Opera Australia has dropped Georgian soprano Tamar Iveri from the upcoming production of “Otello” following the furore over her anti-gay rant on Facebook.
“Opera Australia confirms soprano Ms Tamar Iveri will not be performing in Otello. Opera Australia has agreed with Tamar Iveri to immediately release her from her contract with the company,” a statement from the company reads.
“Ms Iveri and her husband have both made public statements in the last 48 hours with regards to comments attributed to Ms Iveri. She has unreservedly apologised for those comments and views. Opera Australia believes the views as stated to be unconscionable.”
Iveri came under fire for the homophobic message posted on the social networking site in 2013. The post described gay people as “faecal masses,” and had supported the violence that greeted the gay parade in the Georgian capital.
The rant was addressed to President Giorgi Margvelashvili, and had read in part: “I was quite proud of the fact how Georgian society spat at the parade, organised by your team.”
She was referring to the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHOT) in May 2013 in Tbilisi, which was overtaken by a group of violent mob against gay supporters.
“Often, in certain cases, it is necessary to break jaws in order to be appreciated as a nation in the future, and to be taken into account seriously,” the message continued.
“Please stop vigorous attempts to bring West’s ‘faecal masses’ in the mentality of the people by means of propaganda.
“Do not try to wrap this mass in beautiful packages, pour Chanel perfume on it and present it to people as if it was something of medical, recreational qualities.
“No matter how unhappy the ‘friendly West’ might become, fortunately, the Georgian people are well aware of what fruits, offered by the West in their menu, to eat and what to discard.
“Just like my small dog guesses it.”
She has since deleted the message, and her husband has admitted to posting the hate-filled rant.
“Besides myself my husband was using my Facebook account at that time and he is a very religious man with a tough attitude towards gay people. He copied my text, changed it considerably and posted it under my 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. I’m afraid it was too late and the text was already spreading in the internet," she explained.
“The letter was signed on our Facebook page, when Tamar returned home she erased the letter and got very upset,” her husband Raul Tskhadadze also wrote.
“Tamar, despite the fact that the text that was written by me was unacceptable for her. She did not disclose the letter was written by me. She had endured and suffered a lot because of the letter which I wrote. Tamar has never been homophobic and especially not against Western values.”
Iveri was supposed to play Desdemona in Harry Kupfer’s production of “Otello,” which will commence in July.
She was also due to perform in the Melbourne production of “Tosca,” but it’s unclear if her cancelled contract included the performance.