Opera Australia has fired Tamar Iveri after public pressure mounted following a homophobic rant surfacing where the soprano called gay and lesbian people faecal matter.
In a statement released Monday morning, Opera Australia said it believed the views stated by the Georgian-national Iveri, who has been in Sydney rehearsing for her role in Otello, were “unconscionable”.
“Opera Australia has reached agreement with Ms Iveri to immediately release her from her contract with the company,” the statement reads.
Iveri posted an open letter on Facebook 18 months ago addressed to the Georgian President Giorgi Margvelashvili. She urged the president to take action against LGBT people, who she described as “deviants”, going on to suggest homosexuality was “faecal mass” propaganda.
Australian opera magazine Limelight uncovered the letter on Friday.
Limelight write that Iveri’s outburst came on the back of a rally organised by LGBT activists and other Georgian citizens to mark the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHO) in the city of Tbilisi.
“According to reports, tens of thousands of Orthodox Christian activists attacked the participants some of whom, it is claimed, narrowly escaped death. Iveri, however, lambasted the Georgian President for condemning the violence writing that she was “proud of the fact how Georgian society spat at the parade.”
The Limelight article was swiftly shared and tweeted, causing many to threaten to boycott Opera Australia, who were slow to take action, releasing a statement on Saturday, which said Tamar Iveri sought to clarify her views and offer explanation on her own Facebook page.
Her statement released on Saturday claimed her husband, “a very religious man with a tough attitude towards gay people” had gained access to her Facebook page 18 months ago and that he posted the rant.
Opera Australia’s Facebook page was flooded with more than 1000 posts from people who were shocked by OA’s lack of action, saying they would boycott the company if Iveri remained in the cast.
Last night Qantas, a major sponsor of Opera Australia, tweeted that they were deeply concerned with the comments and that they were in discussion with OA.