Opera Australia has finally succumbed to world-wide outrage and cancelled the contract of Tamar Iveri, Georgian opera singer who was due to perform in their production of Otello.
Ms Iveri has recently made world headlines for the aggressive homophobic statements she made in a letter that was published on her Facebook page, supporting an attack on Georgian LGBT protesters that happened in May 2013.
Many people were seriously injured during the attack, to which the Georgian President responded, “We have been disgraced, what will Europe and the world think of us?”
The President’s stance prompted Ms Iveri to write him an open letter criticising his ‘bending to the West’.
“Often, in certain cases, it is necessary to break the jaws in order to be appreciated as a nation in the future,” she wrote.
“I was quite proud of the fact that Georgian society spat at the parade.
“Please, stop vigerous attempts to bring West’s ‘fecal masses’ in the mentality of the people by means of propaganda.
“If you ignore it today…. tomorrow they will demand same-sex marriages, the day after tomorrow they will require rights for adoption. And I really do not want Georgia, a place that I am always happy to visit, to resemble certain blocks of Amsterdam.”
(Read her entire letter in English here.)
The Georgian LGBT community translated Iveri’s shocking homophobic letter into English, sending it to the National Opera of Paris who cancelled her performances. Iveri begun offering half-hearted apologies to the LGBT community, which were taken as an attempt to save her career rather than a show of real remorse.
Opera Australia has been under huge pressure over the past few days to cancel Iveri’s Australian contract, with social media campaigns condemning them across the globe.
The satirical Facebook page Pauline Pantsdown garnered huge support for their open letter to Opera Australia, which stated,
Dear Opera Australia,
As much has happened over the last 24 hours, you may need a summary, as the proven inadequacy of your initial response demands that you now take responsible action on this matter.
On Saturday morning you made a decision to support Tamar Iveri merely on the basis of her response statement, after her advocation of violence against GLBTI people.
Her response statement has now been shown to be unequivocally false.
Unfortunately for Opera Australia, they delayed their decision to release Iveri from her contract until yesterday, which has led to widespread criticism from those who believe she should never have been allowed a working permit in Australia in the first place.
Opera Australia published this statement to their Facebook page yesterday:
Opera Australia confirms soprano Ms Tamar Iveri will not be performing in Otello.
Opera Australia has reached agreement with Ms Iveri to immediately release her from her contract with the company.
Ms Iveri and her husband have both made public statements in the last 48 hours with regards to comments attributed to Ms Iveri.
Ms Iveri has unreservedly apologised for those comments and views.
Opera Australia believes the views as stated to be unconscionable.
A petition on change.org, asking for Iveri’s Australian working visa to be revoked gathered 4600 signatures in just three days.
Ms Iveri has recently changed her Facebook profile picture and cover photo to images that say, “Peace, Love and Harmony”, but she is continuing to receive a lot of criticism on her page.