Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Opera Australia fires soprano Tamar Iveri over gay slurs

Free speech?  Tolerance?  Not for people who hold views that were normal just a few decades ago

Opera Australia has released soprano Tamar Iveri from her contract following a furore over "unconscionable" homophobic comments posted on the singer's Facebook page.

In a statement released on Monday, the company said Iveri would not be performing in its Sydney production of Otello in July and August.

"Opera Australia has agreed with Tamar Iveri, to immediately release her from her contract with the company," the statement says.

A statement posted on the Georgian opera singer's Facebook page 18 months ago compared gay and lesbian people to fecal matter.

The post took the form of a letter to Georgian President Giorgi Margvelashvili in which she implored him to "stop vigorous attempts to bring West's ‘fecal masses’ in the mentality of the people by means of propaganda".

The singer was responding to a gay pride parade that had been organised to pass through the yard of an Orthodox Church in the Georgian capital, Tbilisi.

On Saturday the singer blamed her husband for the comments after they were reported in the Australian media on Friday.

"Ms Iveri and her husband have both made public statements in the last 48 hours with regards to comments attributed to Ms Iveri," Opera Australia said on Monday.  "She has unreservedly apologised for those comments and views.

On Saturday, Iveri posted a message on Facebook saying that her husband had been using her account at the time, describing him as "a very religious man with a tough attitude towards gay people". She accuses him of changing her original letter and posting it under her name.

"You might imagine that I was not happy with that at all and I immediately deleted it when I saw the text about half an hour later. This text does not express my own opinion," she wrote.

The original comments on Iveri's Facebook page prompted a backlash on social media, including calls for Opera Australia to drop her. The Opera Australia Facebook page has had more than 1000 posts on the matter, with many people threatening to boycott the company and others suggesting they would cancel their subscriptions. "I'm really shocked at Opera Australia's response to this," one man wrote. "Having been a ticket buyer, and having even been in one of your productions, I feel disappointed in how this is being handled."

"As a loyal subscriber for the past decade, I am now (for the first time) questioning whether I should support your organisation," another said.

Opera Australia's decision to drop Iveri follows reports over the weekend that La Monnaie Opera in Brussels had dropped her from its 2015 production of A Masked Ball.

Soon before Opera Australia announced Iveri's removal, a spokeswoman for Qantas, one of the company's major sponsors, said the airline was "deeply concerned" by Iveri's comments and was "discussing them with Opera Australia."

Iveri last performed in Australia Spanish company La Fura del Baus' production of A Masked Ball, which opened Opera Australia's Melbourne season in 2013.

She was also due to perform with Opera Australia's Melbourne production of Tosca later this year, yet it is unclear whether Opera Australia's decision to cancel her contract also includes that performance.



Anonymous said...

Homosexuals viciously attack anyone who dares to criticize their repugnant sexual perversity!

Anonymous said...

12:22 - you overstate your case to the point of appearing a total bigot!

Use the Name, Luke said...

Anon 1:55 apparently didn't notice what actually happened. Her ability to work was stripped from her despite immediate (half hour) removal and profuse apologies.

"Gaystapo" is a term that is gaining widespread recognition. Incidents like these are why.

Anonymous said...

And Luke apparently didn't notice that 1:55 was only referring to 12:22's OTT statement and not directly to anyone losing a position as a result of a bizarre and tasteless remark. However, "Gaystapo" is likewise hyperbole, and rather pathetic too.

Use the Name, Luke said...

5:12, is "reading for comprehension" a foreign concept to you?

Bird of Paradise said...

The Rainbow Defection

Anonymous said...

Common sense is a foreign concept for a creationist like Luke.
As for "Gaystapo", that is rich coming from a would-be theocrat.

Go Away Bird said...

Common sense isnt amounst crazy Darwinist's wackos