A singer who described gay protesters as “faecal masses” has been sacked by Opera Australia. Georgian performer Tamar Iveri will not appear in the company’s production of Otelloin Sydney next week.
“Opera Australia believes the views as stated to be unconscionable,” the company said in a statement yesterday.
“Opera Australia has agreed with Tamar Iveri to immediately release her from her contract with the company,” it said. A replacement was not named.
But Iveri denies she is prejudiced — and said she quit the production “for the tranquillity of my colleagues”.
“I came to sing for all the people who would like to hear me, and there is no one whom I would ever wish to exclude,” the soprano wrote on Facebook yesterday.
“I have never been prejudiced against anyone, whether for religious, or racial reasons, or for any other kind of prejudice including those regarding sexual preference.
“I abhor prejudice in any form altogether.”
Her remarks 18 months ago concerned a gay rights parade in Tbilisi in which many protesters where injured. “Cancer metastases need to be removed in the beginning of the process … tomorrow they will demand same-sex marriages,” she wrote on Facebook.
There was a storm of protest from social media users over the weekend, including threats of a boycott from some gay Opera Australia patrons.