get in touch with the singer to talk and resolve the situation in person, but unfortunately, we were unable to contact her," the Lviv Opera representatives assured.

They also added that the theater's team "analyzed their mistake, which consisted primarily in insufficiently checking Valentyna Pluzhnikova's creative biography and timely communication with her about the controversial points in it."

"We sincerely apologize to Valentina. The reputation of the foundation, with the assistance of which the singer was to perform, has always been unquestionable, but the information provided by it did not mention her participation in the performance together with Russian singers after the start of Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine... After a careful analysis of all the opinions and comments on this situation, we saw how polarized they are between the part of the artistic community that defended the singer and the public that insists on more important priorities in times of a brutal war. And also how important it is now for everyone to be united in the cultural struggle and united and uncompromising in their position," the theater emphasized.

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