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Classical 101

Opera Australia Sacks Soprano for Homophobic Facebook Post

Opera Australia has dismissed Georgian soprano Tamar Iveri for posts on her Facebook page denigrating the LGBT community. Iveri was rehearsing Desdemona in Verdi's Otello for performances in Sydney when the opera company announced yesterday she would be replaced. Iveri is scheduled for further performances in Melbourne. No word yet on whether these will take place. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dwisJDUcZc4 Iveri posted quotes from a letter she had written to Georgian President Giorgi Margvelashvili after Orthodox Christian groups has assaulted marchers in a local LGBT parade. "I am quite proud of how our Georgian society spat at the parade. Often in some 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.  Please vigorous attempts to bring the west's fecal masses in the mentality of the people by means of propaganda." This post has been taken to equate gay people with 'fecal masses'. Ms. Iveri said on Monday that the offensive post was written by her husband, who she calls "very religious, with a tough attitude toward gay people." It is reported that the Theatre de la Monnaie in Brussels has canceled Ms. Iveri's contracts for performances of Tosca scheduled for May of next year. Opera Australia announced on Monday that Iveri had been dismissed from the company. "Opera Australia believes the views stated to be unconscionable." An online petition calling for the cancellation of Ms. Iveri's work visa in Australia has nearly 5,000 signatures. Ms. Iveri has apologised for the post but insists the words were written by her husband. "I have never been prejudiced against anyone, whether for religious or racial reasons, or for any kind of prejudice including those regarding sexual preference. I abhor prejudice in any form altogether."

Christopher Purdy is Classical 101's early morning host, 7-10 a.m. weekdays. He is host and producer of Front Row Center – Classical 101’s weekly celebration of Opera and more – as well as Music in Mid-Ohio, Concerts at Ohio State, and the Columbus Symphony broadcast series. He is the regular pre-concert speaker for Columbus Symphony performances in the Ohio Theater.