After bestowing the People's Artist of Russia distinction on opera singer Anna Netrebko in 2008, Russian President Vladimir Putin congratulates her. Lovetsky, Dmitry

Russian singer Anna Netrebko, who has links to Putin, is performing at the Metropolitan Opera.

The Metropolitan Opera has fired Russian soprano Anna Netrebko after her backing for Vladimir Putin reappeared amid Russia’s catastrophic invasion of Ukraine.

Netrebko, 50, is one of the opera’s highest-grossing artists, and her departure is a big setback for the city’s cultural establishment.

In a statement released on Thursday, Met general manager Peter Gelb said, “It is a profound creative loss for the Met and for opera.” “Anna is one of the finest vocalists in Met history, but there was no way ahead with Putin murdering innocent people in Ukraine.”

Last Sunday, Gelb stated that the Met will no longer collaborate with artists who support Putin. The Met had already attempted to persuade Netrebko to abandon her support for Russian President Vladimir Putin, but their attempts were futile.

In the spring, Netrebko was scheduled to participate in Giacomo Puccini’s “Turandot,” then in Giuseppe Verdi’s “Don Carlo” the following season. Liudmyla Monastyrska, a Ukrainian soprano, will take her place in both shows.

“Turandot” will have five performances from April 30 to May 14, while “Don Carlo” will have five performances from November 3 to November 19.

Putin awarded Netrebko the title of People’s Artist of Russia in 2008. She was later photographed in 2014 clutching a Novorussian flag after donating one million rubles (Russian money) to the Donetsk Opera House. Pro-Russia protestors have taken control of a Ukrainian city in the vicinity.

Netrebko also cancelled two other forthcoming concerts earlier this week, including one on April 3 at Barcelona’s Gran Teatre del Liceu.

“I am against this foolish war of aggression, and I am calling on Russia to cease this war right now, to save us all,” she said in a statement. “Right now, we need peace.”

“This is not the time for me to compose songs and perform,” the singer concluded. As a result, I’ve made the decision to take a break from performing for the time being. It’s a difficult decision for me, but I’m certain that my audience will understand and support my choice.”

Netrebko made her Met Opera debut on February 14, 2002, in Sergei Prokofiev’s “War and Peace.” She has performed in a total of 192 shows since she began. On December 31, 2019, she performed at a New Year’s Eve event. She also appeared in the 2004 Disney film “The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement” as herself.