The reason is because another production of Verdi’s opera performed earlier in the year had White Russian soprano singer Anna Netrebko as Aida in Blackface.
In her Instagram post Blue states, “’Dear Friends, Family, and Opera Lovers, I have come to the unfortunate conclusion that I will not be singing La Traviata at Arena di Verona this summer as planned.”
She continues, “Let me be perfectly clear: the use of blackface under any circumstances, artistic or otherwise, is a deeply misguided practice based on archaic theatrical traditions which have no place in modern society. It is offensive, humiliating and outright racist.”
La Traviata extended an invitation to Blue in hopes of having a conversation about the issue and claimed to have had “no reason nor intent whatsoever to offend and disturb anyone’s sensibility.”
The theater hopes the incident will build a bridge between cultures and educate the Italian audience. The Arena of Verona Foundation released a statement saying, “Every country has different roots, and their cultural and social structures developed along different historical and cultural paths. Common convictions have often been reached only after years of dialogue and mutual understanding.”