Russian singer Netrebko to be Austrian citizen

Russian singer Netrebko to be Austrian citizen
Russian singer Netrebko to be Austrian citizen

Netrebko, who will also retain her Russian passport, was given Austrian citizenship under special provisions that put athletes, entertainers, artists and other celebrities on the fast track for the procedure. Normally, gaining citizenship takes at least 10 years and involves language and other tests designed to prove the applicant's suitability to living in Austria.

Deputy Chancellor Hubert Gorbach described the decision as a "confirmation of Austria's status as a nation of culture."

Netrebko has been described as "the new Callas" and "Audrey Hepburn with a voice" by critics. Since her triumphant 1995 San Francisco Opera debut, she has starred with opera companies and symphony orchestras around the world.