Georgian soprano Tamar Iveri sacked by Opera Australia over anti-gay comments

Georgian opera singer Tamar Iveri has been ‘released from her contract’ with Opera Australia after it was revealed that a homophobic rant was posted by her Facebook account

Georgian soprano Tamar Iveri sacked by Opera Australia over anti-gay comments
23 June 2014

Georgian soprano Tamar Iveri will not perform in an Australian production of the opera Otello after it was revealed that her Facebook page published an ant-gay screed attacking the LGBTI community in Georgia.

The 2013 dated screed praised Georgians for spitting at an LGBTI pride parade, calling participants ‘faecal masses’ and compared gay rights advances to metastasizing cancer cells.

The post also appeared to advocate violence in some cases to stop the advance of LGBTI equality, stating, ‘In certain cases, it is necessary to break jaws in order to be appreciated as a nation in the future.’

Iveri blamed her husband when the comments first came to light, saying he had edited and added to her words before posting them to Facebook but Iveri has now agreed to be released from her contract with Opera Australia.

‘Opera Australia confirms soprano Ms Tamar Iveri will not be performing in Otello,’ reads a statement by the organization posted online.

‘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 apologized for those comments and views. Opera Australia believes the views as stated to be unconscionable.’

Nearly 5,000 people signed a petition calling for Iveri’s work visa to Australia to be cancelled.

Iveri’s comments have also affected her career back in Europe, with Belgium’s Théâtre Royal de la Monnaie also dropping her from an upcoming production.

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